This post has been floating around in my head for months and tonight is the night to write it.
Over the last six months, I’ve done three things. 1) I went through my inbox and deleted hundreds
thousands of emails from blogs I never once read. I also unfollowed those blogs. 2) I went through my friends list on Facebook and unfollowed dozens of people. 3) I scanned my list of people I follow on Twitter and unfollowed a good amount. I actually did that last one several times.
Now before anyone gets indignant and defensive, this is not a post about types of people or blogs I don’t like, why I unfollow, etc. etc.
This post is to tell you that it’s okay to unfollow.
I don’t know if anyone else fights against the Unseen Monster Of Niceness That Believes You Are a Terrible Person if You Unfollow Anyone.
I used to follow any blog that looked slightly interesting or relevant to me. I hate defriending people on Facebook. I used to follow a ton of authors on Twitter.
And I was stressed.
Facebook is full of politics, which I have little to no interest in. My inbox was full of THOUSANDS of unread emails that I knew I would never read but… but maybe… one day. And Twitter is just an arena of drama.
There was a time about a year and half ago that I had enormous surges of panic if I happened to click on my Facebook Home Feed instead of hiding on my Groups pages or my personal page. Lately I’ve found myself avoiding Twitter, even though NaNo’s over and technically I can spare the time for it.
And I realized that if I’m avoiding those sites, or my inbox, so much, why should I even bother with having a Twitter account, or follow blogs?
It’s my inbox. It’s my Facebook feed. It’s my Twitter feed.
I should feel absolutely no obligation to see things I don’t want to see.
And again, I make the disclaimer: I’m not mad or frustrated or fed up or anything. I’m not going to stand on the soup box of whatever and spout blah blah blah.
I just want YOU to know and understand that if you don’t want to see the things someone posts, you don’t HAVE to keep following them because you know them, or you read their book, or they’re your step-third-cousin-five-times-removed. Honestly, most of the people I unfollowed on Facebook are family members.
Do I still love those people? Do I still think that blog is cool? Do I still think that author’s book is great? Yes, yes, and yes. Of course I do. But I don’t happen to like what they post on their pages.
Another side note: Those people are completely entitled to post what they want on their pages. I honestly don’t care what anyone posts. They can do whatever they want. That’s okay. No one needs to be inconvenienced for my personal preferences.
I don’t happen to like seeing authors retweeting every political or racial article that comes along. The people I want to see in my Facebook feed don’t happen to be my family members. The blogs I really want to read are very few and far between.
And that’s okay.
Everything is okay.
I see the posts I want to see, and everyone posts what they want to post. I read the three or four blogs I want to read, and my inbox isn’t overflowing with emails I’ll never read.
And I’m so much more stress-free.
Don’t put undo stress on yourself by following people you think you need to follow. It won’t hurt anyone to hit that unfollow button. And to be honest, I don’t think very many people even notice when they get a few unfollows. The world doesn’t end. Life goes on. You are obligated to take care of you before anyone else. Don’t forget that.
(P.S. Because I’m not sure everyone knows about the ‘unfollow’ function on Facebook, it allows you to remain friends with someone, but their posts don’t show up in your feed.)