You might assume your acquaintances’ social media maneuvers are invisible to everyone but Mark Zuckerberg. In reality, though, there are ways to check who exactly has unfriended you on Facebook.
Be warned, though: Your feelings might be hurt, and your sleuthing could create more questions than answers about what you did to deter your Facebook friend.
Inside a Facebook friendship
First, some clarifications, since the various statuses on Facebook can be quite a lot to handle.
You can be unfollowed, unfriended or blocked. Each limits your relationship with another Facebook subscriber, but some distinctions among them should be explained.
If you are blocked, that means somebody has completely eliminated your access to their profile. You cannot see their posts, start a conversation with them, tag them in comments or photos, or friend them. They want nothing to do with you.
Bottom line: If you can’t view someone’s profile, find them in a search, or send them any messages — you, my friend, have been blocked.
Now it’s also possible they have fled for the higher ground of a Facebook-free life and deactivated their account entirely. To check, you can look for an old conversation with that person; if their profile picture is still there but you can’t engage in a chat with them, send them a message, or even click on their profile then you’ve been blocked.
If there is no longer a profile picture of them, they have deactivated their account.
Unfriending happens when someone removes you from their friend list. While losing some access to that person, you can still view their public profile, and even respond to their public posts.
Unless they’ve made their reasons clear, don’t jump to conclusions about why someone unfriended you. Maybe they’re indeed mad at you, or maybe you just don’t interact on Facebook and they’re looking to pare down their friend list.
It’s also less obvious if you’ve been unfriended, but it’s not actually difficult to check. Deleted notifies you whenever your Facebook account has lost a friend. When you click on the link, you will see whether you were indeed deleted from their friend list or if they deactivated their account instead.
Unfollowing is a distinct way of creating distance between Facebook friends: When you unfollow a person they remain on your friends list but their posts no longer appear on your news feed.
To check and see who is currently following you go to the “More” tab located on your profile page and click on “Followers.” If you don’t see someone who’s still on your friends list, it means they’ve unfollowed you. You can still view their profile and their posts — and they can drop in when they feel inclined — but your posts no longer show up in their feed.
In this scenario, it’s most likely the person doesn’t want to hurt your feelings or create any drama (by blocking or unfriending you) but also doesn’t want to participate in your political views or simply see another kitten meme or pictures of your lunch.
What about Instagram and Twitter?
Want to know who’s ducking you on Instagram? Try Unfollowgram, a service that helps you check on your followers list. And if you’re concerned about who’s ducking your tweets on Twitter, check out Who Unfollowed Me.
Bonus: Digital death
Alex Membrillo, CEO of Cardinal Digital Marketing, says, “It’s not uncommon to see social media accounts still active for people who have passed away. In fact, I recently received a birthday reminder on Facebook for someone who had passed away 10 years ago.” Those reminders can be painful for the people left behind.
On Facebook, you can convert your loved one’s page into a memorial page. When you do, Facebook adds the word “Remembering” before the person’s name, and turns off “people you may know” suggestions and birthday notifications. The content your loved one posted will stay there, and people can add thoughts and memories.