FWP: Why Did She Unfollow Me on Instagram?
PROBLEM: A friend of mine has recently shut me out on social media. We’re still friends on Facebook, cordial whenever we speak and we never really had any kind of altercation or falling-out. But why did she unfollow me on Instagram and delete me from Snapchat? What’s wrong with her?
LG: In the words of the immortal whomever: You don’t know her life. You’ve fully admitted to drifting apart. Why did she unfollow you on Instagram? Maybe she’s on a social media detox. Maybe unfollowing people she hasn’t spoken to in six months is part of a 12-step program to no longer caring about the strength of Akash’s daily dinnertime #foodgasm, or how Deepti looks when she #wokeuplikethis.
Maybe she has converted to a spiritual path that does not worship neon puppy snouts. Her reasons may, shockingly, have nothing to do with you. That said, take it from a serial, if intermittent defriender/defollower — if you reach out to her and either refollow/refriend her (my understanding of how all this works is clearly profound) she’ll probably break down and take you back.
SB: Ahhh yes, the unfriend-offence. I fear that, like your friend, I am guilty of frequent benign social media purges. I honestly wouldn’t take it personally. It actually sounds like this person is on a healthy social media minimization path that I can only applaud.
It does seem like you were more invested in this faux-friendship than she was, however, since you noticed that you were unfollowed. If you would actually like to be in touch, send her a PM or an email and pick things back up. Meanwhile, take a page out of her book and clean house a little yourself. I think you will find it oddly satisfying and cathartic.
KB: Hmm… I gotta disagree a little. In this day and age, an unfollow means something. It may not mean that she is mad at you; it’s subtler than that. I see this more as a statement that she doesn’t feel that close to you. To recycle one of my favorite ‘90s pop culture references: She’s just not that into you! And it’s OK; we can’t actually be friends with all the people we call friends on social media.
Congratulations, now you know where you stand. There is comfort in being reminded of the difference between real friends vs. virtual friends; real friends are the ones that you engage with, in flesh and blood. And those “friends” you made with the push of a button disappear just as easily.
MM: Have you been in an awesome phase lately which also means putting up photos that have “perfect life” written all over them? Maybe you just seem too happy and your friend couldn’t take it anymore. Don’t sweat it. It’s not you, it’s her.
AV: Social media is the worst. It makes you feel like you’re part of someone’s life, because you get a peek into their life – and when you’re shut out online, you feel the slight much harder. It feels like they’re cutting you out from their life – but truth be told, they’re just pulling the drapes on that voyeuristic window.
Ask yourself why you’re really upset – is it because she’s a close friend, as of today? You would have already called her and asked if you were. The fact that you’re wondering what happened, without reaching out to her, means that you’re feeling the lack of connection too – you just didn’t hit ‘unfriend’ first.
Got any first world problems? Write to the Swaddle Team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll sort you out. Kind of.