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4 reasons to unfollow in real life

Gone are the days when you could walk away from a breakup and never have to see that guy’s face again. Instead, you’ve got him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat. So rather than walking away with a clean slate — like I’m assuming they did in the good ‘ol days — you just have to suck it up and accept that you’re going to be constantly bombarded by inauthentic posts about how happy he is now that he’s single and living the good life?

Ummmm, to this we say: no, thank you, and unfollow.

A breakup isn’t the only time an unfollow might be warranted. Let’s see, the hate-filled political ranter, the selfie-every-hour type, then there’s your classic over-sharer… sometimes you just have to clean up your “friends list” in order to curate a social media feed that doesn’t make you go, “ughhhhh.” Below are some of the different scenarios in which you may want to click that ‘unfollow’ button, and their implications.

A Breakup

When trying to get over someone, it can be pretty unhealthy to have to see what they’re up to every single day. We really don’t want to see them having all the fun while we’re shedding all the tears, and we certainly don’t want to see them with their new girlfriend.

When it comes to a breakup we think it’s pretty reasonable and probably the most obvious time to unfollow someone. Do you owe them an explanation? A courtesy message of some kind? An admittance that you’re so heartbroken you can barely stand to read their Tweets? No.

It’s common knowledge that sometimes, it’s just easier to not be reminded of the other person every day, that healing after a breakup is a process, and you need to do whatever helps you through that process.

A Breakup with a FRIEND

When two people decide (or one person decides for the both) that they no longer want to be friends, it can be a devastating and traumatic event — some might say worse than breakup. In this instance, the “ex-friend unfollow” can be even more nerve wrecking than the “ex-boy unfollow.”

On the one hand, you may want to continue seeing what your ex-friend is up to, but on the other hand, do you?  Depending on how things ended, maybe a courteous heads up to let them know that you’re not being spiteful or immature, but rather, that you think it’s for the best. We all know that eventually that ex-friend is going to notice that you unfollowed or blocked them, and that can really sting! Maybe they’ll appreciate that you took the mature route in letting them know, and agree that it just makes things easier.

Content Clutter

Finally, there’s bound to be content in our feeds that we’re not interested in. Perhaps we once were, but maybe our interests have changed or we’ve just plain heard/seen enough of it.

Though the interconnectedness of this modern world we live in may cause some discomfort, we have the ability to curate our social content. Let’s not forget, our social feeds are now dictated by algorithms — a set of rules that are used to determine what shows and when, within a user’s social media timeline. By holding on to unwanted “friends,” you’re telling the internet that this is what you like, and want to see more of. Consume content that’s positive, pleasant and constructive for your life, and let go of that which no longer serves you.

Negative People

How about those know-it-all’s who seem to have something negative to say about everything? Or the ones who just love to disagree for the sake of disagreeing. From differing political views to outrageous rants about social injustices and the like, sometimes peoples’ posts can come off negative even if it wasn’t their intention. Unlike mass media, when it comes to social media, we have the ability to choose which content we receive and from whom. Social media is meant to be a place to connect and engage with others, not a place that makes you feel bad or guilty or bullied. Unfollow, because life is just too short.

By Michelle Ribeiro