who unfriended me on facebook

Social media is a fascinating phenomenon to watch on a daily basis. You’re taking interactions that used to happen between one person and another, and putting them online, often in full public view.

The thing about relationships between humans is that they change. People move on, change jobs, break up, fall out, or just become interested in different things.  So, from time to time, we all make changes to our social networks, removing people that no longer ‘fit’ for one reason or another.

And let’s be honest, there’s sometimes something very cathartic about unfollowing someone who gets on your nerves, or muttering “see ya” as you click the ‘unfriend’ button on Facebook.

What I find fascinating though, is how many people are compelled to know when someone has unfollowed or unfriended them. Within weeks of Twitter launching, there were services that could send you an email every 15 minutes, letting you know that Samantha Smith unfollowed you at 2pm, right after you Tweeted that link to the Young Conservatives website.

And now Facebook is following suit. Just one day after launching its new timeline feature to developers, someone has worked out that you can now use the Timeline to see who has unfriended you on Facebook.

Marvellous. But who cares?

I must confess, I’ve never used a service to see who follows or unfollows me on Twitter. Everything on my Twitter feed is public and if you find it interesting, you can read it. If you don’t, then that’s okay, too.

Similarly, I sometimes see my Facebook friends fluctuate, and figure I may have been unfriended by someone but I have never known who, which tells me it’s probably not a close friend or relative, and it’s nothing anyone felt the need to tell me about – so why worry? Most likely, it’s someone doing what I do from time to time, which is realising I don’t know who someone actually is, and removing them from my account.

Fundamentally, I think seeking out this information is massively counter-productive. It’s only ever going to go one of two ways:

OPTION A:  Become Little Miss Needy

Oh dear, Sam has unfollowed me, and I always thought she liked me, but she obviously thinks I’m really sad and boring and, oh, she’s probably right, I’m such a loser and even the people who are still friends with me probably don’t really like me, they just feel sorry for myself, I can’t go out today, I’m just going to hide under my duvet with my real friends, Ben and Jerry. And Mister Spoon.

OPTION B: Become Little Miss Nasty

I can’t believe Sam unfollowed me. Bitch. Well, obviously I’m unfollowing her and unsuscribing from her blog. And I’m going to Tweet something about how disappointed I am in the nature of friendship. Ha!  That’ll show her. And I’ll block her on Twitter so even if she sees sense, she can’t follow me again. Yeah. Then I’m going to change my Facebook status to say that I’ve unfollowed some people I don’t like, without saying who or why. My REAL friends will support me. Now I come to think about it, I’ve never really liked Sam. What a loser. Everyone hates her. I should use social media to make sure people know about the REAL Sam.

See? It never takes you anywhere good.  It strikes me that these services are the virtual equivalent of punching yourself in the face. Repeatedly. So my advice if you’re ever tempted to look at one of these things is simple – STEP AWAY FROM THE INTERNET.

What do you think? Do you ever look at who has unfollowed you? Will you be checking out who’s unfriended you on Facebook? Does it matter?

Sally, Who’s the Mummy?



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About 

Sally Whittle is founder of the Tots100, Foodies100, BlogSummit and the MAD Blog Awards. When she’s not working, she can be found blogging at Who’s the Mummy, or having fun with her 7 year old daughter, Flea.

8 Comments

  1. Posted 24 September 2011 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I tweeted something similar the other day. I really find it odd when people actually ask if someone meant to unfollow them?

    I would have never known that you unfollowed me the other day, had you not told me!

  2. Posted 24 September 2011 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I feel the same as you. I unfollow people on twitter all the time – my timeline is clogged enough as it is (too lazy to sort my followees into lists!), and there’s just no point in following people I have no interest in, who don’t interact, and who I don’t need to worry about having a connection with.

    So I simply assume that people do the same with me. I’m careful what I tweet, so I don’t think that people will unfollow me because they hate me, more because they disagree with me, or find my tweets boring and that’s fine – not everyone is interested in the same things I am. That’s life!

    The Mad House – I think people ask that if it’s someone they’ve had a lot of contact with, because Twitter does have a habit of randomly unfollowing people on your behalf. I wouldn’t ask a random, but if I noticed (ie. via trying to DM someone) that a friend wasn’t following me any more, I might ask them to check that there wasn’t an issue between us that needed sorting out…but I wouldn’t do it publicly via Twitter, though.

  3. Posted 24 September 2011 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    haha this made me laugh, although it probably shouldn’t I actually couldn’t tell you the number of friends i have on twitter or facebook to a single digit I never check so would never know if someone unfriended me lol

  4. Posted 24 September 2011 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    My BROTHER IN LAW actually unfriended me on Facebook, the only person ever to do it (till now probably) it cuts deeply. Yet another awkwardness between us, an unspoken knowing incident… I will get my revenge one day…

  5. Posted 24 September 2011 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    I think knowing your own flaws in terms of the person you are helps and for me that is knowing I can be insecure and ‘needy’ so therefore I don’t look. Firstly it achieves nothing but make me feel rubbish and question things.. and two I would never want to guilt people into reading my twitter stream or FB. They either like my ramblings or not and that is cool…I just don’t want to know if they don’t (for my own state of mind) but respect the fact that they don’t. People are entitled to choice!

  6. Posted 24 September 2011 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    I never check at all, and have no idea how many followers I have! I’d probably be a bit hurt if I found out someone I liked had unfollowed me, but I don’t think I would ask them.

  7. Posted 24 September 2011 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    I agree completely. I’ve never used one of those unfollow information services. As far as I’m concerned I am what I am, and it’s individual choice to follow me or not.

    I agree with what Kerry says about knowing your flaws – my self esteem is not great, and I could drive myself mad if I knew about every single person who unfollowed me!

  8. Posted 29 September 2011 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I have absolutely no idea what my numbers are or if I’m unfollowed. It takes me a long time to realize I have picked up new followers as to be honest, I rarely look. Life’s too short! This post really made me laugh. Thank you!