How to Artfully Cull Your Facebook Friends List

Do your Facebook friends have you pulling your hair out? Check out our tips for getting your Friends list under control.
Do your Facebook friends have you pulling your hair out? Check out our tips for getting your Friends list under control.

Facebook makes it easy to build your social network -- sometime too easy. With very little effort, you can end up with an unmanageable Friends list. Over time, though, you may want to trim your Friends list in order to do any or all of the following:

  • Eliminate bloat in your news feed.
  • Avoid posts that are inappropriate or offensive.
  • Dodge posts covering certain religious or political views.
  • Limit your information to a more restricted group of people.

Whatever your reasons for pruning your Friends list, the information in this article will help you, whether you want to cut people altogether or just limit which friends see certain information.


Before you start culling, decide whether you want to notify your friends. One option is to not say anything about your plan and just start cutting. Alternately, you may choose to announce your plans in a status update or a personal message to everyone in your Friends list.

If you don't announce your plans, people might not notice the change unless they view your profile. This is because Facebook doesn't notify users when they're removed from a Friends list. You may decide to announce your plans, though, to prepare yourself for questions from those who do notice the change. Here are some tips for composing such an announcement:

  • Be tactful and consistent with your message.
  • Choose wording that doesn't make your friends feel awkward. Don't say, "I just have too many friends," or "I don't like your posts." Try a more diplomatic approach, such as, "I am having difficulty keeping up with everyone I'm connected to here on Facebook."
  • Explain that this is what you feel you need now, though it might not be how you feel in the future. Don't say, "I just don't want to follow some of you anymore." Say, "I've changed how I want to use my Facebook account right now, which means I'll be cutting back on the number of people I'm following."
  • Consider including an option to request staying connected, or offer alternate contact information such as your e-mail address or phone number.
  • Ask a couple of trusted friends (whom you're planning to keep on your list) to read the message and give you some feedback before you post it.

With your plan in place, use the tips on the next page to make the changes you need.