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Learn English: meaning of unfriending English lesson

Date: Jan 31 2020

Themes: Friend, Pop Culture, Tech

Grammar: Zero Conditional


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Friends. We love them, but we also get mad at them. We don’t see enough of them, and then sometimes we see too much of them. Our friends are there for us in both the good times and the bad times. Friendship takes work, but life would be pretty boring without it.

We started using the word friend as a verb about ten years ago. It’s common to describe the connection between two people on a social networking site like Facebook as “friending.” But if you can friend someone, you can also unfriend them, and it’s difficult not to take it personally if you’ve been removed from someone’s list of friends. Sometimes you know why, but often it’s just confusing.

Lily is sad because she was unfriended by someone, and Rafael is trying to help her understand. Read more in today’s English lesson about internet relationships.


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Lily:  Rafa.

Rafael:  Hey, Lily. What’s going on?

Lily:  I just got unfriended by someone on Facebook.

Rafael:  Don’t take it personally. I do that to people all the time.

Lily:  What? You do that to people?

Rafael:  I’m the kind of person who likes to just be efficient. If I don’t talk to somebody who’s my Facebook friend for a while, I’m just going to unfriend them. No offense!

Lily:  But what you’ve got to understand is, even though social networking... it can seem really removed from actual life, people are actually investing a lot in their profiles. And it breaks my heart when people don’t want to hear about me anymore.

Rafael:  This is actually reminding me of a story of a friend I had on Facebook who kept sending me all of these messages that were just bugging me. One day I… I’m unfriending them.

Lily:  Well, but don’t you feel like you owe it to someone to talk to them in person before?

Rafael:  But Lily, what if you haven’t talked to them in ages? Think about it.

Lily:  I’m still hurt. I know it’s a fact of life that people grow apart. But I feel like if you’re going to be someone’s friend on Facebook in the first place, don’t you owe it to them to actually be friends with them? Or make that effort to get to know them better if they’re your friends? Why would you friend somebody who wasn’t your friend in the first place?

Rafael:  Do you miss those people that unfriended you?

Lily:  No.

Rafael:  Just move on.


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Lily’s feelings are hurt. Someone unfriended her on Facebook, and it’s difficult for her not to take it personally. In Lily’s opinion, people shouldn’t “friend” each other on a social networking site if they’re not interested in each other’s lives. It doesn’t make sense to her that she can be friends with someone one day but not the next.

Rafael is very practical when he thinks about unfriending. He understands why someone would take him off their list of friends if they haven’t spoken or seen each other in ages. Likewise, he has no problem with taking people off of his own list of friends. Rafael believes that he’s being efficient by removing people who he doesn’t know very well.

Have you ever been unfriended? How did it make you feel? Are you OK with unfriending people yourself?



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Dear Anja (buttafly) tonight i have learned a new word thanks to you ….decluttered, never ever declutterd my name from your contacts :))))

02:05 AM Feb 06 2015 |




Well, I try to add only people who I know face to face. Sometimes I’ve added people who I met in other social networking and we keep on being friends, but only if I feel that the another person want to be my friend too. When I realized that a friend of facebook didn’t want to keep our friendship on living, I mean, I send messages and that friend never answer these, I get unfriended of this person.

01:56 AM Feb 06 2015 |




I have accepted and being accepted by many people,   mostly  on facebook and in a lesser number other social circles. The bottom line of my experience is that i have had through all this time very few or zero social contact with most of them. This  situation has led me not to accept friendship requests if i know that i won´t be able to  read or comment on their posts. I ignore if i was unfriended and i am not so nasty to unfriend anyone after accepting his/her friendship, and if i had to do it i must have  a good reason to do so.

01:50 AM Feb 06 2015 |




As much as I sympathize with internet activities, I still don’t understand the whole befriending – unfriending process. To me the word and action itself is a faux-pas. Without turning a hair people get decluttered just like that…Ay Dios Mio! What a world we are living in :))

05:03 PM Feb 05 2015 |



Russian Federation

Unfriending breaks down, especially if u used to be good friendS. What to do, it happens. First you feel very frustrated and missing, then it changes into good memories bringing warmth when u remember those times. 

Thanks to ebaby I have found some good friends and I am proud of having them. A friend in need is a friend indeed. Hopefully nothing will make us unfriend. 

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