Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Unfriended on Facebook? Unfollowed on Twitter or Blogger?

This weekend I spent all of Saturday afternoon helping two former classmates plan our 20th high school reunion. While hitting up our high school contacts on Facebook via Blackberry and laptop, we made a horrifying discovery. Wouldn't you know it, a bit of "unfriending" had gone down over the past few months. We took a few moments to digest the devastating situation and did our best to cheer each other up. A year ago, I blogged about being deleted from Facebook and/or unfollowed on Blogger, and the experience is still the same.

It hurts. I won't pretend to deny it. Being unfriended (remember, it was word of the year in 2009!) has a way of bringing back feelings of being ousted from the cool kids lunch table at school. It makes you wonder if you said something offensive or "liked" something uncool. What exactly was it that turned off the receptionist from your old job or your kindergarten crush?

Perhaps this particular person was sick of seeing your Farmville updates and didn't know they could simply hide the game. It's true! There are Facebookers who have yet to figure out how to add photos or hide people's status updates. If that's the case, someone needs to teach these Facebook folk to hate the game not the player. I'm not into those games and was psyched to hide the games!

Then there's Twitter. One day you're riding high with 706 followers, the next you're down to 704. What happened? Who unfollowed? Was it a bot or two? Was it someone who simply deleted their Twitter account? Did you tweet a few too many times poolside bragging about your lavish Bora Bora trip? One will never know. Twitter interaction obviously isn't as personal as Facebook. You haven't bonded with someone's family through their 500 photo albums and kept up with their routine through comments and status updates. I guarantee the feeling of loss isn't as deep with the tweeter as it is with the Facebook unfriender.

When it comes to the act of unfollowing, bloggers might agree that is one of the cruelest forms of being "dissed and dismissed." Most of us follow hundreds of blogs. The Blogger dashboard allows you to hide any blog you want (similar to Facebook's hide functionality) without letting them know. No need to unfollow! If you really don't want to see a blogger's blog in your reader, just "Hide from List" -- it's easy and painless for your fellow blogger. Think about it, what if you finally reached 300 followers and that one person brought you back down to 299? Ouch, right?

Just know in your heart if someone unfriended you today on Facebook or stopped following you on Twitter or Blogger, it's okay to grieve the loss. We've all been there and your feelings are valid. Yes, you will get over it, unless of course it's a close friend or family member. In that case, I suggest stop questioning yourself and go directly to the source. Call them out on such uncool social networking etiquette and just squash it! (To you younger kids, that was '90s slang for make-up and be chill.)

Thanks for reading and feel free to share your personal experience with being unfriended or unfollowed.

UPDATE: IN RESPONSE TO YOUR SWEET COMMENTS, I SWEAR I WASN'T RECENTLY "UNFRIENDED" OR "UNFOLLOWED." SOME FRIENDS WERE DISCUSSING IT THIS WEEKEND AND I FELT COMPELLED TO REVISIT THE TOPIC. I'M NOT HURTING, I SWEAR. :-)

58 comments:

Lauren said...

Following you back!
http://My365toaSize5.blogspot.com

Megan said...

Ooh, I know what you mean about being unfollowed on blogger. That always stings a little extra because dude, it takes effort to unfollow!! I don't even know how to do it even if I wanted to. Oh well, what can you do.

MiMi said...

No.
This unfriending crap sucks. Unfollowing sucks too, but the unfriending...man that gets me.
I mean, this chick unfriended me. I was so pissed.
Know how I figured it out? I went to unfriend her skanky ass and she had beat me to it! Suck!

purseblogger said...

Oh man, being unfriended or unfollowed totally hurts. I try and act like no big deal but crap, it hurts. I agree, just go and hide them, it's a much better solution.

PinkPatentMaryJanes said...

Oh, I've hidden many a person on Facebook, don't care at all if someone stops following me on twitter {generally they're the ones who follow people in hope of an un-follow back}. I did get 'un-friended' after my school reunion, but, really, I didn't really want to keep up with him IRL anyone.

But oh, when a blogger unfollows? The misery? The agony? The questioning...

Great post - enjoy your reunion!

Ashley King said...

it's happened to me multiple times.

don't take it personal....
you've got 500 followers woman!!!!!
write because you love to.
and p.s. i am pretty sure NO ONE was a bigger geek than myself!!!!

you are awesome!!!! =)

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

And this is from the girl who has 500 followers. I know what you mean. Don't follow me in the first place if you are going to leave me soon after. I have only stopped following blogs who have stopped themselves or very rarely add new content. Those people don't care about followers. But if you give good blog and you still lose someone you take it personally, especially if it was just one post they found offensive. Your work should be judged as a whole not by it's individual parts. I too hate when I hit number like 199 or 299. You need to hit 210 or 310 before you feel comfortable about meeting the milestone. It's having validation and then having it taken away. How do celebrities deal with the rejection and nasty articles. We only know half their pain. LOL

Ms. Anthropy said...

The first one hurt the worst!

McGriddle Pants said...

I have to be honest... I'll defriend a friend-of-a-friend. You know... the one you met that one time and will never see again, but for some reason they insisted on friending you in the first place. I usually wait the appropriate amount of time (say a year since I first met them) and I'll pull the plug. It just seems ridiculous to be "friends" with someone I met once. But other than that... NO! I hate being defriended by actual people I know. For shame on them!

TS Hendrik said...

I hate the feeling of being unfollowed on blogger cause usually I have no idea who it was.
I really don't use facebook much though. Mainly just to chat with my nephews. It doesn't help that my aunts won't stop trying to friend me.

Riot Kitty said...

I gain or lose a follower or two now and then but never seem to notice who!

Teachinfourth said...

Luckily, the pain goes away, right? I think part of the magic is realizing that many of these folks who 'unfollow' or 'unfriend' we probably didn't really know in real life anyhow; they most likely ended up with so many people they were tracking that they had to do something to maintain some semblance of normality.

It's probably nothing personal.

At least that's what I choose to believe - it helps to quelch the pain.

Brenda Susan said...

I have been unfollowed here and unfriended in Facebook and it always make me sad and curious, but I can't figure out who exactly left me. So I have to just let it go and try to get on with my life.

Steve G. said...

McGriddle Pants said...

I have to be honest... I'll defriend a friend-of-a-friend. You know... the one you met that one time and will never see again, but for some reason they insisted on friending you in the first place.


Speaking as a dude who may have done this in the past... It's normally a sign that a member of the opposite sex is attractive.

This post hits close to home, Ally. I've been stuck on 395 to 399 Twitter followers for more than a week now :( It's especially sad because I'm following 932, and I typically add a couple people every week. I'm wondering if I'll be following 1,000 people or get 400 followers first.

ISRAEL CARRASCO said...

Well if it makes you feel any better, this Saturday I got "uninvited" to a party that ended up being a private dinner. I went to my freind's mom's house with a bottle of wine and caled my friend and said, "where you at?" She tells me, "come over". Then there is a blurred conversation and she returns and says, "maybe we should get together later. I got the hint. My friend later exlained that she was unaware that thhis was a private dinner and not a party. BTW I'm drinking my red wine now as I write this.

G said...

I've only lost a couple of followers, which was due to them either not liking my blog (lost one in one month like that) or purging out their blog, or me not visiting their blog for months and months.

I've stopped following certain blogs due to what I feel was certfiably lame behavior (one blogger closed and opened three blogs in less than six months)

As for Facebook, I've unfriended and had no qualms, simply because I had nothing in common with the people in question, other than being a friend of a friend. Or they just weren't interesting enough once I got to know them from better (had a lot of people from the chat rooms that I initially made friends with on FB).

Chrissy said...

I could see u being hurt if u and the other person had a falling out.. I know I stop following because I lose interest in the post... its nothing personal, if anything its ME and only me its not the one posting...
Is it better to have a follower who NEVER reads or comments? btw- I've been unfollowed and I am guessing its due to the reason I stated above.

Joe Cap said...

Interesting thoughts.
I noticed today that I just hit 50 followers. Weird, I don't even know where they come from. Many of my followers don't comment (which is fine) and I don't follow many of MY followers...not because their blogs are not GOOD, but only because I am not into the genre of their blogs...such as recipes, poetry, etc.

I also discover that people read and comment on my blog that are not actual followers, which is also cool, there are several blogs that I read and comment on, but don't actually 'follow'.

Really, though, while it is nice to see comments, I don't think most of the stuff that I put out there is all that interesting to most people, but it is interesting to ME, so I do it. I am usually surprised I get as many comments as I do...and I appreciate them!

Jennifer Juniper said...

I recently unfriended a bunch of people on facebook (I know!!), but the only ones I really kept were family members and work people and actual real, I spend time with them friends.
I just got tired of having to watch everything I posted about the kids and all that.

Copyboy said...

I have done blog posts about people who are sexually attracted to sheep. I think I know something about losing followers & friends on a daily basis.

Ally said...

This post wasn't about me personally being unfriended or unfollowed. Watching friends question it and say, "What did I do?" made me want to reach out to you and say we've all been there, it happens, it stings, we get over it. :)

Ian said...

I remember that post. I found you shortly before that unfriending post. That was when you had 100 some odd followers and look at you today.

500.

Congrats woman!

BigSis said...

Isn't it funny how the same things that hurt as a kid pain us as adults?

Alison said...

I've been unfollowed on blogger once a couple months ago. Even now I have just over 30 followers, so that one particularly stung. The person only followed me for a few hours, but I KNEW. I saw the number go up to six and back to five. My dreams were crushed. Okay, not really. It still hurt, though.

baygirl32 said...

I have to say that I AM guilty of the facebook unfriending, some of the people I get adding me I wasn't really friends with before facebook, so why be friends now? but they are me mudder's friends so I feel kind of obligated to add them... then they get all creepy stalking my pictures, and on a few occasions they called mudder and asked her what "certain" status updates meant... so yeah bye bye, but if you're not creepy I'll keep you.
As for the blogger following well that's a whole new can of worms, having under 50 followers you know when one leaves, and it does sting.

Helen said...

I haven't checked yet to see if she "unfriended" me but I found out over the weekend that a friend of mine was EXTREMELY upset that I had friended her husband's high school sweetheart. What makes this so funny is that we are in our mid 50's so we're talking about a relationship that happened 40 years ago, not to mention that my friend and her husband have been married 33 years! I don't even know what to think about it so I decided not to. And I'm not even going to defend my decision to friend the other woman. I figure it is my friends problem and she's going to have to figure it out.

As for the blogger thing well, I think sometimes people follow too quickly and then realize that the blog is not for them at all so they unfollow. Definitely try not to take that personally!

BethT said...

Great post, Ally. I'm new to Blogger, so I don't what it's like to gain/lose friends on here. However, on Facebook, I've been unfriended and I've unfriended. Most of the people I've unfriended were friends of friends or HS friends who I caught up with and then that was it so we ended up unfriending each other. No hard feelings. Then there was that one creepy guy...he was unfriended AND blocked...

Amy said...

Unfriending someone is so immature. I was unfriended by the preacher who did my wedding. Whose wife incidently messed up the entire thing...literally!! I mean really grow up, unfriending is uncalled for! Very well written post!

AngeliStarr said...

I was never offended by these. It bothers when it is someone that you thought was important but most of the time, its people i didnt care to add to begin with they just happened to be ppl i knew that i wouldve liked on my friends list for that one day that i would be like "oh wow how r u?"

For things like reunions tho, i find its best to just have a group for ppl to join and be able to communicate with them that way.

1950's_atomic_ranch_house said...

Thanks for this post, Ally. I want to show it to one of our blogger friends who had some silly drama-rama with another not-so-friendly blogger who unfollowed her, and then unfollowed me! For being her friend?

It's soooo jr. high!

Darlene said...

Miss Ally,

You are a writer's writer. And, you've got compassion and empathy... you are a sage.

I recently had an unfriending that stung. Hard. I was so depressed recently, and I wrote on a young woman's blog about it, she just seemed so TOGETHER. I want what she has... I said, "I look at you and wonder what I am doing wrong?"

And I came back to my own blog to write about how un-together I have been feeling. And someone asked me who triggered these feelings from me. And I told the person "I bet you know!" <--- I was being sarcastic. The irony is that I have a few followers, but I follow nearly 110 blogs. I was being totally ironic.

Well, said person that I wrote to assumed that my comment was already a "talking about her" kind of thing, so she unfriended me AND the blogger that was asking politely about what triggered these feelings from me in the first place.

I miss that blogger. She's stylish and friendly, but she thinks I'm a jerk. Granted, she didn't ask me to tell her about my depression.

So yah. There's a black letter I wear now. On my chest.

Hugs and love to you and whomever triggered this entry...

I love what you do, Miss A!

~Kristen~ said...

Great post! I admit to getting way too cuahgt up in followers on blogger. Every day I try to tell myself I won't let it bother me, but then I find myself right there again checking my numbers. If I find I lost a follower or two it really does sting. And I admit to being sad about it. I am equally sad when I follow a blog and that blogger does not follow me back. I know it shouldn't bother me but it does.

Lifebeginsat30ty said...

I don't think you should take it so personally! Ive signed up for blogs on one cool post then the rest kind of sucked (going to be honest here ;p) There was one where I just thought the person was rather rude and never made the effort to come read my blog over many months of following.

As for facebook, I have a rule about keeping it to people I actually talk to in real life with a few exceptions for high school people, etc. If I haven't talked to you in 6 months, you're coming off! But that's me :)

You're Lucky I Don't Have a Gun... said...

i want to keep a running list of fb friends so i will know ezzactly who knocked me off my high horse. then i will weigh how much i actually liked them (maybe they did me a favor) or how pissed i'm gonna be in the near future (dead.to.me).

liz said...

I was unfriended by a college guy who I dated briefly. I think he accept the request not really realizing who I was. I was annoyed because THIS WAS COLLEGE and it's not like we had some long term relationship that ended bitterly or something. Grrr.

nycgirl0501 said...

These are my two cents...don't hate me.

I am the biggest blocker of people on Facebook. If I didn't have a relationship with you in school or we didn't like each other why would I want you to see my Facebook stuff?! Doesn't make sense to me. I've blocked my busu body uncles & cousins who live in South America too. Seriously with the gossip in this family I don't need my ramlbings getting back to my parents who THANKFULLY have no interest in the Internet.

As for Twitter, if you don't have any info in the bio or a blog I block you. What if you steal my posts or pictures? It happened to my friend, so yes I block.

I don't think I've unfollowed a blog unless they stopped posting for over a year. Now I know I can hide so that will work.

I like to know and interact with everyone on my twitter/fb/blogs and I always comment back. So I'm not hiding and I am constantly meeting new friends online.

If you block me or unfollow me I won't be hurt at all. I might not even notice because I am too busy interacting with the people that do FB/tweet/blog with me! :)

Great post!

Nat said...

I think some people stop following after a while as they only followed you to get you to follow them in the first place :-) I don't worry about such folks, but would be upset if a proper follower who really does read my blog and comments suddenly stopped following me.

I have a load of "friends" on FB I wish I could defriend..only friended them as they asked me and I felt it would be rude to say no and ruder now to defriend!

Interesting post!

Salt said...

I was unfollowed today actually. I don't know by who and I guess I don't really care. If someone doesn't like what I'm saying, it would be pointless for them to stick around!

I have to agree with what MiMi said though...I hate going to unfriend someone on Facebook and see that they beat you to it. So annoying.

LaraAnn said...

I am guilty of unfollowing a couple of blogs. One was because there had been no new posts for like 5 months and another because I discovered that it really wasn't for me. I did feel kind of guilty about this. I sometimes worry that someone will unfollow me but not as much as I used to. I'd understand if they aren't interested in my posts anymore but there still would be a small part of me that would feel like the shy, unpopular girl that I was in my school days.

Joann Mannix said...

If someone is annoying on my FB, I'll just hide them. I would never want to hurt anyone's feelings, so why bother going to the trouble just to make someone feel bad. Same goes for the blogs. If I don't care for what they have to say, unless it's totally something I don't believe in, I'll keep my little face up on their wall. I would hate to be the reason someone would get bummed out. It really isn't bothering me at all, so why make another person sad?

I'm So Pretty said...

I admit I'm an unfriender on fb. And the last person was a relative. She has *radically* different world, religious and policitacl views than I do and was horrifically (IMO) verbal about them in her frequent status updates and comments. So first I hid her and her posts. But she must've had my updates on email alert because every friggin thing I posted, including most of my inane status comments not meant to be anything more than... silly musings on the day, resulted in rants from her. And woe to any actual friend of mine who also commented, then this relative of mine would pick a fight right there on my fb wall. I'm sorry - a relative I last saw more than 30 years ago picking on a truly good friend of mine is a no-brainer. Blood is NOT thicker than real friendship. So I finally had had it, and I unfriended *and* blocked this relative. I've been waiting for some email follow up or nasty-ass phone call or message via another relative. So far, though, she hasn't said anything further...

Then, when my husband and I were at one of our recent extreme low points and seemed destined for divorce, one of his narcissistic friends decided to rail against me, in a public forum like facebook. Hell no! So I unfriended him, which he noticed immediately and started sending me hate emails about how selfish I am and why don't I just divorce my husband (his friend) and get it over with. *sigh*

I personally thing some people really shouldn't be allowed on facebook. People tend to forget that even with privacy settings in place, it's still very much a public forum.

/stepping off soapbox :)

I'm So Pretty said...

Sorry... crappy editing...

*political views

Nancy C said...

I admit, it hurts my feelings when people don't like my blog. It's me. I'm out there. I really want to do a good job.

But, I need to remember this thing called perspective.

Ali said...

The worst is when I get unfollowed during PMS time.

Babes Mami said...

I lost two 'fans' on facebook last week, that hurt a little bit!

The Vegetable Assassin said...

You see, this is why I don't "follow" anyone on Blogger. I use a Reader so I can secretly stalk everyone (Hi!) but they never know I'm there. Or have left. Or whatever.

Not that I ever leave. I add everyone who follows me, although sometimes it takes me some time because I'm retardedly slow, but I get there eventually. If someone unfollows me I usually don't notice for ages then I think "Oh well, it wasn't their thing." It never bothers me. (or I think mean things about them in my head. Ha! - I don't.)

I can't handle FB or Twitter. My social gene would bust open and it would be messy.

Marlene said...

I can't obsess about these things....it would drive me nutso. Sure, I've been one of those people who was up to 300 commenters and five minutes later, I was down to 299. Sure, you question yourself "did I piss someone off?"...."who was it?" Blah blah blah.

In the grand scheme of things, I'd much rather those who never read or comment on my blog, simply not follow.

The Random Blogette said...

Ok. I have to admit I have de-friended a couple of people on facebook recently. Mainly because they wrote rude comments on my facebook page. They deserved it though!

Girl Interrupted said...

Interesting topic! Adding somebody on a social networking site is not necessarily friendship, I think a lot of people only do it because having a higher number of 'friends' makes them appear or feel more popular. So what if somebody 'unfriends' you? If you don't even know who it is then surely that should tell you just how trivial it is?

I don't see Blogger as a social networking site, although I think way too many people use it like one. I love that people choose to follow me because hopefully it means they're doing it because they've actually enjoyed something I've put a bit of thought and effort into, that's certainly why I follow the blogs I do.

Having said that, it's fine if somebody unfollows me (and my number of followers has fluctuated drastically at times, especially during my numerous breaks from blogging) I never know who it is and I'm not interested in finding out, it's their call as far as I'm concerned, no hard feelings here. I figure they've probably never enjoyed another of my posts since, or they're annoyed because I haven't started following them in return or commented etc, which is fair enough, and it makes sense for them to stop following me under those circumstances.

I blog because I love to write and because I enjoy reading other people's thoughts; respect and friendship, if it comes and is genuine, is very much an added bonus.

Kimberly said...

You blog always makes me laugh!

Stop by my blog to pick up an award!
All the best,
Kim

http://amoroccan-acat-and-my-bigass.blogspot.com/2010/06/more-awards_29.html

RMb said...

hehe, this is a great post & not just because it tastefully touches on a (what could be percieved as a) silly topic, but its something we've all wondered... whether we want to admit that or not :)

Jersey Diva Mom said...

The blog unfollow does sting. It makes me feel like I did in art school critiques.

And yes- it does make you feel like you're bounced from the cool kid table when someone unfriends you.

Jenn said...

I passed an award on to you..check it out when you can.
http://jennsfoodjourney.blogspot.com/2010/06/blushing-is-my-new-middle-name.html

Powdered Toast Man said...

First off, when did you hit 500 followers? Where have I been? Congrats.

When I first started blogging and lost a followr I was like wtf and got all frazzled. Nowadays Idc, it probably wasn't meant to be anyway. People are douches and that's the way it's gonna be.

Michelle Pixie said...

I will never unfollow you!! XXOO

Sam said...

This post was a good read!

As far as unfriending goes, I'm really weird. If I've been unfriended on Facebook, I have no idea, it's not something I really notice if it's happened, haha. I couldn't tell you how many friends I have on there (not in a "I have SO many!12122!!!" way, just that I don't really look, lol). If it has though, I can't exactly comment since I've done it myself.

Twitter I really don't care so much about. I really just use Twitter to post random statuses and to stalk the celebs, lol.

I do however care when I lose a follower on Blogger. With facebook, there's nothing to really base the "friending" on, most people just hit accept by default. Twitter, similar to facebook, I guess. But blogger, it's almost like being told that what you write isn't worth reading, which can be sort of insulting, you know? Not that that's why anyone unfollows, maybe they just don't relate to what you're saying. But I agree, you should just hide the blogger from your Dashboard, that way no one's feelings get hurt, and you can avoid the posts you don't read anyway. It's not like we miss the comments if they never leave them, you know?

Wow, that's a bit long-winded... hope it all made sense, haha!

ScoMan said...

I couldn't tell you how many Facebook Friends or Twitter followers I have.. because that way if a few unfollow I'll never know.

I know how many blog followers I have simply because it's always staring me in the face when I sign in to blogger.

(I tweet from Tweetdeck which doesn't show you your followers)

JC said...

I just can't believe how some people get so many followers in the first place.

I have ~50 followers. Out of them, between 0 and 1 of them read my blog on a regular basis (probably). None of them leave comments, except one. He's stopped though.

If they all "unfriended" me, it would probably have almost no effect on my blog because I don't think any of them visit anyway.

http://www.futuretwit.com

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