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Science Explains Why You Keep Getting Unfriended On Facebook

Science Explains Why You Keep Getting Unfriended On Facebook

Most people get flushed for the vitriol in their post, but there’s an equally serious crime as vitriol that will also get you unfriended on Facebook in a hurry.

It’s not your oversharing of baby pictures, or the hundreds of photos of you being loved up, or even the incessant “inspirational” quotes you post that will get you unfriended on Facebook in a hurry.

It’s your political views (or at least, publicly voicing your political opinions) that will make you unpopular on the social networking site pretty quickly.

It seems voicing your opinions on politics isn’t just bad etiquette at the Christmas dinner table, it’s also very much frowned upon on Facebook. This could be the reason why you keep getting unfriended.

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A New Yorker who asked to remain anonymous, for example, revealed that he purged his Facebook account after the last presidential election.

“It was a big deal to me,” he said. “I found it hard to be friends with people who didn’t vote for Obama.”

After which his friend posted, “I voted for McKinney.”

Airing your political views publicly will get you unfriended

According to researchers Nicholas John from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Shira Dvir-Gvirsman from Tel Aviv University, being unfriended for airing your political views publicly is not uncommon, especially when that happens in times of strife or conflict.

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The researchers conducted an online survey among Jewish Israeli Facebook users between 3rd and 7th September 2014 (just 10 days after the Israel-Gaza conflict’s open-ended ceasefire of 26 August) to investigate the affects of political commenting. They found that while people are willing to be open-minded, those with starkly different views to our own are most likely to be blocked or deleted until at least after the conflict ends.

Social media users representing the Israeli population on Facebook were specifically asked about their political activity, ideological extremity and Facebook activity during the conflict. More than 1,100 Facebook users’ responded. The researchers found that 50% of the respondents reported being more active on Facebook during this time period and 16% of users unfriended or unfollowed a Facebook friend for political reasons during this time frame.

Interestingly, users who unfriended others were the ones more likely to be ideologically extreme and less supportive of free speech. The researchers also found that those with more Facebook friends were more likely to unfriend, indicating that having many weak ties allows for more unfriending.

“People unfriend people who have different political views to theirs,” John said in a statement explaining the findings. “More than that,” he continued, “these findings suggest that the people most likely to unfriend are younger, more politically active, more active on Facebook, have lots of Facebook friends, and have more extreme political views — these are important people in online discussions.”

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Other reasons you’ll be unfriended

Two other studies led by Christopher Sibona, a doctoral student from the University of Colorado Denver corroborate the Israeli study that was published in the Journal of Communication.

The University of Colorado studies, which drew on a Twitter survey of 1,077 adults, investigated the psychology behind unfriending, as well as the emotional response of the unfriended. Study one found that acquaintances from high school are most likely to get the chop followed by friends of friends, work friends, and common interest friends.

Speaking about his study findings in a press release, Sibona said that we often wish to sever online contact with people who disagree with us about religion or politics. Since we’re most likely to diverge radically in perspective from those we knew in childhood, they get purged first, he said.

Moreover, real life shenanigans put work friends uniquely at risk and may cause you to be unfriended. “We found that people often unfriend co-workers for their actions in the real world rather than anything they post on Facebook,” said Sibona.

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Study two examined the emotional fallout from being unfriended and came up with four resultant feelings: Surprised, bothered, amused and sad. A number of factors determine how unhappy or sad an Unfriended friend is likely to become in the aftermath of her demotion.

If you two once shared a close bond, she’ll probably be upset. If she monitors her Facebook friend list closely, that also enhances the likelihood she’ll suffer. A mitigating factor, however, is that if the unfriended seeks comfort from her remaining friends afterward, the study suggests she’ll feel better.

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Last Updated on June 21, 2018

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

“For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

Primal Therapy

Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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How it Started

“During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

“I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

Delving deeper

Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

Some Methods To Practice Screaming

If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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  • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
  • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
  • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
  • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

Scream Sing

Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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  • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
  • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
  • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
  • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
  • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
  • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
  • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

Scream into a pillow

Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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