A few blogs ago, I talked about some of my least favorite trends that I have to deal with on Instagram, and after writing it, I felt like I had to address another huge piece of Instagram culture: the unfollow. For whatever reason, unfollowing someone on Instagram is considered one of the most offensive things you can do on social media, right up there with blocking someone. In response to this, I have a very simple question: why? If someone has a legitimate answer, I’d love to hear it, but I’ve racked my brain for any kind of seemingly rational explanation for why it is such a social faux pas and had absolutely zero luck in finding an answer (side note: I didn’t know how to spell “faux pas” before writing this blog because I am not French – thank god).
Now, anyone who follows my Instagram may be familiar with the fact that I don’t take it all that seriously. Most of my posts go up after ten beers with a caption that makes almost no sense, and I truly enjoy that. I do understand, though, that there are those who are trying to put out their best selves on the internet. Clearly, I do not really share the same caution for approval of my peers as a lot of other people, but that’s nothing against anyone who wants to post a bikini pic from six months ago with no context except for that they are “Rly missin summer and this place rn.” The reason I’m bringing this up is because I think that it’s important to understand how I view my Instagram: for me. I post what I want, I don’t really care who follows me or how many followers I have anymore, but unfortunately, I seem to be stuck following a good number of people that I just don’t want to. And it’s all because if I do unfollow someone, I’m considered “rude” or “mean.”
So, because of that, instead of my Instagram feed being filled with Friday Beers videos and Sopranos memes, I’m stuck scrolling through pictures of girls I kind of knew in high school, guys I played baseball with in like seventh grade, and people that I have never spoken to but feel socially pressured to follow because all my friends know them. This isn’t to say that I haven’t gone through my following list with vigorous concentration unfollowing anyone that I feel like I can get out of my feed without any repercussions, but there are still many people popping up on my feed with posts that I genuinely don’t care about. It’s not that I don’t want those people to have a good time or be happy, but I doubt they care about what I’m doing either. So why are we still following each other?
I wish I could offer a sincere and heartfelt apology to the people who I’ve unfollowed over the years, but it would be complete bullshit. I’m not sorry that seeing you posting with your “new sisters” after not speaking to you for six years wasn’t enough to keep me invested in your day-to-day life. I’m not sorry that your “Dub Szn” picture after a Division 3 curling team victory paired with the fact that we weren’t even friends when we played travel soccer made me feel like we don’t need to still be following each other. It’s not anything personal. It’s just that if we’re not still friends and you don’t look like Livvy Dunne or post memes that I actually find funny, I don’t feel like it’s worth it for me to keep following you. You don’t have to follow me, though, because it’s not that deep.