Every now and then, we get some new insight into what people like you and me are actually doing for hours a day on Facebook. For instance, thanks to the good folks at the Pew Internet and American Life Project, we now know that women are apparently the "unfriendliest" Facebook users. (At least that's how AllFacebook.com chose to report the news.) What does that even mean?
The real finding: Some 67 percent of women who keep up with their Facebook profile say they've deleted people from their network, as opposed to only 58 percent of men. Gasp. Oh no! Being more likely to defriend someone translates to "women are unfriendlier"? And if we're so unfriendly, I guess that means we're at risk of losing all of our Facebook friends! Doh! Gotta love sexist tech stories written by geeky guys, making women out to be cold bitches at risk of wrecking their social lives with "bad Facebook behavior."
What they obviously don't understand is just how superior women have become in the increasingly influential world of the all-mighty social network. The truth is that again and again, studies -- from Pew themselves! -- have shown women to be more engaged and active users than men are on Facebook. Maybe that's because we are naturally better communicators. But an extension of that is being more intuitive. Intuition definitely plays a part in deciding whether or not you defriend someone. Is someone constantly lurking on your Timeline, "liking" random photos of you from 2006? Are they IMing you out of the blue -- day in, day out? Then perhaps it's time to do a little spring cleaning, if you know what I mean, and defriend the those creeps! Does being discriminating make a Facebook user "unfriendly"? Hell no! The word they must have been looking for is "wise."
That's right -- I said it. Women are smarter Facebook users. We're more in tune with what might go amiss and how to be self-protective, to better guard what might be sensitive information. It could be that we're wiser because we have to be, as we're more often targeted. It doesn't really matter, though. The bottom-line is that we probably are pickier about our Facebook friends -- and that will only serve to make us even stronger masters of our online identities ... and I would think, ultimately, lead to happier and healthier relationships -- off and online.
Do you think you're more apt to defriend someone in your Facebook network than the guys you know?