Feelings about being unfollowed came up for me today when I found out in my NutshellMail report that a social media and digital influencer whom I’ve followed for many years on Twitter had unfollowed me.
Several thoughts flitted rapidly across my brain: first, WHY? then, “oh, yes, probably because I haven’t been very active on Twitter for some time and clearly I’m not tweeting items of interest to him”, and, third, it’s really not important, is it? Because it’s not like I was actual friends with him or anything. I won a copy of one of his books once after actually speaking with him in a phone webinar, but otherwise I have no relationship with him. And, the wonderful thing about Twitter is, I can continue to follow him regardless of him unfollowing me – which is the more interesting half of the connection anyway. So it felt bad, momentarily, until I shook myself awake and remembered all that.
Which brings me to the next question: Friending. The interesting thing about this aspect of Facebook is that you can unfriend, or be unfriended, with no notification to you or the other party. Most of the time that’s a really good thing since you can unfriend and not worry about undue repercussions. And when someone unfriends you, you’re not likely to find out it’s happened unless you regularly scan through your hundreds of friends or keep lists of them off line. That’s way too obsessive for me – and for most of us, no doubt. Because of the opacity of that process, I’m less likely to feel bad if I do happen to find out someone has unfriended me. Unless it were my daughter or sons. Then I would absolutely feel bad!
The whole point here is that while we might spend a lot of our time these days online and in virtual friendships, keeping open eyes and an open heart about what it all might mean is a useful way to approach that part of life. And, putting one’s energy into growing and maintaining real life relationships with family and friends is really a much better investment of time and emotional currency. IMO.