In our digital social lives we tend to make friends for life. That kid you met the first day of freshman year still shows up on your Facebook news feed years after never seeing him again. The "social media professional" you followed on Twitter in 2009 still clutters your stream with useless retweets. At one point all of our Internet connections made sense, now so many of them don't. Most of the times these non-friendship Friendships are so harmless the cost-benefit analysis of doing anything about them weighs heavily toward the do-nothing option. Why risk hurting someone's feelings or a potentially socially awkward moment just to unclutter some social media streams? The nice thing to do is to do nothing. Well, sometimes it's worth not being nice. Here's the case for weeding out all the unnecessary humans in your social media circles.
Stop Torturing Yourself with Exes. If seeing an ex-boyfriend pop up on Gchat, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter hurts your feelings, as it does for New York magazine's Maureen O'Connor, get rid of them. "They may be everywhere online, but seeing an ex pop up in a social-media feed can be as jarring as running into him on the street," she writes. But, unlike running into someone on the street, you have nearly complete control over who you interact with on social media. If you don't want to see what Ex Boyfriend's life without you looks like, you don't have to: Cut the digital cord. Yes, that means no more stalking. But that's just a mild form of self-harm anyway — a part of your larger problem.