Let's be real, it's 'okay' to unfollow whoever you bloody well want to unfollow. It's just Instagram and it is well and truly not that deep. But, I would be lying if I told you that I haven't ever experienced "unfollow guilt" and the subsequent internal monologue regarding whether they'll actually notice it if I re-follow them. Like, will they think I was checking their profile and accidentally clicked unfollow and am totally chill or will they see right through my guilt laced re-follow?
The politics of social media is exhausting, but you do have the option to forgo it or, alternatively, stick the middle finger emoji up at it.
As I've said before, for the sake of my mental health I've really started monitoring the way that I use apps like Instagram. Mainly that's manifested in not spending so much of my life on them because it kind of leaves me feeling like I have a million voices shouting their opinions in my face at once. Or at least shouting what they had for brunch in my face. Recently though, I realised that in a "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" kinda way, I desperately need to get rid of accounts that don't bring me joy from my feed.
And thus (with the kind of grandeur that the word "thus" suggests), I realised that there were so many people who I do not need in my online life. Frankly, you don't need them either.
1. The "use my product code for 3% off a glorified laxative"
Listen, listen, listen. I love seeing my online pals getting money for their insanely hard work. You better believe that I'm liking and commenting on the photo as soon as I see that little #ad. I might even sing "Independent Women" whilst I'm doing it. But if you try to sell me some insta-product that we both know doesn't work and is even potentially dangerous, then I am out. Flat tummy teas (laxatives), waist trainers (pretty sure they squish your organs about) and those tooth whitening pens (seriously, are those things basically Tipp-Ex?) have no place on my feed.
2. The "UGH #bodygoals #fitspo #fitgirlsofinstagram"
Post pictures of people that society generally accept as being "good looking" on your fridge or whatever, but don't post them on my stinkin' feed! I don't need you telling me about your body goals because I don't desire to compare myself to them. Bye.
3. The Ex, their ex and anybody who might tag them in photos
You know as well as I do that they have the capacity to throw you into a spiral of stalking. You have stuff to do, my chum. Un-fuckin-follow.
4. The "Just got my PHD and now off to a private island with some massive brand"
So maybe you followed them because they got you all inspired to work hard and because they post the occasional motivational quote, but now they've been to Bora Bora five times and you're staring at their most recent upload with nothing but jealousy. If it's not motivating you or at least making you go "huh, that looks nice", you have literally no reason to be keeping them around.