So somebody unfollowed you, huh?
How about that. How dare they. The sheer audacity. What on earth can you do?
We all have our own reasons for why we choose to unfollow (or block) certain individuals on Twitter. It might be because you see them as a spammer, find them abusive or rude, or have had problems with them on another network. Or it could simply be – and this is true in the majority of cases – that the content of their Twitter timeline isn’t something that is interesting or relevant to your needs.
The key word here is your. It’s your Twitter. You shape it how you see fit, and that includes who you choose to follow, and who you choose to unfollow.
And the best part? This works both ways.
We all have the right to unfollow or block whomever we choose. Most of the time, our reasons are entirely valid. To us. They might seem completely inappropriate to somebody else. A spammer to one person is an ‘internet marketer’ to another. What’s rude and aggressive to me is opinionated and challenging to you. Some people actually follow retweet bots. (I know, I know.)
That guy you find hilarious? Your friend thinks he’s an ass. That self-promoting cultural parasite who is famous simply for being famous? You wouldn’t follow them in a million years… but millions of people think differently.
And our tastes and interests fluctuate, too. Somebody on Twitter can be oh-so-interesting for months, weeks, even a few hours. And then, suddenly, they’re not interesting at all. Things change. People change. And you’re under no obligation to maintain any relationship on Twitter if you don’t want to.
But, again, and of course, this also applies in reverse, too. So why would somebody cut you off? Why would they block you? Sure, it’s an isolating experience, and sometimes it hurts, but it’s their call. Bottom line: because you’re not right for them. Because something you said or did bothered them to the point where they wanted to ensure that you wouldn’t have the opportunity to do it again. And because they can.
Whatever this trigger was might seem entirely innocent – to you – but to them it crossed the same line that makes you click the unfollow button. These reasons can be entirely different, even total opposites, but the tolerance point, and the outcome, is the same.
So, you’ve been unfollowed – now what? Here’s the thing: in most cases, it doesn’t matter. Move on. Was the relationship important to you? Does the unfollow come a genuine surprise? If so, then simply ask them what happened. I’ve had several instances where I’ve been (allegedly) unfollowed by error. And Twitter is prone to bugging out on all of us from time to time. So, if you’re regularly engaging with somebody and they decide to end that relationship, either there’s been a mistake or something has gone horribly wrong. It’s absolutely worth finding out which it is. So, in these instances, go ahead and ask.
But only in these instances. People come and go all the time on Twitter. Save yourself a little dignity by keeping that upper lip very stiff indeed, and only enquire about the departures of true friends and colleagues.
Blocks are more severe, but unless everybody is blocking you – and if this is happening then you know exactly why – then being rejected is simply par for the course in social media (as it is in life). No matter how great you are, some people won’t like you. Some people won’t like you because you’re great. And some people will go to extreme measures to remove you from their world. It can seem irrational and mad, but that’s a very relative perspective. You’ll go crazy trying to see it from your point of view, because the only one that’s relevant is theirs. And vice versa.
(Bird image via Shutterstock.)