megan breukelman


Unfollowing: It’s Not You, It’s Me

Before Instagram’s API change a few weeks ago, I had an app that tracked who was following and unfollowing my account. I’ll have to admit –– a little while back, I was a bit obsessive about it. I know I’m not alone in that feeling; once you discover you can see who’s unfollowed your content, it’s hard not to wonder why did they unfollow? What am I doing wrong?

I wasn’t looking at my own behaviors as a person while thinking about this, however. Maybe every single unfollow isn’t a personal attack, but more of an “it is what it is” situation. Not every lost mutual is a loss, but just a part of the cycle that runs on social media. Is every unfollow you make simply out of spite and dislike, or is it something you do and immediately move on with your day?

When I unfollow people, much of the time it’s simply because I’ve fallen so far out of range in their lives that I can’t relate to their content anymore. Sometimes there are just people I’ve met so long ago who are now living such a different life that I just can’t find common enough ground to keep on following. That’s not their fault or my fault –– it’s just how life goes.

I’ve unfollowed people as well, honestly, for my own needs. When the majority of people are putting only their best foot forward on social media, it’s hard not to fall into the comparison trap. But behind every perfect angle, every FaceTune, every #littlemoment, there is a human being who is living their day to day life just like the rest of us. 

I think it’s healthy sometimes to “unfollow with love”. I heard that term on The Influencer Podcast recently and it stuck with me. Someone’s beautiful vacations or flawless figure are amazing to see on Instagram, and I love that they are celebrating the wonderful things they have, but for my own health and wellness it can be beneficial to take a break for a while. You don’t always need to see the things you don’t have –– and that’s okay.

The next time you notice someone unfollow you, remind yourself that it’s a reflection of them and not you. Don’t stress over what they’re thinking, and instead try to re-shape your thinking. Focus on your life and reaching the people you genuinely care about reaching, and allow yourself to forget the stress of an unfollow.





Unfollowing: It’s Not You, It’s Me

  1. says:

    I’ll admit I tend to follow and unfollow alot, usually I tend to follow on a whim then once I see more content unfollow.

  2. I love this reminder. It’s hard not to take it personally sometimes, and yet, it happens and we have to move past it. Recognizing that there comes a time when we outgrow what others are posting is a great thought.

  3. Kristy Bullard says:

    Some people follow a lot of people to gain reciprocating followers. Then, after gaining a lot of followers they unfollow a lot of people. It’s a way to increase followers but it’s kinda shady.

  4. says:

    It’s good to unfollow if you feel down on yourself but we really shouldn’t compare our lives to others’ on social media. As you said, everyone only puts their best on Instagram and we don’t see their health problems, job drama, stress with kids, or other "bad" parts.

  5. Great write up on the common issue everyone who is active in social media will encounter. May I ask what app did you use to track those who dont follow you?

  6. says:

    This was a thought provoking post, it is so easy to get wrapped up in why people are unfollowing you forgetting that it might be an "unfollow with love" – I love that term.

  7. This is a great post to ponder. I love that article. It shows how we are being formed in our daily living.

  8. says:

    I don’t use Instagram much because… Well honestly I don’t know. However I unfollow people on Facebook often. Then I get to wondering about someone o haven’t seem posts from in forever and I follow them again.

  9. Mostly I get unfollowed by people just trying to grow their following – in what I consider a dishonest way. I find that I actually get a little sad when it’s a person I KNOW who unfollows me. I know I post ads here and there but I like to think that I’m pretty real and people would want to see that real-ness. I can see how uninteresting my life may be to some though. All of those beautiful, impeccably clean homes and amazing vacations don’t want to be seen with my clutter and pics of kids dancing. I love your thoughts on it!

  10. I do get a little down when someone unfollows me but hey its the name of the game. You pick up and move on. There are bigger fish to fry out there.

  11. Wendy Polisi says:

    I unfollow for very specific reason. I usually don’t need to know anything about the people I unfollow.

  12. says:

    I’ll have to check out that influencer podcast! Unfollowing used to get me down, but hasn’t bothered my engagement at all!

  13. says:

    Good point. While I definitely had some petty reasons for unfollowing some people, most of the time it’s because current life is becoming toxic for both parties to be involved in viewing each other’s content. That’s just how it goes.

  14. says:

    I know what you mean about following and then unfollowing. It can be so discouraging at times. Although I try not to unfollow people unless the posting of certain material is not what I enjoy looking at. I will certainly check out what they have to say.

  15. It is what it is – a great way to say it. Thank you, and keep up the good work! Anyhow, I believe we get this hard because we are all trying so hard to succeed out there. I wish us all the best luck!

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