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When 13-year-old Ben, an eighth grader, logs onto Facebook and finds out he’s been unfriended, it makes him sad. It’s not only that he may have been close to the person — sometimes he was — but because Facebook holds a stake in our everyday life, it’s part of our identity.
According to a study published this summer, the more you’re on Facebook the more emotional ties you have to different interactions on the social platform. Jennifer Bevan, a professor at Chapman University in California, authored the study on negative emotional responses to being unfriended along with some of her
The group of students wanted to gear the study toward something they interacted with every day. Facebook fit the bill; being something almost everyone could relate to. The researchers found that the tailored identity you create and nurture on Facebook is what makes the process of being unfriended so hurtful.
It hurts most when users felt they were unfriended because they of something they’d done on the social network, though the study showed Facebook users are usually unfriended because of offline-related events.
Why does this matter so much? “I think it’s a testament to how important our Facebook identity is,” Bevan told Mashable.
Our digital avatars are changing the way we relate to each other and reflect typical social interactions. Peer aggression in the form of exclusion has been around since AOL’s Instant Messanger Buddy List, Nancy Willard, author of “Cyber Savvy: Embracing Digital Safety and Civility,” told Mashable.
But what causes one to unfriend a friend? There are several reasons to justify removing someone from your friend list. WIllard offered one possible scenario.
“My daughter has unfriended people because she does not want to have people judge her negatively based on the friends she keeps,” she said. “So when she unfriended a girl who was posting sexually provocative images, this was done for a very good reason.”
Other reasons for unfriending are excessive status posting, someone who is seen as dramatic or to avoid being influenced by someone else’s lifestyle choices.
Dr. Bevan, the researcher, admits there isn’t much research as of yet into this field of online interaction.
“You’re basically manipulating that relationship,” she said when asked if the effects of unfriending can be seen as malicious. “I think there needs to be more cyberbullying research.”
Ben tells us he has about 200 friends on Facebook, though he doesn’t check them daily. That doesn’t mean the social network isn’t the first thing he checks in the morning.
“Facebook is the next
Have you ever been unfriended on Facebook or other social networks? How did it make you feel? Let us know in the comments.
Friday, September 28 2012, 01:15 PM CDT
2 appellate court judges are stepping down
May 24, 2013 21:29 GMT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Two Tennessee appellate court judges have notified Gov. Bill Haslam that they will not run for another term on the bench in the August 2014 retention election.
Patricia J. Cottrell, a judge on the Court of Appeals, and Joseph M. Tipton, who sits on the Court of Criminal Appeals bench, will both leave after September of next year.
The announcements come after the state legislature left Tennessee without a way to replace judges who step down or die when a commission expires at the end of next month.
Members of the soon-to-be-defunct Judicial Nominating Commission will make recommendations for replacements to give to Haslam before the panel expires. Haslam will appoint the replacements from those recommendations.
US durable goods orders rise 3.3 percent in April
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rebounded in April, buoyed by more demand for military and civilian aircraft and an increase in business investment.
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Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes
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By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...
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