A Saskatoon man is “unfriending” all his Facebook friends through phone calls.
According to a new report from CBC, James Avramenko has been calling all of his Facebook friends, one by one, to let them know that he is “unfriending” them on the social media platform.
“People kind of have a little bit of a freak out, at first, because they think that means I don’t like them or I don’t want to be friends,” said Avramenko.
While he may be giving his Facebook friends the axe, he hopes that some of the relationships continue in a more meaningful, human way, rather than through the social media platform. Experts are calling Avramenko’s experiment part of a growing trend of people being more “intentional” with their use of social media.
“I say, tongue in cheek, that I’m trying to lose all my friends, but I’m actually trying to get them back in a more mindful way,” says Avramenko.
Instead of announcing his departure from Facebook, Avramenko decided to take the opportunity to call his friends for a one-hour conversation in which they would reflect on their past, present, and future as friends. He turned his idea into a podcast called Friendless.
A professor from the University of Regina, Alec Couros, said that Avramenko’s experiment is an example of people trying to become more deliberate in how they use Facebook and other social media platforms.
“We need to go back to a point where we are investing in relationships,” said Couros. “Otherwise, we may be well-connected, but we’re still going to be very lonely.”
While Avramenko isn’t sure what will happen with his newly unfriended friends on a case by case basis, he is aware that some “friendships” might die, and that it’s just a natural conclusion to friendships that have been kept “alive” by social media.
“I’m not telling somebody to drop dead, I’m just getting them off of my Facebook,” Avramenko joked.