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The problem with "unfriending"
Now more than any other time in history, we are connected. Through social media, it's so easy to make friends- but even easier to click "unfriend". That mindset can be a real problem. - photo by Kayla Lemmon
Social media is amazing.

Think about itat the touch of a button on your phone or keyboard you can check up on a cousin who lives across the country. You can send a message or comment on a picture of a best friend who you havent seen in years. You can promote your business or support someone elses. Because of social media were connected more so now than we have ever been in the history of humanity.

And because of how connected we are, its often having adverse effects. Were losing touch with real relationships, social cues and etiquette, and sometimes even a conscience.

With 835ish friends on your friends list, its easy to unfriend as soon as you see something that offends you or have a beef with someone who posts way too many selfies. And sometimes, unfriending is a healthy way to distance yourself from people who dont add much positivity to your life.

But it has become too easywith just the touch of a buttonto get rid of people.

Here are 5 tips to nurture relationships in a positive way on social media without falling into any traps.

Remember: who people are online is just a mask of who they truly are in reality.

Everyone has struggles and joys and experiences similar to you, and the things they post on social media arent a mirror image of what theyre really going through. Dont form jealousy or anger towards people who put their best face on for Facebook, and dont take everything at face value.

1. Before you comment or write something out of anger, frustration, or disgustthink about it. Would you say that same thing to their face?

Its easier to hurt someones feelings while youre at your computer because you cant see their eyes or their smileand they dont seem as real. Remember before you do anything online that these are real people youre dealing with. The repercussions of what you say or do online will be the same as if you said it to their face.

2. Reach out to the people in your life in other ways, not just on social media. Dont make your relationships strictly Facebook-based.

Call your mom. Visit your friend. Send your grandma a card in the mail. Dont allow yourself to forget what it means to take time for others and invest in those you care about.

3. Give grace

Everyone posts things you wont agree with or things that annoy you. If its not hurting anyone and not hurting you, move down your newsfeed. Its not worth ruining someones day.

4. Stop getting so offended

Hopefully that didnt offend you. But seriously, often we are all walking on egg shells around each other because everything seems to offend someone.

Dont be that person who always has something to say or fight about. Realize that people have different faiths, different lifestyles, and different political opinions. If you cant say something nice. well, you know the rest of that saying.

5. Before you unfriend someone, think about it

Is this a relationship youre okay with leaving? Have you tried to make amends? Is unfriending this person just a message youre trying to send, or something youre doing out of necessity?

To some people, none of this matters. And to tell the truth, it shouldnt matter as much as it does. But because of our attachment to social media, it is a real problem that arises and has to be addressed when we pick up bad habits on social media that impacts how we actand reacteven in our real lives.

Relationships are the most important thing well gain and develop in our time here on earth. While its easy to friend and unfriend more than ever before, we need to make extra sure that maintaining relationships are a priority to us, even outside of cyber space.

The names behind the screen are people who matter. They are people who have children and grandchildren. They are people who battle depression and problems with self-image. They are people who work and study and battle through lifejust like you.
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