The hidden emotional consequences of de-friending ex-pals and former flames.

By Leah Fessler

There are plenty of times when it’s fine to de-friend without overthinking it. Sometimes we’re just channeling our inner Marie Kondo: A Yale study found that we only recognize 72% of our Facebook friends. There’s no need to tell the distant acquaintances you’re unfollowing en masse why you’re giving them the boot. Sometimes we’re not acting out of spite, but would just prefer to our feeds to be clear of a former high-school classmate’s obnoxious rants or excessive selfies.

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