7 Brutally Honest Reasons I Unfollowed You On Instagram
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 in question accused me of being a “child”, told me to “grow up and get a life”, 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!
I didn’t know this woman personally – in fact, I don’t think I’d ever even interacted with her, or her with me. But, at some point, I’d apparently clicked the ‘follow’ button on her profile, and now, according to her, I was morally obliged to continue following her for the rest of my life: a bit like making a deal with the devil, say, or taking out a cellphone contract with Virgin Mobile.
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, a lot of people have this “a follow is for LIFE” attitude to Instagram, and I just… I just think it’s a bit weird, you know? The idea of a social media follow being some kind of solemn, lifetime commitment that you can’t get out of without a very good reason?
A lot of people think like that, but, 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.
Of course, I should probably be clear that I’m talking here about unfollowing people you don’t know personally, not unfollowing your real-life friends and family, which is a whole other level of drama that I honestly don’t recommend putting yourself up for. I don’t unfollow people I know personally. I do, however, occasionally unfollow people I DON’T know, and here are some of the reasons why…
Why do people unfollow me on Instagram? 7 Reasons…
You’ve changed what you post about, and I’m not interested in your new obsession
Sometimes you’ll start following someone because you love their fashion photos, or their dog, 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. (*JK)
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.
You make me think I have to buy stuff I don’t actually need
Hi, I’m Amber, and I’m a shopaholic. (HI, AMBER!) Every time I go onto Instagram, I see people trying to convince me that I need to buy a certain face cream, or item of clothing, or even a freaking CUSHION. CUSHIONS, people.
Here’s the thing, though: I don’t really NEED much persuading to make me want to buy those things. I WANT that cushion you just showed me. Give it to me. But right now I can’t afford the cushion. Or the lipgloss, or that weird looking machine you claim will TOTALLY get rid of my sagging jowls. (WILL IT, though? Because I could still be persuaded here…) And so, for the good of my bank balance, I’ve reluctantly had to unfollow some very lovely people who, through absolutely no fault of their own, were basically just enabling me to buy shit I don’t need, every single time I opened the app.
As with the very first item on my list, this is very much a “me” problem, not a “you” problem. The fact that I’m totally unable to control myself with a credit card doesn’t mean you should stop posting about the things you love it, and it definitely doesn’t mean your content is bad, or that I don’t like you. It literally just means I have absolutely zero willpower, and until I can learn how to be better with money, I’m having to do the next best thing, which is to remove the temptation.
Your political opinions are actively offensive to me and you use Instagram to try to force them on me
Look, I’m all for freedom of speech. I mean, who ISN’T? You are, of course, free to say whatever you like on your own Instagram account: I just don’t necessarily want to constantly be exposed to it if it’s something that actively offends me.
When I say “actively offends me” I’m talking about the big ticket stuff here. The issues that might make you end a friendship, or change your opinion of someone in real life. I’m not talking about simple differences of opinion or disagreements. I don’t believe we should all only follow people who agree with us on every single point, and I don’t think I’m particularly easily offended either. If your opinions are genuinely offensive to me, though, and you insist on forcing them on me every time you post, then don’t be surprised if I unfollow for the good of my mental health. It’s probably better for both of us.
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!”?
You make me feel like I’m failing
Some Instagram accounts are inspirational, in a, “Why, maybe I, too, could run a #girlboss business from my immaculate home, while raising my 7 angelic children, training for a marathon, and never having a hair out of place!”
Other ones, meanwhile, just make you feel like shit.
For the sake of my mental health, I’ve recently made the decision to unfollow the accounts that fall into the second of these categories. I’m sure they’re lovely people, and I have a huge amount of admiration for them, but right now I’m finding it difficult not to compare myself to them constantly, and feel bad about the fact that they’re apparently just gliding effortlessly through life, with their perfect homes, children, and manicures, and I’m just sitting here looking at my ever-expanding laundry pile, and wondering if it’s too soon to open the wine yet.
Comparison, as they say, is the thief of joy. And if your social media is – through absolutely no fault of your own – stealing mu joy then I might just have to make a decision to step back from it.
All you ever post is selfies
Look, I love a good selfie. I think the most recent post on my grid is a selfie, actually. (The light was good, OK?) So I’m definitely not anti-selfie, by any means. But if that’s literally ALL you ever post – and it’s not because you have an account about makeup, say, which would justify it – then it’s probably not going to hold my interest for very long. There’s only so much you can say about someone’s face, after all, and there are some people whose features are now more familiar to me than my own, because they think I need a close-up of them every single damn day.
Well, I’m sorry, but I just don’t. You’re very pretty and your hair looks amazing, but I’m afraid I’m going to need you to show me something else every now and then if you want me to follow you for life.
You use Instagram like your own personal reality TV show
You know when you look at someone’s Instagram Story and there’s like a million little dots at the top of the screen to show you how many times they’ve updated? Or when every single time you open the app, the same person is at the front of your Stories list, because they’re documenting their day in such meticulous detail that it’s almost like a livestream right into their living room?
Yeah, I just don’t have time for that. No judgement if that’s what I want to do, I just can’t keep up with it, and so, if I like your content, I might just unfollow and start checking in every so often to see what you’re up to, instead of getting a breath-by-breath account of it via your Stories.
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BORING BUT NECESSARY CAVEAT: 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?
So: who wants to follow me on Instagram, then?