National Unfriend Day: Why It's OK for Facebook Users to Slim Down Your Friends List

PHOTO: A thumbs down "dislike" Facebook sign is pictured on Sept. 22, 2014. PlayAlex Milan Tracy/Sipa USA/AP Photo
WATCH National Unfriend Day Finds Facebook Users Trimming Down

Happy National Unfriend Day!

What started as a silly holiday by Jimmy Kimmel a few years ago has turned into an annual occurrence every November 17, when participating Facebook users take a good hard look at their friends list and choose people to unfriend.

If the idea of getting rid of that guy you went to camp with 14 years ago and never talk to or your over sharing aunt gives you pause, know that you have a social media etiquette expert's blessing.

"Just because you unfriend someone doesn't mean that it is a negative move," Diane Gottsman, an etiquette expert author and founder of The Protocol School of Texas, told ABC News. "Sometimes we just need to cull our list or redirect to them to another site or venue."

With more than 1.3 billion users on Facebook, many users have had the experience of receiving a friend request from an old elementary school classmate or a college ex-boyfriend, making friends lists even more bloated.

"Relationships change," Gottsman said. "Not that you're being ugly but there just sometimes is not a reason to continue that relationship or let them have a window into the world.”

When it comes to nixing relatives from your friends list, Gottsman said it's best to "use your judgement."

"You have to weigh the annoyance. Is it going to be worse when you unfriend? Will it be more drama than its worth?

If hiding their posts won't suffice and they're still annoying you -- it's OK to unfriend them, she said.

When it's all done, you'll be left with a slimmed down friends list full of people with whom you actually care to stay connected.

"It’s like a bite," Gottsman said. "A little cat bite it will hurt for a second but they will get over it."