The Reason You Keep Getting Unfriended On Facebook (According to Science)

The Reason You Keep Getting Unfriended On Facebook (According to Science) Hero Image

Apparently, there is something that can make your Facebook friends roll their eyes even more than posting "inspirational" quotes: talking politics.

It seems that voicing your opinion on politics isn't just bad etiquette at the Thanksgiving dinner table; it's very much frowned upon Facebook, too. In fact, it could get you unfriended pretty quickly.

Nicholas John of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Shira Dvir-Gvirsman of Tel Aviv University conducted an online survey among 1,103 Jewish Israeli Facebook users between September 3 and 7, 2014 — just 10 days after the Israel-Gaza conflict's open-ended ceasefire. The study, published in the Journal of Communication, found that 16% of the participants had unfriended someone based on political comments.

“People unfriend people who have different political views to theirs," John told the PsyPost. "By unfriending we are further contributing to the formation of echo chambers and filter bubbles.

"More than that, 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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In other words: We only want to see what we want to see — things that confirm our beliefs. Social networks like Facebook help expose us to differing views from our own, but we minimize this effect because we eliminate contact with those who might push us out of our comfort zone.

So, maybe Facebook isn't the greatest place to talk politics, but on the other hand, maybe we all need to be a little more openminded before pulling the unfriending trigger.

What do you think?

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


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