How To: The Single Best Way to Keep Your Facebook Friends List Clean & Tidy

The Single Best Way to Keep Your Facebook Friends List Clean & Tidy

Admit it: you haven't talked to more than 70 percent of your Facebook friends in the last year. Whether you barely know the names crowding your friends list, or have vague memories of high school Spanish class with them, Facebook friends are easy to find and difficult to get rid of.

Unfriending profiles has grown increasingly difficult in each redesign, making it hard to whittle down your massive Facebook friends list. Luckily, there's an easy way to determine who truly belongs on your newsfeed, and involved those pesky birthday reminders.

Why Birthday Reminders Are So Annoying

Each day, Facebook offers handy (and sometimes slightly aggressive) reminders of who's having a birthday within the next 24 hours. This list offers you an opportunity to see exactly who's on your friends list every day of the year. Different names will pop up on your sidebar every day, maybe even multiple times a day if you have thousands of friends.

Facebook even weaves birthday reminders into your newsfeed. They really want you to wish your college roommate's sorority sisters a happy birthday, even if you spoke to them exactly once six years ago.

As annoying as these are, they are the answer to keeping your friend list de-cluttered (unless you're using pre-scheduled birthday wishes).

Using Birthday Reminders to Your Advantage

Take a few seconds each morning to scan this sidebar. Ask yourself the following questions: Do you care that it's their birthday? Can you remember the last conversation you had together?

If you aren't interested in wishing these friends a "Happy Birthday!!!" online, it's time to get rid of them. Anyone who pops up on the birthday list that you aren't friends with in real life can go, too.

When you're ready to unfriend, simply click on their name to see their profile, then hover over the "Friends" button at the bottom of their cover image. There, you'll find the hidden "Unfriend" option.

Over the course of the next year, you'll easily unfriend one to two people per day. Your friends list will drop drastically—which is fine, since you don't want people creeping on your cat photos anyway.

Don't Forget Those Sneaky, Birthday-Less Friends

Of course, not everyone sets their birthdate to "Public". These people obviously don't care if anyone wishes them a happy birthday, and are most likely individuals who rarely pop up on your newsfeed. These friends might slip through the cracks during the unfriending process, as you won't see an annual reminder of their existence.

You'll have to unfriend these profiles one by one—but this is easily completed in the Facebook smartphone app. Open the app, navigate to your friends list, and you'll find a little friend icon with a blue check mark.

Click on that icon to demote a person from friend to stranger. You can do this to as many people as you'd like, without having to visit their individual profiles and performing multiple steps. Now, you can avoid seeing pictures of their meals on a daily basis!

Use these tricks to painlessly weed out the friends who just don't cut it anymore. Rather than searching through hundreds of names on your friends list, you can click on the birthday names and unfriend them quickly. It's as simple as logging in each day, which you probably already do.

If you want to know if you're one of the friends being unfriended because of your birthday, well, there are apps for that (if you trust them).

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