The average Facebook user has hundreds of friends. However, in Facebook terms, friends can simply refer to people who you have agreed to let view your profile. These people may or may not be your friends in real life. Sometimes a Facebook friend may need to be blocked. This is an even more extreme measure than simply unfriending them. So, here’s how to block someone on Facebook, and what to expect when you do. If you’re a parent of a child with a Facebook account, you may want to go over this information as a family.
Why Unfriend People?
According to a poll of British Facebook users, the average user only engages with about 10 per cent of their Facebook friends. Most said that one of the main reasons to unfriend someone was them posting too many statuses or other content. According to the Washington Post, Liberal Americans are more likely to unfriend someone due to political differences than conservatives are. However, there are more significant reasons to block people, such as profanity or bullying.
Who you keep as your Facebook connections is up to you, but if you are having some trouble deciding then this article will hopefully help you decide.
Unfriend or Block?
There is a difference between the two. The difference is explained below along with some reasons why you might choose to do either.
Unfriending someone returns them to the state that they were in before you connected on Facebook. You will be no longer part of their friend’s list and they will no longer be on yours. If you want to reconnect with that person you will have to send a new friend request. If they didn’t realize before that you unfriended them prior to that, they probably will once they get another friend request from you. So, before you do this, you’ll need to first determine whether they’re really worth unfriending.
Here are some good reasons for unfriending someone:
- Inappropriate content uploads — Post any content that you feel is inappropriate.
- Constant negativity — Sometimes an acquaintance on Facebook will constantly complain or be downbeat. You may wish to end your Facebook connection with them.
Blocking is a more extreme action. Blocking someone prevents them from starting chat conversations with you or sending you a friend request. When you unblock someone you will not automatically become friends again, you will have to send a new friend request.
Here are some good reasons for blocking someone:
- Bullying — If someone uses Facebook to belittle or be mean to you or others.
- Serious Offences — For example theft, threats or aggression, hacking your account.
- Profanity —Some people are more offended by certain words than others. Be aware that if you respond to posts that contain profanity then friends or colleagues in your friend list may see your response, even if the original poster is not connected with those friends or colleagues.
Here are some not-so-good reasons to block or unfriend someone:
- Trying to get their attention — You will not get anyone’s attention if you block them on Facebook. As you’ll see later in this article, they do not receive any kind of notice when you do.
- Too many posts — Almost everyone has at least one friend who is always uploading photos of their cat, sharing every news article they read, or just being a proud parent and gushing about their kids every second. But being annoyed by this is no reason to block a person on Facebook. If it really bothers you, you can hide that person from your news feed. (See below).
All of the above points are just ideas to consider. It is up to you how you manage your social networks. Some people are very private, while others like to have thousands of connections. Remember that it can be upsetting to find out you have been blocked or unfriended, so consider other people’s feelings.
Consider Your Other Options
Even when you do think you have a good reason to block someone on Facebook, don’t act before considering other options you may have. Here are some other things you can do instead of blocking someone:
- Try talking things out — If they are actually your friend, it may be worth trying to save the relationship.
- Hide them from your feed — As mentioned earlier, if you don’t like someone’s posts, you can always hide their posts from showing up in your news feed.
- Hide your photos and posts from them.
When Your Child Needs to Block Someone on Facebook
Keep in mind that Facebook users are supposed to be at least 13 years old, but obviously that doesn’t stop a lot of younger people from signing up. After all, all it takes is a simple lie about the year the user was born. If your child is younger than 13, be sure to talk with them about why having a Facebook account may not be such a good idea at this time. If they already have a Facebook account, then it may be time to go over some basic social-media rules. Here are some good ideas for safety rules that people of all ages can follow while using Facebook:
- Never friend someone you don’t know — If you don’t recognize the name and you don’t have any friends in common, then this person is probably not worth friending. Facebook shares so much of your personal information, like where you live, where you go to school, who your friends and family are, and what you look like, so be selective with who you add.
- Check first before friending distant family members — Sometimes people contact others claiming to be distant relatives. Check with your family to confirm their identity before adding them as friends.
- Don’t click on the ads — This can often lead to Internet windows that ask for your personal information. Furthermore, it can cause fake posts to appear on your profile.
- Report harassment — If someone is constantly harassing you or bothering you with inappropriate messages, then not only is it a good idea to block them, but it is also a good idea to report them. Simply go to the drop-down menu on the right side of the page (along the blue bar that goes across the top) and select Report a Problem.
- It may be a good idea to not use real names as Facebook names. If you only use your first name or initials, for example, it becomes harder for scammers and stalkers to find you.
How to unfriend someone on Facebook:
- Go to the profile of the person you want to block.
- Hover over the Friends button at the top of their page.
- Select Unfriend
How to Block Someone on Facebook:
- Click the icon that looks like a padlock.
- Click How do I stop someone from bothering me?
- Enter the name or email address of the person you want to block and click Block.
- If you entered a name, select the specific person you want to block from the list that appears.
- Go to the person’s profile and select block from the menu on their cover photo.
Will Someone Find Out If You Block Them
The person you block will not receive any notification that you blocked them. This doesn’t mean they might not have their suspicions later on when they can’t find you on their friend list.
Enjoy using Facebook safely. If you have any concerns about issues raised in this article or have any other comments please respond in the comment section below.