Best News & Current Affairs Blog (2011 & 2012) and Jamaican Blogger of the Year (2011) at The Jamaica Blog Awards.

Un-following and Deleting People on Social Media : A Big Deal?


Ever since the days of Facebook, deleting someone has been a big deal. Believe it or not, I’ve seen real friendships ruined because a virtual friendship was terminated. Similarly, I’ve seen people “hate” others for rejecting a friend request or more recently if they refused a request to follow on Twitter. Since the advent of Twitter, this has become an even greater issue. But why though? Why is this such a big deal?

I have a theory.

The sad truth is many of us who use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, take them very seriously. There are instances where persons genuinely feel that their importance can be measured by the amount of people who follow them or the amount of “friends” they have on Facebook. Strange huh? It’s true though. There are people on my timeline who take pleasure in saying they can reject someone from following them and mock others for having “likkle bit a follawers”. This clearly shows they feel they have some amount of importance based on the count of their followers. It’s so bad, people have resorted to ‘dissing’ others so as to gain momentum and popularity. Yup. It happens. We can’t forget those who just blatantly make up things to fit in with a particular crowd or “fi get a fawwud”. Ooo! I spoke ghetto! How quaint. πŸ™‚

The result of taking these social media platforms so seriously is that we are offended when those who we rely on to validate our importance, shun us by un-following or deleting. I mean, if you feed my ego and then suddenly decide to stop, I’d be pretty pissed.

Womp!

This, of course, is just a part of a larger problem; the problem of how much of ourselves we invest in these social media platforms. The first thing many of us do each morning, myself included, is to check Twitter. Any mentions? Any replies? Follower requests? Did anyone like my status on Facebook? What about that photo I uploaded from the party? Who commented? I wonder what’s Michelle’s relationship status? I can literally see many of your squirming right now. You know it’s true. Or am I exaggerating the situation?

Possibly.

Still though, the issue of un-following and deleting is a big deal for many. Is BBM social media? It is, isn’t it? Well, I’ve taken grave offence to being deleted from BBM. In fact, I once unfollowed and blocked someone who deleted me from BBM, only to learn to deletion was not intentional. Could this be because we perhaps think that some of these people actually like us? As in, they followed and made friends with us, doesn’t that mean something? To have and to hold? Till no BB service and no internet do us part? No? It isn’t that serious? So why do we take such offence then? Why do we ‘cuss out’ those who exercise their right to control who they interact with on social media?

What do you guys think? Is it a big deal for you? Do you care? Had any experiences where someone took it seriously? Or you couldn’t care less? Talk to me.

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21 responses

  1. Michael

    The big deal is that ‘social networkers’ or social media users use Twitter/Facebook/BBM to live out a virtual extension of their lives, and also sometimes this virtual extension runs parallel to their real lives. So there are some stuff that they give precedence or add value to, like they would do in real life.

    So to them, to unfriend, unfollow and delete are regarded as blatant disrespect.

    May 5, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    • Is that healthy though? Thinking that our “virtual lives” matter

      May 5, 2011 at 4:35 pm

      • Michael

        YES, I do get slightly upset when my friends, people I know in REAL LIFE delete me. You see unlike Twitter (It’s only recently that a few twitter clients/apps have introduce the option to mute followers, and this isn’t available for web), Facebook has numerous amount of options that can be utilized to decrease the annoyance of an individual. So if I was being annoying or disrespectful, they could have simply hidden all posts from me, why delete me if we are friends?

        And on the “virtual lives” issues. I think it isn’t healthy. For some persons, esp the ones on twitter, they like to create this facade about themselves, similar to creating an alter ego. Their real lives (might) suck, so they try to live it out in their virtual lives, especially in the case where they’re ‘popular’ in their ‘virtual world’ than in the real one. This probably is life for them, hence the attachment and all that feeling toward it.

        May 5, 2011 at 5:39 pm

      • Is me yaw throw wud pan? Cuz I’m arguably more popular on Twitter than I am in ‘real life’. So I’m virtually more popular.

        May 5, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    • Just like how you get vex when people delete you on Facebook, eh Michael?

      May 5, 2011 at 4:39 pm

      • Michael

        LOL, no Ricardo -.-

        You know what I meant!

        And if it is the case where popularity equates to ‘importance’. then in ‘real life’ you’re more popular than on Twitter.

        May 5, 2011 at 6:35 pm

  2. sashi2hot

    I like the part about how people measure their importance based on how many followers they have. They r wana be celebrities. It really dont bother me still. Im just going with the flow.

    May 5, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    • LOL. I guess we all want that kinda fame and importance at the end of the day, huh?

      May 5, 2011 at 5:25 pm

  3. i dont really get the big deal but i was deleted from someone’s facebook because i deleted them on BBM. the person in question always had some vulgar status/pic visible and i didnt like it. so rather than tell them what to do with their phone, i took control of what i saw. she got offended and deleted me from FB.

    i dont really get how that affects anything but ok … i think people take it just a little too seriously. and i think people forget that its an individual’s choice to follow, unfollow, friend or unfriend someone (whether online or IRL). i suppose when it comes to people who know both the online and RL persona then the situation has to be handled with a little more care than with someone with whom there is no RL connection.

    May 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm

  4. It’s not a big deal. I feel offended when I’m unfollowed, deleted or blocked (in some cases) however, I realise that one such follower/internet/bbm friend is really not that important. We all just want to be heard, and these networks are mediums. πŸ˜€

    May 5, 2011 at 3:20 pm

  5. Fuju

    Good entry. I agree with Michael

    May 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm

  6. Scott

    Well as you said above, if you were feeding my ego and then all of a sudden you stopped.. I’ll be definitely pissed. Then again, we have some persons on twitter who just want followers and they may follow a particular person just for the person to follow back back then un-follow them.. does that makes sense? Well some persons try to get a “celebrity status” from social networks which could be one of the many reasons why they do this. Who got the most followers and are following the least is the “celebrity” perhaps.

    May 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm

  7. Rope?

    This shott..lol..some people a guh need rope afta dem read this..because u fling a big rass stone..suh nuff head a guh buss..but twitter does give u a sense of extended importance as the virtual life is actually a part of out realistic life..as in if u are popular on twitter u are more favoured by ur followers when seen in public..especially those who dont know u..uzimi..this shott doh Juvz #CyberBully #OH

    May 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    • LOL! Well, if it offends anyone, I guess ur rope business is about to do well. LOL! Business is about to thrive for you.

      May 5, 2011 at 5:32 pm

  8. Kads

    if me & u nuh close & u unfollow or delete me then thats fine by me. if ur a close friend then i’ll be offended..but since recently is like twitter turn popularity contest & if u get unfollowed is a huge deal…people cussing bout dem nuh beg fren & a bagga issh….if u didnt care then why are u making such a big deal abt it..#justsaying

    May 5, 2011 at 5:55 pm

  9. Jeena Skittlez Abstain Barham

    Your page is what you make it and if you’re a cool person and have a great personality, it would show so there would be no need for you to really worry about being unfollowed or blocked. On the other hand when you are unfollowed or whatever, there is no need to be upset, everyone is entitled to do whatever they want to and if they choose not to follow you or unfriend you, no need to be upset about it. It happens to me plenty of times. On twitter, when I just started and people would unfollow me, I would get upset and tweet about it but now that I’m more settled, I could care less now, I basically have a ‘dont care’ attitude towards that…..

    May 6, 2011 at 8:29 am

  10. KristinaNeil

    LOL…ah boii…i really have no epistles to write on this one except that its really hilare

    May 17, 2011 at 12:40 am

    • Thanksss πŸ™‚ I’m really glad you’re enjoying them.

      May 17, 2011 at 12:42 am

      • KristinaNeil

        that being said..what’s ur twitter? and at the risk of not being followed..mine is @Kristina_Vixen

        May 17, 2011 at 12:44 am

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