Tuesday

Why it's ok to unfollow

SHOULD I UNFOLLOW?

More and more on social media, I'm seeing people complain about others unfollowing them. This may take the form of whinging about people following and then unfollowing straight away, people unfollowing for "no reason", people repeatedly unfollowing and so on and so forth. Yes, this does all seem terribly petty and 2005 MySpace, so I am here to tell you it is ok to unfollow people. I know, revolutionary stuff, eh?
Here's the deal: I follow people, whether that's their blogs, Twitter profiles or YouTube accounts, because I get something out of it. Does that sound selfish? Let me explain:

What makes you hit that follow button? Because the person in question appeals to you, right? You like their energy, or they are particularly helpful, or they make you laugh. It doesn't matter exactly the reason but, whatever it is, they give you something. They have something that pleases you and gives them value in your eyes. You might not know them personally, they might not follow you or even know you exist, but they serve a purpose to you.

Looking at it from that perspective, if somebody doesn't give you any value, why would you follow them? Social media is a busy old place and it's very, very easy for your feed to get cluttered. If somebody is filling up your feed with something that doesn't interest you, help you, entertain you or in any way provide you with something, what's the point? 

It's very easy to get caught up worrying about being rude but social media is not personal. It's instant and forever-moving. You may follow someone and, a week later, realise that actually, you're not a fan. That's ok. In the same way, somebody may follow you and decide to unfollow you soon after. That's also ok. 

Are you worried that people keep unfollowing you? Maybe think about what you're offering your followers. What do they get out of following you? What value do you give them? Find a way that keeps them hooked. Sometimes, however, people are just fickle and you'll never please everyone.


SHOULD I BLOCK?


I'm not a fan of the block button purely because I think it's a bit unprofessional and petty to be block-happy. If someone you follow annoys you, just unfollow or mute. Of course, if they're hassling you, it goes without saying to block and report. I've blocked someone because they repeatedly blocked and unblocked. Blocking someone just because they annoy you, however, is shooting yourself in the foot. Not only is it likely to burn bridges but it means they can't follow you, they can't retweet you and they can't support you. Plus there's the fact that this is a small community and people can quickly build up a reputation for being a serial blocker which does no favours.


SHOULD I UNFOLLOW EVERYONE?


Having said all this, it probably sounds like the answer is to keep your social media feed as streamlined as possible. Actually, I disagree. As of now, I follow 1759 people on Twitter and this is a perfect amount for me. My feed is interesting, I get a huge range of different topics and conversations, and I'm never bored. 

I always think it's sad when people reach a high number of followers and end up unfollowing everyone until they have about 40 left. So much of blogging is based on connections and conversation that I'd feel lost without having those opportunities for discussion. I just make sure that all 1759 people interest me.

BOTTOM LINE


When it comes to unfollowing, ask yourself  "Does this person give me value?" If not, don't feel ashamed to unfollow. Just don't be upset if others decide to unfollow you too!

(I now expect a massive drop in followers!) 

31 comments :

  1. Thank you for this post! I always feel a bit bad when I unfollow people, but you're totally right: social media is not personal! Thanks again for being the voice of reason! (And not for the first time!) ^_^

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  2. I tried to go on quite a big blogger's Twitter profile for the first time (I'd never heard of her before) and she'd blocked me on my personal Twitter account. No idea why, I'd never read her blog or contacted her via Twitter or anything before.

    It's so strange!

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    1. That's awful! I can understand the whole unfollow thing (as Becky beautifully put above), but to block a complete stranger that they've never spoken to before? That's harsh! Having a private Twitter profile is one thing, but actually going out her way to block you and your account... it is really odd!

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  3. I have also felt bad unfollowing some blogs! But sometimes they just take a new direction, or even the blogger seems to change a lot and I don't feel as connected. Just the same as I go through phases of loooving different blogs! But I do wonder if there was anything I could have done differently every time someone unfollows, but the readers I have a connection with are the most important and as long as they are enjoying it I'm happy :) great post! xo

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  4. I agree with your logic! Blogging is sharing your knowledge and ideas with others. This game is all about the reader and what the reader can take away from your writing. I honestly think it's just part of blogging life that your followers will evolve and change their interests from time to time, making unfollowing inevitable! Thanks for sharing!!

    Much Love,
    -Stephanie Eva
    www.stephanieheva.blogspot.com

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  5. This is a great post - I really should go through my social media and BL and unfollow people. 200+ new posts a day is getting stressful! x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Student Lifestyle Blog

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  6. I do a little cleaning every few months with Twitter and IG. A year ago my feed was becoming 90% ads and it was just boring. Now it's full of people with personality. I didn't even know you could mute on Twitter!

    I don't get why people complain about unfollows. It's usually ONE or a few. It's not that huge of a deal... lol!

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  7. Fantastic post and I can totally relate.

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  8. When I first started using Twitter I followed everyone who followed me back. Then I realized a lot of my "followers" were spammy things and so I did a reaping. I only follow people who are interesting, make me laugh and tweet relevant stuff. I have a lot of fashion and beauty bloggers following me which is great, but I only follow back a select few because I am NOT a fashion/beauty blogger and I don't really read that stuff. I didn't know about the block button. Like you said, that is dumb, just unfollow them if they are being a butthead.

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  9. I wish I could use the hand praise emoji because this post is SPOT ON!

    Frankie x
    Crazyblondegal

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  10. Whenever I get a huge unfollowing, I always look at my own content and try to find the 'turn-off' parts. Perhaps I've offended several people with my tweets, or maybe I've flooded people's stream with unnecessary amount of pictures of my cat on Instagram. Getting unfollowed is a good way to trigger my self-reflections. But honestly, I kinda sad too when people unfollow me. Haha

    Love, Dara
    Hola Darla

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  11. This is a great post, Becky! It's sad that we too often get caught up in our number of unfollowers yet sometimes forget to appreciate the number of followers we do have! I'm guilty of this myself and sometimes too often let it get to me, but it's true that you can't be everyone's cup of tea, and not everyone will be your own cup of tea. Wonderfully written!

    Katy / Little Laughter Lines

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  12. I always feel really bad unfollowing people. Usually, the main reason I'll unfollow someone is if all they seem to do is retweet completion entries. I always worry when I see my followers go down, but I don't investigate it otherwise I'd get obsessed! You're right though, if the people you're following aren't giving you the content you expected, of course you can unfollow!

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  13. great post Becky! I agree with all you are saying! The only ones that bother me and it is a real pet peeve of mine is when people follow me for the sole purpose of getting my followback! Then after they get it,they unfollow me again to make their account look like they are something special with their followers being way more than they follow!
    I myself do worry about being unfollowed as my tweets are generally a mix of fantasy football (with my girls team) and fashion! The football followers probably dont like my fashion/beauty tweets and my other followers may not like my football tweets! Everyday without doubt,i have fluctuations in my follower/following numbers! But loving the whole twitter experience and it is so nice to have the likes of yourself to follow as you are just such a down to earth,lovely and interesting person all round! xx

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  14. Well said Becky! I don't have any problems with unfollowing people and don't take it as a personal insult if someone unfollows me. I've had people message me in the past and asked why I have unfollowed, which I just find absolutely bizarre. Nine times out of ten, I unfollow because like you said, there is nothing of value from their tweets, they don't make me laugh, I don't find them interesting, etc etc. Every now and again I also unfollow because of spam, I don't mind the odd few times a day tweet about somethings they've done that they want me to look at. But when people schedule tweets every hour to show something, that gets on my nerves a bit. But none of these reasons are a personal reflection on the person, it doesn't mean I don't like them. I think I babbled on a bit there?! Anyways, great post Becky! xx

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  15. Great post! I always think this with blogs. Do I read them or do I just keep clicking read on bloglovin. It's just adding to my unread posts which I am never going to read! It's okay to unfollow! :)

    www.gingerbreadsmiles.co.uk
    xox

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  16. haha "I now expect a massive drop in followers". Don't worry, I won't unfollow you!! ha

    I admit that I do feel the "aw, man" feeling when I lose followers overnight, but it's not genuine frustration. I think it's hard to see your numbers drop when you aren't doing anything differently, I guess? But, like you said, to each their own and everyone wants different things from social media!!

    Chrissy x
    www.chrissylilly.com

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  17. If there is one place where I will unfollow then it is twitter, it'll take a lot for me to unfollow a blog account on bloglovin for instance. Twitter for me is fantastic, there's always someone there to chat to instantly which is why I love it so much, however I also find it is a place where people tweet without thinking, they swear constantly and start arguments; if I'm honest it's just not something I like to read day in day out.

    My other bug bear with twitter is the constant competition entries, I mean I enter a few here and there myself so I don't have a problem with them in general. However when my timeline is full of them repeatedly by the same individual then it really puts me off, does anybody else find this? If anything that'll be a reason I unfollow someone.

    I find that if I unfollow someone I generally find myself finding someone new to follow on the same day, it's nice discovering new people.

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  18. Very good points. I used to "follow for follow" before I was a blogger and that's led me to follow a lot of people that are just useless. T
    Though a good point is that if you don't want to unfollow someone but you don't like their tweets that much, then you can mute their tweets or hide their retweets from your feed!

    Colourful Stuff | Beauty and the rest. ♥

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  19. Couldn't agree more Becky! People get so obsessive with their follower count; numbers aren't the be all and end all :)

    Claire | Stylingo | xx

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  20. It's totally okay to unfollow people, especially if you aren't interested in their feed or find it irritating or offensive...but that being said, my feelings are hurt when people unfollow me!

    COOCOO FOR COCO

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  21. This is a great post!
    I have plenty of people that I follow on twitter that I really should unfollow
    Emily
    xx
    http://emilyattemptslife.blogspot.com/

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  22. I totally agree - compared to my non-blogger friends, I follow a crazy amount of people on Twitter but I can constantly refresh and always have new content which I love. That said, I agree there is no point in following someone simply for the sake of it. If I find myself constantly clicking 'mark as read' on Bloglovin, without clicking on the blogger's posts, I know it's time to unfollow.

    www.jessicainyourear.com

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  23. Block then unblock, then you unfollow each other and the other person thinks they unfollowed you and feels to awkward to question. Top tip. Insert winky emoji.

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  24. I always feel guilty when I unfollow someone!! I must admit I do use the mute sometimes as it can be more appropriate than unfollowing. One of my main reasons for unfollowing will be if people just spam the feed with nonsense that stops me from seeing the things that interest me. The accounts I usually block or the porno ones on twitter who always seem to follow me!!! x

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  25. Thank you for this post, Becky, I am in the process of going through and clearing out my feed, as I went through a phase of following lots of actors and musicians I liked but recently I've gotten rid of them all because a lot of self promotion was coming through on my feed, which is fine, but it was drowning out all of my friends' and bloggers' updates, which was what I really wanted to be reading and interacting with, so thank you for this! - Tasha

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  26. I love this post! I tend to be quite ruthless, especially on Twitter. Unless I know them personally, or find them entertaining/informative/whatever, I end up unfollowing them. That said, I tend to be more of a lurker than an "interacter". (Yes, I think I totally made that word up, but whatever) I think it's got a lot to do with being shy, but it's something I need to work on. It gets me right in the feels when someone I notice I've lost followers though. Definitely a bot of a sad case I am!

    Collette
    www.inkedhibiscus.com
    xo

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  27. In the beginning, I used to get bummed out about being unfollowed. However, everything you said is very true. I'm quite fine with being unfollowed if people are really not interested, simply because I would do the same thing too.

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  28. This was a great post! I don't tend to unfollow blogs but on twitter I do, especially if people get really nasty or unfair. Also I'm pretty sure Twitter follows people without me realising sometimes so I have to unfollow :P

    hellomissjordan.blogspot.co.uk xx

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  29. Absolutely! I have no problem unfollowing people, doesn't bother me at all. Call me heartless... I probably am haha! I also don't really mind when people unfollow me. It happens. I once tweeted about a wet fish and lost a follower... can't please them all.

    I do block people as well, mostly those strange quotes/fan twitters, things like "teen quotes" and what not. I like to block them. And people that have profile pictures that are a penis (but that was instagram).

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  30. unfollowers always used to make me feel shitty, like i'd wonder why they'd done it etc. etc. but now i just think ah you know what, does it really matter?! nope it doesn't, I unfollow people if they bore me, if they moan too much or if they do or say something that really annoys me!

    Jade x
    Girl Up North | UK Lifestyle Blog

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