Well now i’ve gone and done it haven’t i? I write an interesting article (thats an unscientific biased opinion by the way) and now people want to follow me! I am of course flattered that someone, anyone, has read what i’ve written, but now i find myself in a dilemma. Did these wonderfully kind people follow me because they actually did like my blog or did they follow me in the hope that i’ll follow them in return? What happens if i don’t like their blog and what they write about?? Should i follow them anyway? What is the blogging etiquette for these situations? Is it similar to Facebook unfriending?
In a recent article by http://phys.org/ studies show that dumping friends on a social network can have a real world impact. Perhaps this is not to be unexpected, especially if the friend you just got rid of by a click of a button is or was a close friend at one stage in your lives. The research by Christopher Sibona from the University of Colorado Denver Business School, showed that whilst 50% of people would not avoid the person in the street who unfriended them, 40% would and that women would avoid contact more than men. Reasons for avoidance included if the person unfriended believed the action was due to offline behaviour and how strong the person valued the relationship before the unfriending. A large geographical separation between people was also stated as a reason for avoidance, perhaps at a great relief to some.
Sibona also found, that a further consequence of being ostracized on a social network site, left the recipient feeling with less sense of control, reduced self-esteem and lower moods. The study unsurprisingly, highlights the changing face of relationships, where longer periods spent online mean that traditional face-to-face communication is replaced with online interactions. Such exchanges come with their own etiquette and rules, and without an actual person to connect with, these friendships may have an air of unreality about them. So before you single out that person on your friends list and hit the Adios Amigo button, you may want to consider what psychological effects you are about to thrust on them…
Full research article from Physics.Org: http://phys.org/news/2014-04-impact-facebook-unfriending.html,