The Curse of the Unfollow and Other Internet Non-Problems

All actions, however small must have consequences.

Like that awful movie with Ashton Kutcher and something about a Butterfly flapping. I’m glad he isn’t in movies anymore.

In an effort to cull my ballooning Instahole feed, I went through my ever-expanding list and started removing the some of the duds or feeds of people with thousands and thousands of followers. (Like they need more, those bastards.)

As we all know, in the heat of the moment one tends to cull a little more enthusiastically than originally planned. People I quite like might get culled. It happens. 

So a minute after I’m done with my swift and ruthless cull, I get a message on one of my photos (Literally, a minute later)

“Why did u unfollow??”

2 question marks. Not one question mark, which would imply a normal question, but two. Wow.

She means business.

Then I had to spend the next 10 mins trying to re-follow her again.

Instragram suddenly decided I would not be allowed to follow her. The button would just flick on and off. On and off.

This puzzled me deeply.

I started getting paranoid.

Is this a setting an individual can set for their feed to disallow the disloyal to ever return to the fold?

Is this an Instagram punishment for cavalier culling?

What is happening??

Then I left her a spate of confused rambling messages for various reasons:

1. To try to placate her. Frankly, I was afraid. Those twin question marks loomed at me accusingly.

2. Under her profile was the sentence all in caps – “DON’T FOLLOW TO UNFOLLOW!” Omg What does that even mean???? Is this what she does to everyone???

3. Because I was quite confused, I tried to feel my way around via constant message updates on the situation. I’m assuming if she cares enough to HUNT ME DOWN, then she might care about the current status of my ‘following’

4. Fourthly because I bet she thought I was lying, and I simultaneously resented and worried that she would think I was a liar about not being able to re-follow her.

4. Then I was angry that a simple unfollow would trigger all this guilt and anxiety. But I felt the need to explain all that. How does one explain all these complex feelings in a simple Instahole msg?

So I deleted most of the messages a minute after I typed them.

2 iPhone resets & 1 logging in and out of the account later and I managed to resume ‘following’ this girl. (And as it happened, everyone. It was just a glitch.)

She has 3000 followers, just so you know. 

Or should I say… hostages?

Now I’ve just realised, after all my internal churning, guilt and pacifying, that this bitch doesn’t follow me back!

Screw this, I’m culling her again.


No Stockholm syndrome for me damn you!

Updated: Because Moof reminded me.



14 thoughts on “The Curse of the Unfollow and Other Internet Non-Problems

  1. Mmm . . .

    Okay, you fell into the trap of being what, in a straight male, we’d call a “beta orbiter”.

    Desperately placating, trying to be the “good friend”, always, in the hope of something more . . .

    Not that I think you “wanted more”. But just to be clear: she’s saying ‘don’t follow to unfollow’ because people “follow” so they then get “follow”ed back, then UNfollow the person they originally followed, because they’re not interested in other people’s content, they just wanted to collect more followers.

    You got that, right?

    So this girl never even followed you to begin with, so this was a completely mechanical swipe she did (is it possible she even has this automated? I dunno, but emotionally it was next-to automatic with her anyway); nothing personal.

    So forget about it. Your apologies would’ve just come off as needy, as “qualifying yourself”, as they say in Game. It puts you in a position of weakness.

    Now, if she’d been serious with the “??”, then after you maintained silence she’d continue to plead and qualify herself to you. Which, if you were a boy or she were gay, would mean she needed your approval= wants you.

    Be aloof and indifferent, Janine. That’s the way the internet and the nookie want you to be.

  2. I’ve read this three times now and I’m still cracking up. Imagine, someone has hunted you DOWN for unfollowing her! I don’t even know what to do with that. When did we all become so needy?

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