Sometimes I unfollow people on Instagram, Twitter, or Path. I do it, you do it —we all do it. Otherwise imagine how long it would take you to scroll through your Instagram feed every day? But, last week I managed to make someone completely lose their mind, just by deciding I didn’t want to follow them any more. (S)he is not the first one.
Actually, I don’t remember what it was that made me decide to unfollow that person, but I do know it wouldn’t have been anything personal, because it never is.
It did make me thinking, though, about the politics that surround following and unfollowing people on social media, and the reasons why people do it. And probably, the reasons that make my friend was so enraged by my unfollow is that (s)he believes in the whole “follow for follow” thing —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 social media.
A lot of people think like that, but I’m not. 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 you can also unfollow whoever you want, too, right?
I know, sometimes it stings if you notice that someone you like isn’t following you any more, but it’s rarely personal. It’s just not that they hate you. 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.
I believe that you should use your 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 or Path either.