Life Skills

When to unfollow all the people you hate on social media

June 2, 2017

Social media is — let’s see — 1. murder on your self-esteem, 2. a ferocious productivity drain, 3. a gutturally-burbling tarpit of unwelcome political commentary, 4. used primarily for self-promotion, 5. something Trump enjoys and 6. a spectacularly-convenient way to keep track of all the worst people in your life, so yeah it makes perfect sense that this is one of the first things we pour into our brains in the morning.

But what happens when the emotional quicksand gets too much? What happens when you truly need to cut somebody loose, permanently release yourself from their MAGA hillbillyism, escape their flowery liberal candypantsness, their thinly-veiled cries for help or their omnipresence on your comments section even though you had like two classes with them in 11th grade and they’re still dying for your attention for some reason? Some best practices on avoiding the worst humans on your various feeds:

The Facebook Unfriend: More than a decade and 5,000 new social media channels in, the Facebook Unfriend remains the mother of online ends, the Mjolnir of the virtual f**k-off. The unfriend indicates that you disapprove not of someone’s pictures, politics, GIFery, selfies, work, writing, parenting approach or music ability, but really their entire being. Not for the faint-hearted, yet deeply deeply satisfying!

Who I’ve Used It On: Twerps who picked fights in my comments section, one person who became a tantric sex expert apparently (not in a good way), guy who was basically telling me Hillary had commandeered my town’s Taco Bell as a base for her peyote-and-porn-smuggling operation, pretty much all Trump people.

The Facebook Hide: If the unfriend is the hammer of Thor, this is like his Swiss Army Knife, one that can’t do much permanent damage but is required for survival in the wild. The hide lets you technically quote-fingers remain friends with people while ignoring them completely, so it basically works like real life.

Who I’ve Used It On: Seriously, like everyone on my feed except 15 people, people who’s kids are good at youth sports, three friends who like country music, a guy who’s vacation photo album was like 78 pictures. I have friended-and-hid hundreds of people, it’s a nightmare.

The Twitter Unfollow: Not as punchingly harsh as the Facebook unfollow but more visible, since there are like 9,000 ways for Twitter users to determine who unfollowed them, all of which they use because Internet people are needy.

Who I’ve Used It On: I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t come up much, because it’s pretty easy to ignore people on Twitter. Probably dropping Tiger, though.

The Twitter Mute: Akin to the Facebook hide, but more pointless. You can just unfollow people! STAND UP FOR YOURSELF.

Who I’ve Used It On: None, although judging by my Twitter interactions a great many have employed it upon me.

The Instagram Unfollow: Instagram, being ostensibly used by grown-ups, does not offer a way to passive-aggressively ignore someone without letting them know about it, so if you want to cast off bosses/PR people/literally any human who uses the yappy-dog face filter, you’ll have to be public about it.

Who I’ve Used This On: The surprising percentage of people who screenshot their own tweets, one guy who decided he was an aspiring poet, people who want you to gush over the clothes they clearly obtained in some sort of influencer-ad deal.

Whatever You Do on LinkedIn: Do people unfollow people on LinkedIn? I don’t think I’ve ever done this. I’m connected to bosses from like 27 jobs ago.

Who I’ve Used This On: Actually I’m pretty sure I forgot my password.

Snapchat: This won’t be a problem, as you’re an adult and thus not on Snapchat.


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