Ending friendships can be touchy, even virtual ones. That's why Facebook users are reluctant to defriend and feel humiliated if they're defriended.
But you've gotta admit it. Everyone has at least a few frenemies they're just dying to purge from their friends list: People who post too often or who only post to brag; ex-friends or competitors who lurk without posting at all; and people whose names they don't recognize, let alone consider friends.
Burger King has just provided Facebook users with the ready excuse for which they were waiting. It's a marketing campaign called the WHOPPER Sacrifice, created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky: Delete ten of your Facebook friends and you're rewarded with a coupon for a free Whopper.
"The [friend] removal is another kind of socializing," says Jeff Benjamin, executive interactive creative director at Crispin, as reported in Adweek. Benjamin had 736 friends on Facebook at the time the campaign was launched, although he may have deleted some by now if he likes Whoppers. "At first you think it's antisocial, but it's a social device," he says. "Now we finally have something to talk about."
Irene S. Levine, PhD is a freelance journalist and author. She holds an appointment as a professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine and is working on a book about female friendships that will be published by Overlook Press in 2009 and recently co-authored Schizophrenia for Dummies (Wiley, 2008). She also blogs about female friendships at The Friendship Blog.