CU Denver study looks at reasons for and types of people unfriended on Facebook

DENVER - Surprised, bothered or amused -- those are the top three reactions from people on Facebook who are unfriended.

Two new studies from the University of Colorado Denver found both the most common responses to being unfriended and the type of friend most likely to be unfriended.

The study discovered that types of status updates and shared items on the social media site were the main reason for the number one type of person to be unfriended: acquaintances from high school.

"The most common reason for unfriending someone from high school is that the person posted polarizing comments often about religion or politics," said Christopher Sibona, a doctoral student in the Computer Science and Information Systems program at the CU Denver Business School.  "The other big reason for unfriending was frequent, uninteresting posts."

The next most likely types of people to lose friend status on Facebook were "Other," "Friend of a friend," "Work friends" and "Common interest friend."

"We found that people often unfriend co-workers for their actions in the real world rather than anything they post on Facebook," Sibona said.

Sibona's research also indicated that people who were once close were more likely to unfriend each other than people who are loosely acquainted.

The study said that all these results help give perspective to the reasons why relationships deteriorate.

The fourth most common response from unfriended Facebook users was "I felt sad."

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