You’re sitting on your computer, going through your social media pages to update your stats, checking your progress, when you notice that one of those numbers has gone down instead of up. Someone unfollowed you.
Well that sucks.
For some of you, it’s just a number. Others feel the need to check who specifically unfollowed them as though it will make the difference. Either way, it happened. Yet I see people get all upset when someone unfollows them, as if that single number made this massive impact on their life.
I’ll come back to that later, though.
I unfollow people all the time and the thing about following social media pages is that the more people you follow, the fuller your home feed gets. Just about every platform has a “feed” of some kind. That space is yours and you get to decide what kind of content you see (or don’t see) in it.
So let’s chat. Here are the main reasons (in no particular order) I unfollow someone on social media, and you’ll see that most of them aren’t personal “attacks” against someone else.
1. Your account is inactive.
I’m not talking about a week of no posts, or if you have a hiatus notice up SOMEWHERE saying you’ll be back at a later date. I mean the accounts that haven’t been active for a month or more with no signs of returning. I get that life happens but I try to keep my feeds cleaned up and focused on seeing new content. That’s how I use social media, but it’s different for everyone.
2. I don’t like your content anymore.
Doesn’t mean I hate what you’re posting. But, for example, my pages are primarily about books. I keep separate accounts for all the non-bookish stuff. If you’re posting all about politics and the news with very little bookish content, that’s totally cool, but not what I want to see in that particular account feed. It’s nothing personal, just how I keep things organized.
For more visual platforms (instagram, tumblr, pinterest), if I’m no longer enjoying your post aesthetics or theme, I might unfollow you. Again, it’s all about personal taste and doesn’t mean anything other than I like one thing and you like another which is totally fine.
3. You like tags. A lot.
This can be hashtags or account handles, but when I see accounts that are all posts filled with links to one or the other and very little of the actual person behind the screen, I lose interest. To me, those make an account look like it’s all about the attention instead of honest interactions with other people. I’m not saying you can’t do this here and there (and for book blogs, it’s always a nice thing to thank publishers and authors when you receive material) but I want to see YOU in your posts not just your skills at tagging accounts and topics.
4. I’m changing the direction of MY feed.
I’ve done this one or twice, moving from one account to two split accounts for different purposes. It’s nice to keep things organized. I keep my book stuff on one account, and stuff like science and my other personal interests on another. So I try to keep my following organized like that as well. Just a way for me to better manage my accounts.
5. I’m overwhelmed keeping up with everyone I follow.
When you follow a hundred people, a couple hundred, a thousand, it’s really tough to stay up-to-date with EVERY account. Sometimes it can be too much and my feed needs to be culled a bit down to the accounts I really care about. Which means that if we have never interacted, and I don’t absolutely NEED your posts in my feed, I’ll probably unfollow you.
6. You’re rude/offensive.
On a very rare occasion, I will unfollow (and sometimes even block) accounts that I find are rude or offensive, either to me, other people, or the general public. Social media is an internet space and I have no need for the extra negativity in my life from people I have never met or likely never will, so I don’t see the need to follow them.
I’ve also blocked accounts for this reason to avoid seeing their posts in my feed at all (or if they’re a spam or troll account).
I think a lot of people put too much stock in social media and who’s following who. At the end of the day, I think it’s important to ask yourself:
- What do I want from my social media pages?
- Will this decision to unfollow/block someone impact my life OUTSIDE of social media?
Personally, social media is my way of staying up-to-date on upcoming books, related news, and keeping up with my favorite authors and bloggers. It’s a release from the daily workload. And at the end of the day, 99% of those decisions I make regarding social media are about me because I’m the only person they really affect in the end.
It’s YOUR feed. It’s YOUR page. Do what’s right for YOU.