I don’t typically share a whole lot of realness on here. It’s mostly kept pretty superficial, and there is nothing wrong with that. I’m a firm believer that we are entitled to share whatever we please in our little corners in the inter-web.
This time last year I was surrounded myself with people who had a compulsion with checking the Instagram followers app. (For those of you who don’t know what that app is, it tells you who you are following who is not following you back, who has recently unfollowed you, who has blocked you, etc.)
I was never ever left with an uplifted feeling after checking to see who unfollowed me that day. Nor discussing it with those friends, who would escalade it to extremes by feeling the need to publicly call out someone for no longer following, or even invite that person to lunch with the agenda to pounce on them! Or swiftly blocking them on all social media channels to prove they don’t need to follow them as well.
As the months went by, my habit of chatting with these people and compulsively checking that app really started to wear on me. Why the hell was I letting this bother me so much? Why was I giving a teeny app power over my self worth of who no longer followed me on Instagram? It is all so stupid.
I deleted the app, but still had to hear all about the drama from those friends, and what I thought they should do about it. Eventually, I had to stop talking with them on the daily.
That world of theirs is just too small.
Fast forward to last week, I have completely forgotten all about that app and have felt drama/stress free! But, my phone was reset and guess what little tempting app made its way back to my home screen…yep!
The temptation was too great and I checked it. As I scrolled through the list of accounts/friends who don’t follow me back, a familiar sinking feeling took over my stomach. And my mind begin racing with thoughts:
“I thought we were friends, why doesn’t she follow me anymore?”
“I comment on every one of her posts, and she doesn’t even follow me?!”
“But we are always so friendly in real life and she doesn’t follow me on here?”
“Did I do something or say something for her to no longer want to be friends on here?”
“Should I just unfollow all of these accounts back. That would show them. I won’t follow them either. I won’t even comment on their pictures anymore. What if I blocked them?! Then I win.”
As my thoughts grew from hurt to revenge I snapped out of it for just a second and deleted that app once and for all! I did not unfollow any one of those accounts back.
Want to know why?
Because I am in charge of my Instagram feed.
I am the only one who gets to pick what I scroll through, and what I see each day when I open my app. Being an influencer I know first hand that social media is not real life and is only a high light reel. Meaning that, following or not following on Instagram does not equal friends or not friends in real life.
If I see an account I like, I’m going to follow it. I don’t care if you follow me back. If we are friends in real life, but for some reason my posts don’t bring you happiness, unfollow me. I want you to be happy!! Let’s hang out and be friends in real life. Because that is what matters.
Not who doesn’t follow you back on IG. That’s a load of shit. And I firmly believe we are all too busy for that.
If you have any variation of that followers app, delete and just enjoy your feed 🙂
Photos by Kendall Halliburton
Also published on Medium.