Dealing with phone phobia

This is Why I Unfollowed You on Instagram (And why you shouldn’t care)

Last week I managed to make someone completely lose their mind, just by deciding I didn’t want to follow them on Instagram any more.

We’re talking full-on name-calling and freaking out, as the person accused me of being a “child” (I know you are, but what am I?!), told me to “grow up and get a life” (Because obsessively tracking your Instagram followers and flipping out every time you lose one is the very definition of life-having maturity, apparently. NOW I know why I don’t feel like an adult yet!), and finished with a triumphant, “So I’M going to unfollow YOU now, too!” Which honestly made me sad, because now someone who screams at me and calls me names won’t be commenting on my photos: shame!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Amber McNaught (@foreveramberblog) on

This post isn’t directed at that particular person, by the way, just so we’re clear. I mean, I know I used the word “you” in the title, but the fact is, sometimes I unfollow people on Instagram. I do it, you do it – we all do it, don’t we? Otherwise everyone would just follow EVERYONE, and imagine how long it would take you to scroll through your Instagram feed every day?

Sometimes I unfollow people on Instagram. I do it, you do it – we all do it, don’t we?

As it happens, I don’t actually remember what it was that made me decide to unfollow that particular person on that particular day, but I do know it wouldn’t have been anything personal, because it never is. I mean, I’m assuming their giant rant at me probably wasn’t personal either, really – as flattering as it is to think that some people are THAT invested in seeing photos of my dog that they’ll fly into a rage at the very thought of being unfollowed, I’m just not that important. The likelihood is that the person was just having a REALLY bad day, and I got the brunt of it.

It did get me thinking, though, about the politics that surround following and unfollowing people on social media, and the reasons why people do it. I suspect one of the reasons my charming Instagram friend was so enraged by my unfollow is that she probably believes in the whole “follow for follow” thing: so if you follow me, I’m contractually obliged to follow you back, and if I unfollow you I’ve broken some sacred law of the internet or something.

A lot of people think like that, but I’m not one of them. Honestly, I think the great thing about social media is that it can be whatever you want it to be. You can follow whoever you want. You can post whatever you want. And part of that freedom is that you can also unfollow whoever you want, too. Sure, it sometimes stings if you notice that someone you like isn’t following you any more, but it’s rarely personal, is it? I mean, it’s not that they HATE you and want you to know it: most of the time it just means that you don’t happen to post the kind of things that person is interested in seeing right now. It doesn’t mean that what you’re posting isn’t good, or isn’t interesting AT ALL, to ANYONE: it’s just not the right fit. And that’s OK.

the great thing about social media is that it can be whatever you want it to be. You can follow whoever you want. You can post whatever you want. And part of that freedom is that you can also unfollow whoever you want, too.

To reiterate: this post isn’t directed at any one person, and I didn’t write it in order to instruct people how to make sure their Instagram accounts meet my strict standards: I honestly believe that you should use Instagram (or any social media) however you like, and just accept that not everyone is going to want to follow it, just as YOU don’t follow everyone else’s Instagram/Twitter/Facebook account either. So this is just a list of my personal pet peeves, basically: and everyone loves a good peeve now and then , don’t they?

With that lengthy caveat out of the way, here are some of the reasons I tend to unfollow people on Instagram…

Forever Amber on Instagram

(Oh, hey, it’s my Instagram feed again! Let’s all follow it, shall we?)

01.
You’re obsessed with something I’m not remotely interested in

Sometimes you’ll start following someone because you love their fashion photos, or their flatlays, or whatever… but then, all of a sudden, they take up running, and all of their photos are now gym selfies, or close-ups of the stats on their treadmill, and, let me tell you, there’s almost nothing more boring than someone who’s just started training for a marathon, seriously. (Unless, of course, you’re also training for a marathon, in which case, awesome…) 

In this kind of situation, I might hang around for a while, to see if the stuff I was originally interested in makes a comeback, but, if it doesn’t, and I don’t know you personally, I’m out. It’s nothing personal, and you obviously have every right to change up your content as much as you like, it’s just that if it isn’t what I signed up for, I’m probably not going to keep following it, just to be polite. 

02.
You post inspirational quotes

Guys, I HATE inspirational quotes: HATE THEM. All those photos of sunsets with some banal saying superimposed on them, as if putting text on a photo magically makes it profound?  Hate that. And I really, really hate that the Internet is becoming so over-run with these things: they’re like the LOLCATS of 2015, except LOLCATS were actually funny, and inspirational messages are mostly just trite cliches. I hate seeing them on Facebook and Twitter, but I really, really hate them on Instagram, because, to me, Instagram is a photo-sharing app: its purpose is to share personal photos – so, either photos that you’ve taken, or photos that you’re in.

Obviously you might not see it that way, and like I said, that’s cool: I’m not in charge of the internets, so if you see Instagram as a place to share endless inspirational messages, you do you – the fact that I don’t like it is MY issue, not yours; it’s one of the reasons I might unfollow you, but it’s not a reason for you to change the way you use Instagram.

03.
You post photos that aren’t yours

I follow people on Instagram because I’m interested in THEM. If you constantly post screenshots from websites, photos of celebrities, stock images, or anything else you didn’t take/doesn’t have you in it, I’m out. (You also might want to double-check that you have permission to share those photos, because taking other people’s images can get you into trouble…)

04.
All of your photos were taken in the dark

Because Instagram is a photo-sharing app, some people think it should only be used to share the very best photos you take. I DON’T think that, for the record: I like Instagram because of the “behind the scenes” look at people’s lives it gives me – the little moments that would otherwise go unrecorded. Sometimes those moments don’t make for the best photos, though, and that’s fine by me – I don’t only follow pro-photographers, and I don’t unfollow people who post the odd blurry shot that still captured something important to them. With that said, if EVERY photo you post was taken in the dark, from very far away, and I can’t even see what it’s supposed to be, I’m not going to think, “I’m glad they shared this,” I’m just going to think, “What even IS it? And what made them look at it and think, “Yup, that belongs on Instagram!”?

 

 
 
 
 
 
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05.
You photobomb my feed

It’s great that you’re enjoying your vacation, seriously, but the 200 photos you uploaded, all in a row , meant that my Instagram feed is now basically a shrine to YOU and you alone, because I’m going to have to scroll past all 200 photos if I want to see anything else at all. Again, I think this kind of thing belongs on Facebook, where you can upload the images to an album and then people can choose whether they want to see them all.  On Instagram, though, people don’t have that choice – they HAVE to scroll past every single one of your near-identical holiday snaps, if they want to see the rest of their feed: why post 50 shots of the same thing when you can just choose the best one, and let people move on?

(I have literally seen people post up to 100 photos in a row on Instagram, seriously. And they have all been slightly different angles of the same thing. )

06.
Selfies. Too many selfies.

Now, I have to hold my hand up to posting the occasional selfie, but then again, I don’t mind the occasional selfie – especially if the person has mad makeup skillz that I can admire. But with some people, it’s literally just one selfie after another, to the point where you start to know their face better than your own. If it reaches the point where I look in the mirror and am surprised  not to see your face looking back at me, because I’ve seen so many close-up photos of it now that it’s THAT familiar to me, there will no longer be a reason to actually follow you – so I probably won’t.

*  *   *

So: who wants to follow me on Instagram, then? 

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8 Vitally Important Lessons I’ve Learned About Instagram

I Inadvertently Tried Paying for Likes on Instagram: Here’s What Happened…

How Insincerity is Killing Instagram

this is why I unfollowed you on Instagram

 
COMMENTS
  • I don’t understand the follow for follow thing. I’m only going to follow an account if I like what they do, not just for the sake of it. It clogs up the feed. I can’t check instagram at work so I only check it a couple of times a day, which means really I don’t want to be following too many accounts otherwise I’d miss loads. I try and do a cull once it’s getting a bit too much.

    I agree with the photobombing, and it’s the same on other channels too. I know at work I get annoyed when someone tweets repeatedly in the space of 10 minutes and it fills up the feed. It’s just not good practise in my opinion.

    You won’t find many selfies on my channel, mostly because I hate taking them and seeing my face. I like #fromwhereIstand though, I’ll happily take photos of my feet.

    I tend to unfollow if they’re posting the same things all the time, or if it’s all badly taken. But most of the time I find I get interested in something, follow lots for inspiration and then once I go off that thing I’ll unfollow. At the beginning of the year I followed loads of yoga people, now I’ve moved on I don’t follow them any more.

    Debbie x http://www.hellodeborah.co.uk

    July 2, 2015
  • Oh how I laughed at Selfies, there are quite a few people I follow like that and cringe with jealousy everytime I see them, then think why do I follow this person again? Sure that person may be perfection personified but it doesn’t make me feel good about me or admire them more.

    I too love behind the scenes pics, I’m also trying to take better photos and separate the FB ones from the IG ones. I think having an FB page for blog purposes helps.

    Also I think that people who aren’t as established and secure with their social media will always be the ones that lash out at people for unfollowing. Shame really, we should just follow who we like, not who we like to follow us back.

    http://www.bumpkinbroke.com

    Xx

    July 2, 2015
  • Can you even monitor who is following/unfollowing you on Instagram that easily? That’s some serious attention to detail.

    I don’t like fitness shots/yoga selfies on Instagram. A couple is fine, but if people are #fitfam-ing all over the place then I’ll probably unfollow. Just not my bag.

    July 2, 2015
      • How embarrassing. Sometimes technology can give you whole new awkward encounters.

        July 13, 2015
  • I am so clueless when it comes to Instagram and blogging. I mean…I have an Instagram, but it’s personal, and linked on my phone…so I presume bloggers have a dedicated blog Instagram (which I keep meaning to set up) but I don’t know how to set up a second account because I’m a tech idgit. So my Instagram bugbears are more “Why do have to like everything I’ve already seen on Facebook twice now?!”

    I agree with what you mean about not following being totally NOT personal. I mean, someone posted something about “glamping” the other day in an un-ironic way and it made me want to un-follow because I am that easily cringed out (I resisted the urge, but it was hard!). We all have different things that we enjoy on social media, it has very little to do with the person who we barely if at all know anyway. I would think twice about unfollowing someone I read regularly and generally enjoy but there are always deal breakers. No need to create a big drama about it, sorry you had to deal with that silliness!

    July 2, 2015
      • I have a private account due to the nature of my job, I wouldn’t want my ‘customers’ to find me or view my personal profile so it just helps me to filter our anyone I don’t want following me. That being said, I was shocked when you followed me on instagram, so thank you.

        Love this post. I can agree with all of these. I also hate blurry food photos. I love food photos, but when they’re blurred and the food looks like a pile of mush it’s not a nice photo! Haha.

        July 2, 2015
  • Great post, Amber, and SO true. I was really surprised the first time I noted people getting angry, sad or mad about loosing followers or asking the latter what they wanted to see more of. Yet: you decide what you want to post and if people loike it, they’ll follow, if they don’t – they won’t. Easy. Because honestly, it’s what you said: if I unfollow somebody it’s simply because I’m not interested in the content of their posts anymore. In fact, I know some of my friends use Instagram [they don’t know I do] and I don’t follow them because no, I don’t want to see their daily ab shorts. Does that mean I didn’t like them as persons anymore? No way!

    July 2, 2015
  • Oddly enough, this post made me go, OH YES of COURSE she’s on Instagram. Happy pictures! Must follow. =D

    July 2, 2015
  • I don’t have instagram. I follow other people’s accounts using my RSS reader, and I made a tumblr where I post instagram-like photos (I called it instagblr, and thinking of this name made my day). So far no one yelled at me for unfollowing them!

    But I know a lot of people these days, especially teens, avoid FB for talking to friends. I guess its because their parents and family are there, so they moved to instagram and snapchat to talk to friends.

    I like people who live tweet, actually, especially funny ones. I read them after. Sometimes I live tweet myself, most things don’t require that much attention to follow… But I also don’t read my entire twitter feed, I don’t even check it that often, if I did I might find it annoying too…

    July 2, 2015
  • Just wow – I mean I can’t deny that I’ve not occasionally looked at the ‘lost followers’ section of my stats and felt a little pang, but not enough to launch into crazy rant mode. I think instagram is just more cut throat than many people realise, because as you’ve pointed out the majority of users have quite strict criteria for policing their feeds. I often find myself actually vetting someone’s feed before I decide to follow them!

    July 2, 2015
  • Yes to all of these! I will also unfollow someone if they dramatically change the type of photos they share. For example, if I follow someone who suddenly gets into fitness in a big way and their photos become screenshots of their runs, progress shots and so on. It’s not that I have anything against those specific accounts, it’s just not what I followed them for in the first place.

    Anyway, I had a weird experience when I unfollowed someone on Instagram last week too! I doubt it’s the same person, but still, weird. The person I unfollowed must have an app to tell them so because within a few hours they were bombarding my notifications by liking picture after picture from my account. In total I would say it was about 20 likes. I can only assume they did this to get my attention and encourage me to follow them, even though they didn’t even follow me back in the first place (not that I expect that)… basically the whole thing was weird and has just firmly set in stone that I will not be following them on any social media now.

    July 2, 2015
  • Great blog post! I’m adding one thing to the list:
    Dieting. When some people start dieting they transform their cute cupcake-niceoutfits-feed into posting screen-shots of Runkeeper results, sweaty gym selfies and nasty “healthy” meals. Plus the occasional quote (I really DO hate quotes!!!) If you wanna lose a few pounds – great. But please don’t lose your Insta-personality.

    July 2, 2015
    • Tiff

      REPLY

      you sound a little bitter lol. But, I get what you are saying.

      March 15, 2018
  • Maria

    REPLY

    One thing that I don’t just understand on instagram is why whenever summer arrives my feed is flooded with photos of feet/legs/lower bodies, all ‘ruining’ beautiful landscapes at best, if worse they’re simply photos of feet/legs on a bed/chair/sofa, and really… Why do people think that their feet are so interesting that they deserve a close-up, while the devastatingly beautiful sunset that’s just happening only deserves to play as a background for their shoes? I mean, I don’t care about the occasional photo, since it’s a trend, but as for all trends, they tend to become too pervasive, and thus annoying. I mean, I’m sure the foot fetishists love this time of the year, but since I’m not one of them, it can get annoying when in the span of one day you get like 3 photos of ‘hot dog legs’, 6 photos of lower bodies on the beach, and 10 shots of feet with bad, bad pedicures and chipped nail-polish in your feed. Yuck.
    Another thing I can’t stand are those people that have little kids, and basically from the date of their birth all they’ll be posting is a gazillion of shots of their kids a day… I like children just fine, but even I get a bit tired of seeing the tenth shot of you child’s hair in the span of a week…
    One thing that I just don’t understand are people’s photos of what they bought, in which they show just a tiny part of the object, and they’ll be like ‘Wow, check out my new couch!’, and then we get a shot of some fabric and maybe a piece of cushion, and that’s it. Same with clothes ‘Check out my new shirt, ain’t it beautiful?!?!?’ and then all I can see is a button. How can I honestly say if it’s beautiful or not if I couldn’t even tell what it was, if it weren’t for the description?
    That’s not to say that people that do this are doing it all wrong, these are just my preferences, the things people do and that constantly baffle me… And of course I’m not going to unfollow people for such stupid matters, of course! (unless they’re photobombing me daily with photos of their children, their feet and micro-details of their latest shopping. I’ve had a few instagram accounts do that, maybe that’s where I got all these pet-peeves!)

    July 2, 2015
    • Maria

      REPLY

      Uh, sorry for the long comment, I didn’t realize I had written so much! I suppose I had A LOT to say on this matter!^^’

      July 2, 2015
    • Selina

      REPLY

      The hot dog legs are so annoying. The first time I saw that, I really didn’t know what I was looking at. It took me a while

      July 3, 2015
  • Hayley

    REPLY

    Haha yes! I have no idea how many fb friends I have, how many followers on Twitter or Instagram! I simply don’t care – and I’m certainly not going to be offended if someone unfollows.

    I unfollow people who just post selfie after selfie, unless they’re a make-up artist. Or, as childish as it seems, people who will post a pic of themselves after getting their hair done and neglect to actually include more than the fringe…

    Sometimes you follow someone and their feed progresses naturally into something you’re not interested in.

    I’m astounded you were attacked for something like that, how did she even know you had unfollowed?

    July 2, 2015
      • Maria

        REPLY

        Ah, the sunset that ruins the shoes just made me laugh! Yeah, it’s all about trends in the end, thankfully they change really quickly.

        July 2, 2015
        • That was a response to the comment above Hayley’s… Writing on the phone isn’t easy! ._.

          July 2, 2015
  • Lordy. How do you even know who has unfollowed you?! I lose the odd follower here & there but I’d have no idea who… Actually just assume it’s the spam ones I never got around to blocking! Where are these “lost follower” stats someone above mentioned?! Not that I’m going to go bat shit crazy on anyone ha ha 😉

    July 2, 2015
  • Agree with all of this! Especially, ESPECIALLY when it comes to motivational quotes. If I wanted those, I’d read self-help books. Instagram is for *pictures*, not life advice (not even good life advice usually)! They’re never even pretty fonts or anything. I’m also in agreement about the laws of follow-for-follow – as in, they don’t exist. I couldn’t cope with hundreds of accounts in my feed because I obsessively look at every single photo posted!!

    July 2, 2015
  • The whole thing of freaking out over this is so silly, I can’t believe some people act so childish! I’ve unfollowed a person or two, and really I don’t even have a clue how many followers I really have. My Instagram pet-peeves are spam followers and tweenie-boppers who constantly beg me for my username. Guess there was some show on TV and my ‘DMGirl’ name should belong to those ‘Dance Mom’ fans. I’ve never even seen the show. Oh, well! Some people, ugh!

    July 2, 2015
  • Most of what I had to say has already been said, but I do want to express my headaches over Follow for Follow. Why? It doesn’t make sense. You might really like my feed/blog but I check yours and it’s mediocre pictures of drunken nights out or even great pictures of topics that aren’t my interest. The same could be said of the reverse. Just follow what you like and expect nothing in return other than the joy someone’s feed is giving you.

    July 2, 2015
  • I am not big on tons of baby pictures, seriously one is cute the entire feed noooooo, and those body wrap people.. that’s probably my limit and then i do go through a “unfollow” boutiques if I have not been purchasing nor liking what they have. And hold hannah onsess much to keep track of followers, wowsers. ( I did fall in the trap of an app that posted the follow/unfollow, but quickly deleted it). Kissy face or fish pout selfies I will most likely unfollow #sorrynotsorry train

    July 2, 2015
  • There’s an Instagram account called ‘uninspirational’ and it’s the only quote filled account I can handle. You need a boost to your day through a cliche on a picture, as you said above- ‘you do you’ but it’s not for me.

    Interesting to read this as I’ve recently been thinking on blogs that, like me and my own have changed over the years and although I might still like that person and communicate with them elsewise, is it going to cause offence to unfollow the blog because it’s no longer something I want to have to keep marking as read?

    July 2, 2015
  • Love that post Amber! But I am not on Insta at all. Just because for now I decided would only focus on FB and twitter. Not because of aaaaallll the People pics I want to post but I feel there is just an information overkill right now. The unfollow Thing is something I will do if someone really just tweets like crazy and the more follower you get the less able you are to find the Information that you really feel is interesting. So I will sort out my list every now and then and people will unfollow me too. But thats fine..However, the idea of being successful only if you can provide a huge amount of followers make the whole idea of sending out Information thru media channels a joke…..or are you really paying Attention to all thats flowing thru your timeline? xo Sabina | Oceanblue Style

    July 2, 2015
  • It never fails to amuse me how seriously people take an unfollow. They need to get over themselves. But then again I’ve never got the whole ‘follow for follow’ thing. I follow people because I like their feed not because I want or expect them to follow me back. I often have a tidy up on social media, especially over on Instagram where it can sometimes get a little samey.

    July 2, 2015
  • Lol… This is so funny. People take this social media thing so serious. It is just social media guys.

    July 2, 2015
  • As a “new-ish” instagrammer I joined to scroll and look at pretty inspirational pics and only later started posting myself – I totally don’t understand the point of #followforfollow, and really popular accounts that are clearly poaching from tumblr everyday. I follow so many talented photographers / bloggers with a good eye that I googled “how to improve instagram” and there were more articles on gaining followers than photo composition / themes! So depressing.

    July 2, 2015
  • I got into quite an “interesting” discussion with someone on Twitter who said how rude it was that people who they followed didn’t even check their blog, yet alone follow back. It’s just “common courtesy” when someone follows you to visit their blog and leave a comment. I don’t want to go all all-about-the-numbers-y on you (but I TOTALLY have nearly …lessthantwothousandawayfrombutcloseenough… 10k followers on Twitter) and DO NOT have time to be commenting on ten.thousand.blogs.

    I also once had someone tweet and ask why I’d unfollowed. It was so awkward and uncomfortable, and I know I shouldn’t have done but I ignored them. I couldn’t bring myself to tell them that, actually, I just wasn’t that interested in following them anymore.

    How do people know though? Do they memorise every single follower and pinpoint exactly who unfollows and when? I don’t get it.

    July 2, 2015
  • Selina

    REPLY

    People who victory v all the time with their head to the side like they’re trying to be the epitome of kawaii. No. Just no. I don’t want to see these boring v selfies all of the damn time

    July 3, 2015
  • Alice

    REPLY

    I too, hate the inspirational quote madness running rampant at the moment. What I don’t hate however, is this account: https://instagram.com/unspirational/ who understand how to take the mick in the best way possible!

    July 3, 2015
  • I completely agree with all the reasons for unfollowing on Instagram. Inspirational quotes I don’t mind every so often but not on Instagram…. it’s for photos not words!!

    July 3, 2015
  • Ooops, I’ve just had a tiny clear up of my Instagram feed, simply because folks I don’t know mean I don’t see my friends’ photos. And for me Instagram is for seeing my friends’ pictures and as Amber says, wee peeks into their lives.

    I can’t be doing with demands for why I’ve unfollowed people though. Surely it’s up to me. Likewise, do I have the time to ask folk why they’ve unfollowed me?

    I’ve unfollowed a few friends on FB lately, not because I dislike them but because of the content. One person, for instance, links constantly to political articles usually from the Guardian which I can read for myself. Although I agree with the things they’re posting, it doesn’t make for cheerful reading.

    July 4, 2015
  • Kelly

    REPLY

    I can’t tell you how much I loved this post Amber!
    Last year I did a bit of a tidy up on my social media channels and unfollowed a number of people that I had followed when I first started blogging (when you read all those great articles saying that you must follow each other to build up your numbers but you don’t actually converse with them at all!). I told a few bloggers what I had done….
    A while later there was a post about blogging etiquette where it stated that it was arrogant not to follow back any blogger that followed you; it wound be up so much that I unfollowed the blogger as blogging should be fun and why follow folks if you aren’t going to read what they have to say and how many bloggers are there in this world now anyway?!?!
    I know bloggers are funny about numbers as PR’s won’t deal with them if they have tiny numbers on their social media accounts so every follower is important to them however it makes me ponder the question; is it really that important to get upset over, no!
    At times it does feel like Blogging is a bit like Mean Girls but with more social media coverage!
    xx

    July 4, 2015
  • Lucy

    REPLY

    Haha my instagram is almost entirely pictures of my cats. I follow you, but damned if I can see why you’d want to follow me 😀

    July 9, 2015
  • I have run into this problem on Pinterest. I love that site but I had to heavily prune my follow list to avoid the kind of pins I am not interested. Unfortunately that meant unfollowing a great number of people I know in real life. It isn’t that I don’t love them or think they are great to hang out with in person, it is just that I don’t need tips for cake-mix hacks or “genius” tips for how to clean the house.

    Also, right there with you on the inspirational quotes.

    July 13, 2015
    • Same dilemma. I finally made another pinterest account just to follow things I like. The original *ehem* is still flooded with jeep pictures and minions. Not that I hate minions, though.

      July 14, 2015
  • This just made me smile 🙂
    Thanks for sharing

    July 13, 2015
  • YES to all of this! Well, except the quotes thing – I do like the odd one, but NEVER post them myself (except very rarely as the caption e.g. I took a photo of Keats’ house and the caption was a Keats’ quote). Isn’t it funny how much these little things really p*ss you off?! I mean the selfie thing is hilariously regular for some people, Jesus vain much?

    Becky :: accooohtrements.wordpress.com

    July 19, 2015
  • I’m glad to see someone has a lot of the same pet hates as me on Instagram! Ah people that spam my feed drive me crazy… along with people who post identical photos of themselves everyday! Gisforgingers xx

    July 20, 2015
  • Anonymous

    REPLY

    It’s refreshing to see quite a few people have the same pet peeves that I do regarding Instagram. I know someone who is a friend/acquaintance (? – this relationship is more one sided but that’s another can of worms) who got mad at me for accidentally unfollowing her on IG. She then sent me a text soon after it happened and I apologized and followed her account again. Most of her photos are staged photos of places and food and selfies and such. After I while I got bored of it and unfollowed her (intentionally) and she sent another text about it again. This time I reluctantly followed the IG again. We haven’t met up in a while and since she changed her IG handle and everything, I recently took the opportunity to unfollow her under the guise of thinking I followed a different account. The fact that this situation happened and has given me anxiety about it is a demonstration about how pointless social media can be and yet it can result in such petty behaviour.

    I just had to get that off of my chest!

    December 26, 2015
  • m

    REPLY

    “This isn’t directed at anyone in particular.” For the zillionth time, we get it.

    March 28, 2016
  • janhavi

    REPLY

    Hey
    I’m happy to read this, because earlier I felt I was the only one dealing with such sort of “people”
    One of my friend cut me off from life because I unfollowed her on Instagram.

    August 26, 2016
  • Ha brilliant 🙂 I agree too, those ‘inspirational’ quotes do my melon in! And endless selfies… Although I must admit, 9 times out of 10 if someone on IG (or Twitter for that matter) unfollows me, I’ll almost certainly unfollow back, unless I think they’re really awesome 🙂 But I also don’t get all emo about it – I know that my photo’s of my 2 year old and my crochet aren’t going to be for everyone and 🙂

    Georgina
    http://www.pixiedoes.com

    November 27, 2016
  • I just hate people who follow me and then I follow back beacuse it looks like nice profile, and day after he unfollowed me. That are always big profils and why they are big and have so much followers, beacuse that is their tactic.

    February 4, 2017
    • Abiola Ola

      REPLY

      I agree, that annoys me too. I find silly and a bit rude however I will keep in mind that for most it’s a tactic for more followers.

      May 2, 2017
  • Misty Day

    REPLY

    Yes!!! I agree with all of these, especially the one about selfies. I recently unfollowed a girl on Instagram I went to high school with who posts selfies frequently, and she will occasionally post “video selfies”, which are short clips of her tossing her hair around and getting shots of her face from different angles. She also uses a ton of hashtags on her selfies such as #instagood #inspiring #goals #beautiful #model (she’s not a model). It is nauseating…

    February 5, 2017
  • Tina

    REPLY

    I have noticed strangers following me, and then shortly after unfollowing. Is this fishing to get followers? I don’t get why follow someone in the first place if you’re not interested anyway.

    February 5, 2017
  • S

    REPLY

    Why would a friend of a friend follow me ant then keep liking all my pics then suddenly unfollow me a while later. To me it seems rude.

    February 22, 2017
    • Vangie

      REPLY

      Ultimately, unfollowing sends a message — I don’t value your friendship and I don’t care that you know that.

      July 23, 2019
  • Mikey

    REPLY

    Ok, I’ve got a question… I don’t post much for inspirational quotes, take pretty pictures of epic mountain scenery, sometimes got people in there but I mostly seem to focus on scenery… I’m trying to grow my following so hopefully someday my writing can reach a larger audience… But it seems like I constantly gain followers and then they unfollow me. So, very often I follow them back, enjoy their posts and then at some point check and realized they’ve stopped following me. This just happens so often that I even get offended and feel like I must unfollow them now out of principle! Does this happen to everyone or is it just me lol? How can I keep and grow followers if I’m already posting good content?

    December 10, 2017
  • Gary Box

    REPLY

    I don’t mind people who unfollow for valid reasons like you mentioned. What I do have problem with is people who follow you first in hope you follow back (which I do if they are also pet related) and then instantly unfollow. They are merely trying to inflate their own follower count and not really playing the game. Get real followers who genuinely like your content.

    If you play this follow / unfollow game I think the other person is right to call you out on it. I can usually spot accounts that do this immediately. In fact I’ll check yours out now to see if they had valid reason.

    March 2, 2018
      • Gorfin

        REPLY

        I was with him until the last sentence. That was a bit weird.

        July 26, 2020
  • Rachel

    REPLY

    what if it was my boyfriend of 4 years? And not only did he unfollow my account, he also unfollowed my artist account and a fanpage account i run of an anime we both love. Why would he do this? I still follow him, so its not like he does not want me to see his stuff. It just didnt sit right with me. Its not about social media and follow for follow. Itd the reason behind it that bothers me. When I asled why the only answer i could get was “because i felt like it.”

    My pages were previously public, and when finding out he unfollowed me i switched them to private. My thought process was that if he doesnt want to follow me then he doesnt want to see my posts. If he wanted to see my posts he would have never unfollowed me in the first place. Thoughts?

    May 8, 2019
  • So I stumbled on your blog and I must say I love your honesty and unmistakable sense of humor. I have never really been able to understand why people take the whole social media follow, likes and comment thing so personal. At the end of the day it’s a free world and people should be allowed to do what makes them happy and this includes their social media activities. I really enjoyed reading this piece and I would always be back for more.

    January 5, 2020
  • I’m with you on all of this! I also appreciate how you suggest it’s nothing personal. I think we’ve all felt slighted when someone unfollows us (I know I have!) but I think back to the people I’ve unfollowed and I’m reminded it’s not personal. Gotta stop letting our ego get in the way!!

    January 12, 2020
  • Gorfin

    REPLY

    It can be personal. When it’s like a relatively close friend or family member who unfollows you.

    Also there are certain instances where the follow for a follow thing makes sense when it’s not a personal account. Like bands trying to grow their followings. I ran a band page a while back and another band would follow you, you follow them back… and then they immediately unfollow you. That’s kind of crappy in my opinion. I wouldn’t flip out on them like this blog describes but it’s taking advantage of someone who was willing to help you grow your following.

    July 26, 2020
  • Gerald CUMMINS

    REPLY

    I love N° 5…,

    September 30, 2020
  • Andrew

    REPLY

    “…but then, all of a sudden, they take up running, and all of their photos are now gym selfies, or close-ups of the stats on their treadmill…”
    The way I see it is this: people change all the time not everyone will be the same person they were a decade ago, and as long as it’s not hurting anyone personality changes can and should be seen as a good thing; but it doesn’t mean everyone has the decency to inform you everytime they do that. Those kind of people may just hope for the best and just assume you’re already aware that – again – people change all the time.

    October 8, 2020
  • Robbie

    REPLY

    I’m about 5 years late, but your article here is the top result on Google! Thanks for sharing it Amber. I’m into wrist-watches and was following a random account that seemed interesting, but then they started posting a ton of pictures of people like Kim Jung Un, Trump, and Putin (along with the watches they wear). Not what I really wanted to see every day ; )

    I unfollowed the guy and a few minutes later, he sent me a DM to ask *why* I unfollowed him. Pretty awkward!

    October 12, 2020
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