Is there any simple way to suppress friend relationships from the river in 3.xx?

What I am seeing is that the wire feed doesn't include some important member updates but the river is getting flooded with friendships.  There are some old plugins that remove the friendships from the river but they crash 3.xx.  

Is there any simple way to suppress displaying new friendships from the river display?  All the interesting stuff is getting buried on our social site by the friends.  

Thanks for any suggestions.  I can do some simple edits reasonably competently with php programming but also understand that I could be quite dangerous flying by the seat of my pants so try to step cautiously before deploying something unique that I have modified.