Dare: Quit Following People Who Drive You Crazy Online

Are you a hate-follower? I sometimes am. 
Are you a hate-follower? I sometimes am.

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat: I am on all sorts of social media platforms. I mostly follow friends, family, brands and people I like. But I have to admit, there are a few accounts I’ve grown to despise. Instead of unfollowing, I do something totally unhealthy.

I hate-follow.

You’re probably doing it, too. There’s that person from high school who always posts things that are TMI or legitimately insane on Facebook. Or that person who clearly spends hours curating the perfect Instagram photo– an overhead shot of their [super-trendy brand name] purse’s contents all over a table, with lip gloss, a moleskin notebook and something intentionally quirky (M&Ms! A tiny teddy bear! Fruitstripe gum!) placed just so.

Following some people makes my blood boil.

And yet, I can’t stop doing it! I recently realized I was addicted to scrolling through the feeds of people who lead these ridiculous online lives. There’s a woman who always posts photos of herself in a bikini eating fried chicken and drinking a big gulp (you didn’t eat that!), a guy who keeps posting inappropriate Facebook updates about his marriage (My wife sucks. Should I get a divorce?), and one woman who live-tweeted her birth (allegedly not attended by a doctor, midwife or doula :-/ ) from the woods. I never comment. I just hate-follow from a safe distance.

It’s like a car wreck. I know I should stop, but I can’t stop looking

And then boom, last week I saw a post from one of my hate-follow accounts. I spent a full minute going through all the feelings I had about some stupid, totally fake-y artsy photo they’d shared. Anger, frustration, and finally wanting to shake the person who posted said photo and scream get over yourself!!!! And then I had a moment of clarity.

Why do I do this to myself?

So, I unfollowed them. And then I unfollowed their equally irritating girlfriend’s account. And then the fried chicken girl. And then birth-from-the-woods lady.

It felt so, so good.

I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner. Yes, actually I do. I fear missing out. I think we all feed off the crazy of social media. It gives us a hit of emotion– happiness, sadness, excitement and even anger– that can be completely addicting. I am guilty of it. But last week, I decided I’d had enough. Why do I need hits of frustration and anger many times a day? I don’t. So I unfollowed. I already feel happier. And if for some reason I’m craving a hit of hate-follow, I can always just go look at their feeds. Just because I stopped following doesn’t mean they’ve stopped posting.

Be honest: who are you hate following?

Maybe you should take a break.

I dare you to unfollow the humble-bragger from work, or the person who lives the “perfect” life online (but in real-life, you know it’s a mess!), or the gal who thinks you actually give a shit about the outfits she instagrams every day (with a big, fat LiketoKnowit link, or whatever). Hate following, while addictive and fun, probably isn’t enhancing your life at all.

* * *

If you haven’t noticed, I think quitting can be awesome. Here’s a few ways that you could quit & make your life better!

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Comments (7)

  • Annie Payseur 2 years ago Reply

    Related: I recently unfollowed/unliked most all of the non-people accounts I’m following on Facebook! I was following a number of news outlets, online magazines, etc., and felt like my Facebook feed was so overtaken by them that I never saw updates/info about, you know, the PEOPLE I’m friends with! It’s so nice now to bop over to Facebook and see updates from the people I know and care about rather than being overloaded by all the latest news/analysis/promoted FB post. I’m not trying to bury my head in the sand re: current events, but when I want that info, I can seek it out elsewhere.

    molly mogren katt 2 years ago Reply

    I think it’s a great idea to separate your personal life from brands/magazines/all that stuff. Nice work.

  • Lizzie 2 years ago Reply

    Also related: I’d been getting so worked up by some people’s idiot posts on FB that tried a "digital Sabbath" one weekend recently. Though I definitely went through some withdrawal, by the time I turned the wifi back on Sunday night, I felt like a human being again instead of a monkey pushing buttons in response to stimuli. Unfollowing said idiots is probably a good long-term compromise.

    molly mogren katt 2 years ago Reply

    it’s a god idea. Social media diet!

  • Kathryn 2 years ago Reply

    I’m constantly asking "does this add value to my life?" when it comes to social media and unfollowing if the answer is no!

    molly mogren katt 2 years ago Reply

    It’s really as easy as that!

  • renee brown 2 years ago Reply

    Such a great reminder, Molly. It is curious why we get ourselves to that place – and how we let our minds go nuts with irritation. And, best yet , the other person has NO IDEA how much consternation we have conjured up over it! UNFOLLOW <3

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