Thank you, Jimmy Kimmel, you gentleman and scholar, for creating National Unfriend Day on November 17. Please join us on this day of self-care to celebrate by simplifying our connections online and unfriending any and everyone who does not add joy to your online social networking experience.
History of National Unfriend Day
On November 17, 2010, Jimmy Kimmel went on his nightly talk show to announce that it was National Unfriend Day. In this digital age, we’ve reached a threshold of social connections.
Does your friend from elementary school, who you haven’t spoken to in twenty years, need to be your Facebook friend? Do you want to see the Instagram posts of that guy you met in line for the bathroom at that party in college? How about even that centre for your favourite basketball team that you follow on Twitter who retired three years ago – is it important to see how they’re handling being retired at 35?
These questions and more have been building slowly over the past twenty or so years since social media was created, and we’ve been collecting friends online as if they were the latest trend in fashion. But after years of adding social networks and hoarding friends and followers, in 2010, we reached a cultural terminal velocity in how many connections we can sustain. Now it’s time to cleanse.
National Unfriend Day Timeline
Self-publishing and social networking
Livejournal launches, starting the trend of following and unfollowing friends online, along with emo ramblings and bad poetry about young love and teenage heartbreak.
Top 8 on Myspace
Myspace is when social networks crawled out of the primordial soup of web 1.0 and became what it is today.
Facebook changes everything
In a dorm room at Harvard, Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook, changing how we communicate online.
News in warp speed
Jack Dorsey created Twitter for users to post whatever they want in 140 characters or less.
Is it Insta-worthy?
Instagram has become a platform for users to follow each other and share pictures of what will eventually become their perfect lives.
November 17, 2010
The holiday of all holidays!
Jimmy Kimmel declares National Unfriend Day.
National Unfriend Day Faqs
What do I do on National Unfriend Day?
National Unfriend Day is the perfect opportunity to clean out your social networks and unfriend anyone who doesn’t spark joy.
Which day is National Unfriend Day?
National Unfriend Day is every year on November 17, as dictated by Jimmy Kimmel.
Who invented National Unfriend Day?
The one and only Jimmy Kimmel used his nightly talk show to decree the arrival of National Unfriend Day.
National Unfriend Day Activities
Find what matters
Here is an exercise: review your friends individually and determine who matters to you. Do you need to stay in touch with your lab partner from 10th grade? It may be hard to cut them loose, but you will feel better over time. Remember what they say, quality over quantity.
Connect with your friends in real life
Unplug from your virtual world and invite your friends for a coffee or to watch a movie. Focus on the people that you make you happy in person rather than those who only “like” your posts online. These are your true friends, the relationships that will last longer over time.
Move them to LinkedIn.
Most of us have blurred the line between personal and business connections by befriending people on Instagram and Facebook. If you are not comfortable deleting your business connections, then reestablish your friendship through a professional platform like Linkedin.
Why We Love National Unfriend Day
How many friends do you currently have? Do you keep in touch with all of them? Do you need to stay in contact with them? It is common for friend lists to grow out of control –– trust us, we all do it. So If the answer to the last question is no, then take a few moments to start from scratch by deleting anyone you haven’t talked to in the previous year.
No more Drama
Do you have friends that overshare? Or possibly air out their dirty laundry online? Think to yourself, do I need to stay updated with this person’s daily affairs? Life will naturally hand you various problems, so don’t let anyone else’s issues consume you. Hit delete and free yourself!
Emails, texts, news alerts, Facebook notifications, Twitter mentions, and Instagram likes. It’s hard not to look at your phone without seeing a million little red numbers begging for your attention and competing with the actual world right in front of you. By unfriending your platforms, you can reduce the time you need to spend checking apps and more time spent being in the moment and clearing your head with what (and who) you actually need to focus on.