Social Media gives you an over-inflated sense of your own importance. It’s for the best that you just accept that the majority of your followers on Twitter only started following you out of politeness. Deal with it, they’re duty follows. The rest of them followed you in the hope that you’d follow them back. One or two of them might genuinely find you interesting, but at the back of their minds they’re also hoping that one day you might either introduce them to your agent, be their agent or marry them.
On Facebook they agreed to be your friend because you make their numbers look good and it’s too awkward to refuse, and those are just the ones who actually remember who you are when they get your request. Within a couple of hours of befriending you they’ll have muted you on their timeline. You’re a number, your Farmville updates hold no interest for them. Unless of course you’ve let yourself go or have gone bankrupt, in which case they’ll keep you so that they can feel better about themselves and post supportive, patronising comments on your status updates while secretly thanking their lucky stars that it’s you and not them. We’re surely not far away from a special schadenfreude app on our smartphones that sends a little notification when one of our friends has some bad luck.
Some people get very worked up about their followers, especially on Twitter. Maybe they have a big screen on their wall with a giant counter on it that makes a clicking sound every time they lose a follower, like a bomb in James Bond film. These people need to let it go, there’s nothing worse than seeing a Tweeter go bad. They start posting passive aggressive tweets. ‘Well’ they’ll say, ‘looks like @xxx has unfollowed me after our conversation earlier, some people are SO moody. Lol.’ They’ll then go on to say how they don’t care anyway, which will turn into tweets complaining about how they’re always misunderstood and possibly a bit of Crying Wolf (see the C post for reference). The Romans used to watch gladiators tear each other apart. We watch nerds get a little bit angry, while still trying to be reasonable, on Twitter.
You also get the people who tweet about how they found out who unfollowed them because they used whounfollowedme.com or something. Not that they care, you understand, they’re not BOTHERED, it was just out of interest, they hardly even check.
But who really cares? The numbers fluctuate all the time, for all kinds of reasons. Or maybe, someone just doesn’t like you, the world’s not going to end. It happens in real life all the time. Some people like you, others don’t, you can’t control it and most of the time you don’t even know. Social media strips away all of the social niceties, sat there in our anonymous little pods it’s easy to ‘unfriend’ someone just by pressing a button, in some ways it’s almost liberating. In real life we’re conditioned to be more polite, we don’t walk around shouting ‘I don’t like you anymore, your baby photos bore me and your jokes aren’t funny!’ at someone. Maybe it comes down to the fact that a lot of people, deep down, just want to be liked and that little number at the side of your profile is a constant reminder that actually, people might think you’re a bit of an arse.
There are a couple of things I’ve noticed though, about my own behaviour. If I see someone post a superior tweet about knowing who unfollowed them, I almost always unfollow them. I think part of me wants them to ask me why (nobody ever has). And for some reason, I find it physically impossible to stop myself from unfollowing anybody who tweets that they are nearing a ‘magic’ number of followers and need help rounding the figures up.
I can feel you all judging me. Stop it.