I was talking to my friend Jerome over Facebook Messenger last week asking him the Instagram username of the owner of the hostel that we stayed in Lombok, Indonesia. I said I needed to ask some questions because their website seems down at that moment.
He happily gave me the link but he opened up to me with a sad virtual tone, “She unfollowed me the other day,” with a series of sad face emojis coming like an avalanche after he sent that message.
I said that sucks.
Not getting a follow back hurts, right? But I personally think that finding out when someone unfollows you hurts 5x more. It goes straight to the heart because you once felt the cute idea that this person was totally liking your posts, favoriting your tweets, viewing your Instagram stories, and all that.
But all of that was once upon a time and then suddenly without closure and explanation, they are not anymore – bridges are burned and ties are cut.
In a generation that is wildly invested in the virtual world of social media, getting unfollowed by someone is clearly equivalent to being dumped in person. It’s the 21st century’s new normal of being abandoned so it’s totally fine if you find yourself pouting and frowning like a highschool kid with a broken heart.
When people break up, they unfollow. When people fight for serious matters, they unfollow.
With hundreds of applications that are capable of telling us who unfollowed our profiles, I am guilty of the fact that when I see someone unfollows me, a sudden madness will raze in my soul that I will instantly and urgently unfollow them back.
Which, I know, is a foolish way to deal with that kind of situation.
Obviously, because social media friends and followers play a big part in our sense of self-worth nowadays. I mean, maybe, right? And it’s a totally different game when a close friend or a family member unfollows you. It’s a way of abandoning you which sends a crystal clear message of “I don’t value you.”
It’s agonizing because we live in a world where our friendship is based on how much we heart-react and interact in the newsfeed.
And that hunch when we realize that a person who always likes and comments at all of your posts suddenly stops.
So we ended up looking at our screens dumbfounded that we started to ask ourselves silly questions out of paranoia.
How are we going to behave next time we see each other at our favorite pub? Which part of my content triggered them to do it to me? Are my stands on things annoying that they unapologetically dump me on the pages of the internet?
Should we really take it personally when they unfollow us on social media?
Maybe yes. Or it could also be a NO.
Sometimes, it could also be that maybe, people are not in the same page on how we look at it. Maybe it’s just that Social Media is just Social Media for some of them.
At the end of the day, cutting people off just because they unfollowed our social media profiles is not always the most outstanding quick fix. Sometimes, every now and then, it’s just being aware of who they are and building borderlines correspondingly.