Article citationsMore >>

Hogg, M. A. “Subjective uncertainty reduction through self-categorization: a motivational theory of social identity processes.” European Review of Social Psychology, 11, 223-255. 2000.

has been cited by the following article:

Article

“If You Disagree, Unfriend Me Now”: Exploring the Phenomenon of Invited Unfriending

1Department of Communication, University of Arizona, PO Box 210025, Tucson AZ 85721-0025

2Department of Communication, Wayne State University, 906 W Warren Avenue, #585, Detroit MI 48201


American Journal of Applied Psychology. 2019, Vol. 7 No. 1, 20-29
DOI: 10.12691/ajap-7-1-3
Copyright © 2019 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Kory Floyd, Robert Matheny, Dana R. Dinsmore, Benjamin E. Custer, Nathan T. Woo. “If You Disagree, Unfriend Me Now”: Exploring the Phenomenon of Invited Unfriending. American Journal of Applied Psychology. 2019; 7(1):20-29. doi: 10.12691/ajap-7-1-3.

Correspondence to: Kory  Floyd, Department of Communication, University of Arizona, PO Box 210025, Tucson AZ 85721-0025. Email: koryfloyd@email.arizona.edu

Abstract

The belongingness hypothesis suggests that humans have a fundamental need to form and maintain meaningful social bonds. Yet two contradictory impulses seem to guide associative behaviors: the need for inclusion and the tendency for in-group preference. The phenomenon of invited unfriending—posting message on social media petitioning those who differ from the poster on some stance to sever the relationship—exemplifies this tension. Two studies examined the types of messages users post when petitioning disconnection as well as the characteristics and behaviors of posters and recipients. First, a thematic analysis of 515 invited unfriending posts revealed that having different likes or dislikes, being unable or willing to do something the poster deems important, and being too politically conservative were the top three reasons for inviting unfriending. Subsequently, a survey of 445 Facebook users found that nearly 10% had invited unfriending and nearly 75% had received such an invitation. Posters did not differ substantially from non-posters, and both posters and recipients identified themes that were largely similar with those identified in the thematic analysis.

Keywords