How to lose friends on Facebook

It’s terribly sad, but it seems that the more time you spend trying to be friendly on Facebook, the more likely you are to be unfriended.

That’s the conclusion of University of Colorado Denver Business School student Christopher Sibona – who doesn’t appear to have a Facebook account himself, we might add.

He surveyed over 1,500 Facebook users via Twitter, and uncovered the top ten reasons for being unfriended – and how people react when it happens to them.

“Researchers spend a lot of time examining how people form friendships online but little is known on how those relationships end,” says Sibonas. “Perhaps this will help us develop a theory of the entire cycle of friending and unfriending.”

The main reason, he found, is over-frequent posts about trivia. “The 100th post about your favorite band is no longer interesting,” he said.

The second was posting about controversial topics such as religion and politics. Inappropriate posts, such as crude or racist comments, were the third reason for being unfriended.

The study showed 57 percent of unfriending happened because of online behavior, while 27 percent was down to events in the real world.

While some respondents reported being deeply hurt at being unfriended, others were simply amused. “There are a wide variety of reactions depending on who did the unfriending and why,” Sibona said.

Sibona urged users to be careful about what they post, citing a 2010 survey showing that 54.6 percent of recruiters used the site to find or investigate job candidates. “The same kinds of posts that could get you unfriended might also be viewed negatively by recruiters,” he said.