Top Reasons for Being Unfriended on Facebook

Love, relationships and breakups get more complicated in the digital age. (Image credit: Russiangal |

If you're on Facebook, there’s a good chance you know someone who likes to send out frequent posts that rattle on about their bad day, their new kitten or what they ate for lunch.

Now, according to a survey coming out of the University of Colorado Denver Business School, this sect of overly chatty members that post "unimportant" messages are the most likely to be unfriended by others.

"The 100th post about your favorite band is no longer interesting," said Christopher Sibona, a PhD student in the Computer Science and Information Systems program, who conducted the survey.

Sibona, whose research will be published January by the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, said he wanted to learn more about what triggers Facebook users to finally pull the plug and unfriend others.

"Researchers spend a lot of time examining how people form friendships online but little is known on how those relationships end," Sibona said in a statement.

The study found that those who post about polarizing topics such religion and politics are the second most likely to be unfriended. Meanwhile, people who write inappropriate posts -- such as crude or racist comments – placed third.

The study also revealed that this type of online behavior is far more likely to get someone booted from a friend's Facebook list than if something happened offline. In fact, 57 percent of those surveyed unfriended for online reasons, while 26.9 percent did so for offline behavior.

Sibona also found that those making friend requests stood a much higher chance of being abruptly unfriended.

While some respondents reported being deeply hurt at being unfriended, others were more amused than traumatized.

In 2009, the term "unfriend" was named word of the year by the New Oxford American Dictionary, meaning "to remove someone as a 'friend' from a social networking site such as Facebook."

Samantha Murphy
Samantha Murphy was a contributor to Live Science, covering the tech industry. She holds a degree in journalism and cinema studies from New York University.