1 In LIFE/ Vent Sesh

Vent Sesh: The Power of Unfollowing

The power of unfollowing on social media -- why it might be time for you to do the same // The Modern Savvy

Social media can feel like a very superficial place. Instagram, for example, which once felt like this organic behind-the-scenes glimpse at the life of bloggers and friends, has become this perfectly curated space of pretty pictures filled with flowers, sweets you know girls aren’t eating and a constant plethora of stylish new clothes not in my closet.

And, Facebook… ah, Facebook. A few years ago when Facebook hit it big you’d meet someone once and they’d “friend” you. Years later, and who are these people? At times I wouldn’t recognize someone’s name (a la a girl you haven’t chatted with in years who got married) or swear, wouldn’t recognize the profile photo; maybe it was a kid I’ve never seen before or someone who looks so dramatically different than the last time we saw each other in person.

I realized I needed to take matters into my own hands.

I unfollowed. ALOT of people.

Am I mean? Did I hurt someone’s feelings? So many thoughts rushed to my head.

I love that the internet and social media connects all of us but I realized ultimately that people I didn’t know and things I didn’t need were clogging up my ability to see what and who really mattered most.

Social media is completely voluntary, yet it’s easy to forget we make the sole decision who we follow.

I removed 200+ Facebook connections (swear, some were people who passed by me at events or the mall and didn’t recognize me, or say hi… sorry, we’re not pals).

And, then came Instagram. I unfollowed at least 400. Another high five to myself!

It was all so exhilarating and empowering.

Unfollowing doesn’t mean you don’t like what someone is sharing. For example, I unfollowed a slew of gorgeous bloggers solely because their lifestyle of Chanel and Valentino and new, new, new was gorgeous but was making me want things I didn’t need and didn’t make me feel my best. I’m way too blessed to start feeling resentful that I “can’t” have all these designer goods.

I added on Instagram more food and healthy lifestyle bloggers who inspire me with new recipes, workouts and healthy living ideas.

I also know there are people who “hate follow” on social media to bash and make fun of bloggers and others. There are message boards and forums solely to insult and critique others. That hurts my heart and must be unhealthy.

So what do you say… do you unfollow or have you thought about doing so? I’d love for you to comment with your perspective. 

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  • Reply
    Yari
    June 23, 2016 at 9:37 PM

    I unfollowed and unfriended many people on facebook because I deemed the content they shared either inappropiate, irrelevant and boring. Having said that, I don’t have Twitter, instagram, snapchat or any other social media except for Facebook (with few known-in-real-life followers), pinterest and Google +. I refreshing and liberating and I don’t feel like I have missed out on anything. I just don’t have time to play the social media game.

  • Reply
    Kristen
    June 1, 2016 at 9:31 PM

    Right on. On Twitter, I unfollowed anyone who tweeted anything remotely political or controversial, because I CAN’T. On Facebook, I’m friends with only those who I’d invite to my small wedding or my wake – currently, that amounts to 52 friends/family. And Instagram, I did the same thing you did. I’ve never been happier.

  • Reply
    Brittany
    June 1, 2016 at 11:39 AM

    Love this post. I have an app that tells me the people who follow me but never like or comment. It’s super helpful in decluttering. If we aren’t interacting at all, what does it even matter? If I’m not following someone but they follow me and don’t interact with me, I help them out by blocking them. Not in a malicious way, it’s just the best decision for the both of us.

  • Reply
    Tanea
    May 25, 2016 at 3:25 PM

    That’s a great idea to unfollow people who make you feel things that you don’t want to feel. I wish that’s what everyone would do. I see people saying stuff like “I hate Instagram/Facebook/etc. because its’ so fake!” But people forget that they have the power to customize their feed by who they follow. I think it’s also great because you can really immerse yourself in what matters to you–books, celebrities, a healthy lifestyle, animals, or whatever. Thanks for reminding me that I need to go in and fine-tune my social feeds. Great post!

  • Reply
    dramafreemom
    May 24, 2016 at 12:01 PM

    Besides unfollowing or un-friending I also place many people on “restricted”….we are friends and you can message me but you can’t see my wall and photos….Not everyone needs this level of intimacy with my family and my personal day to day business.
    There’s always someone I unfriend because they literally wouldn’t know me if they tripped over me at Publix and yet they make it a point to let everyone know how hurt they were that I unfriended them. There’s always that one friend who needs to let me know all of this because they think i’m politically incorrect and should somehow care…..I am making it a point to post less and less of my personal life and to stay off FB more and more…..too much girl drama. If you never interact with me socially why do you need to know where my family went on vacation or who we are celebrating with? Way too much voyeurism for the sake of voyeurism and not really genuine friendship IMO.

  • Reply
    Lori
    May 24, 2016 at 12:56 AM

    Love the idea of a social media refresh/cleanup! Thx for the reminder that we have the ability to control which people and businesses we follow…and great timing, as I’m taking my daughter to a cybersecurity workshop tomorrow night!

  • Reply
    Lyddiegal
    May 23, 2016 at 10:28 PM

    I recently looked at my twitter feed and could not recognize half of the people I was following (not to mention all the sponsored posts, ick twitter has gotten bad.) So I unfollowed. I was on instagram and kept seeing photos from a person that I just didn’t care for, so I unfollowed. Someone on pinterest pinning a million things about qinoa or a better butt – unfollowed (those boards at least).

    Social media is a huge time suck, if it’s going to suck up my time, then at least it should be with things I actually want to see!
    Chic on the Cheap

  • Reply
    Laura
    May 23, 2016 at 10:21 PM

    This is a great post – we need to be following, friends with, etc. those that we actually care about or inspire us in any way, shape or form. Love it!

    Laura
    http://www.blackcoffeebeautiful.com

  • Reply
    Sarmistha Goswami
    May 23, 2016 at 6:57 PM

    I totally relate to your thoughts. I have in fact ‘un-friended’ a lot of people on Facebook because they were never quite my friends in real life. I don’t think they should (or even care to) know anything about my personal updates on Facebook. In Instagram however, I have always been selective about who I follow and it’s never following for the heck of it! 🙂 So my Instagram following is luckily quite clean so far.
    Thanks for the thoughtful post!
    http://styleovercoffee.com

  • Reply
    lauren
    May 23, 2016 at 5:47 PM

    I did this a few years ago on facebook. somehow I’d garnered 1500+ friends – my test was if I passed you on the street, would we stop and say hi to each other? so many “friends” were people I’d met in college ages ago, we likely wouldn’t recognize each other today. cheers to a good social cleanse!

  • Reply
    Heidi
    May 23, 2016 at 2:55 PM

    I’ve been thinking about this A LOT. Like a lot, a lot. I refuse to feel bad about myself because I’m not always so great at curating perfection and I almost never go on Facebook anymore so who knows what I’ve missed! I never considered just eliminating the problem! Or parts of it at least. Guess I know what I’ll be doing tonight:)

    Heidi || Wishes & Reality

  • Reply
    L
    May 23, 2016 at 2:22 PM

    I call all the social media fluff! My kids think I’m a loon! ha ha I’m not even that old! I have never been on Facebook…not even looked at it on someone else’s page, wall, whatever it’s called! I find that I’ve never missed anything that was really, truly important. I don’t have Instagram, SnapChat, Twitter, or anything else! It’s very liberating. So, kudos to you for eliminating some of the fluff.

  • Reply
    laura
    May 23, 2016 at 2:08 PM

    I’m laughing to myself right now because I’m not even on FB to begin with, which I find incredibly liberating! I don’t have to deal with any of that stuff that you mentioned. However, I do see how it can all be TOO MUCH (just from being on Instagram, and even Pinterest) and I think you’re “unfollowing” trend is spot-on. There are only so many hours in the day.. You have to be able to clear through some of the clutter or you’d spend your entire life online.
    xx!

  • Reply
    Keri
    May 23, 2016 at 11:51 AM

    Definitely need to do this soon! Why waste your time with some things yknow haha

    Enclothed Cognition/Bloglovin

  • Reply
    Danielle
    May 23, 2016 at 10:28 AM

    I haven’t done a Facebook unfollow spree in WAY too long but I do it on Instagram pretty often. I love the notion of unfollowing what doesn’t inspire you, or promotes unhealthy habits!

    xoxo
    Danielle
    Afloat On A Full Sea

  • Reply
    Tara
    May 23, 2016 at 6:04 AM

    I’ve been trying to follow more fitness inspiration as well…the social media game can be exhausting! And yes, I don’t get the hate following thing…if you don’t like something, move on..some people clearly have way too much time on their hands!

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