National Unfriend Day Date in the current year: November 17, 2022

National Unfriend Day National Unfriend Day is celebrated annually on November 17. It is the perfect day to look through your connections on social media and unfriend all the people you don’t really talk to anymore and whose posts you never like.

The era of social media started in the early 2000s, and the first known use of the word “unfriend” in the meaning “to remove somebody from a list of friends on social media” occurred in 2003, according to Merriam-Webster.com. In 2009, Oxford University Press, the publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary, named “unfriend” the word of the year in the United States.

The first National Unfriend Day (also spelled National UnFriend Day) was announced by American television host and comedian Jimmy Kimmel during an episode of his late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! that aired on November 17, 2010. Kimmel encouraged people to go on Facebook and unfriend people who weren’t really their friends.

Back in the 1990s, when social media weren’t even a thing, British anthropologist Robin Dunbar suggested that humans can comfortably maintain stable social relationships with 150 other people. This number became known as Dunbar’s number. Although Dunbar’s theory has been criticized, it is indeed impossible to maintain meaningful relationships with hundreds of people; so if you have then more than a couple hundred friends on social media, chances are many of these people are not what you would call friends in real life.

All your friends on social networks can probably be split into three categories: family and close friends; distant relatives, co-workers and acquaintances; people with whom you have no relationship at all (for example, someone you’ve only met once through mutual acquaintances or even complete strangers). National Unfriend Day is the perfect excuse to unfriend at least half of the people from the second category and most, if not all, people from the third category.

Don’t hesitate to unfriend anyone who makes you think, “Why the hell is this person in my friend list in the first place?”, and if you’re still hesitating, ask yourself a few simple questions. Do you really need to keep tabs on people you haven’t talked to in years, maybe even decades? Do your really have time to scroll through your social media news feeds consisting of posts from several hundred people? Don’t feel guilty for unfriending people you haven’t talked too in a really long time – they probably won’t even notice.

When you unfriend or unfollow someone, it doesn’t have to be on all your social media accounts. We suggest compartmentalizing your social media by using them as intended: Facebook for family and close friends, LinkedIn for professional connections, Twitter for whatever you’re on Twitter for, be it politics or fandoms, and so on.

National Unfriend Day also is a great opportunity to reconnect with people you have fallen out of touch with but who still feel important to you. When you come across such people while browsing your friend list, reach out to them to rekindle your relationship. Maybe it will lead nowhere and you will just unfriend them later, but you will never know if you don’t try.

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Category

Unofficial Holidays

Country

USA

Tags

National Unfriend Day, unofficial holidays, observances in the United States, social media, Jimmy Kimmel