The Horrifying Effects of Getting Unfollowed on Social Media
Why Gen Z Loves Likes & Follows on Social Media
People love getting followed, and for writers, there's nothing more they're thankful for than their followers.
They are often the bread and butter of an online career because they provide happiness, recognition, and traffic for income. The more followers you have, the more likely you'll receive viewership that will dictate success.
The followers themselves also benefit because people often return the favor and follow them back, which could yield greater viewership if they're content creators.
But what happens to teens and younger generations when no one follows them, and does it have a negative effect on them or even us?
The Effects of Losing a Social Media Following
So you've established a connection between your followers, but then the unthinkable happens and you get unfollowed.
If you're reading this, then I bet you're thinking "who cares" and I can understand that. It shouldn't matter so much if one person happens to unfollow you because in theory it's not a big deal.
However, there's a sting that occurs after they do it; and it may surprise you just how much something like this affects you. I know when it first happened to me on Hubpages that I was taken aback because I began questioning a lot of things.
First of all, keep in mind that the focus is on beginners and newcomers that have generally under 100 followers. The more followers you have, the more you're unlikely to notice if someone unfollows you.
Those with hundreds or thousands of followers normally won't care about getting unfollowed by a few people because in the end it won't matter. For those of us who have a few followers, it can feel demeaning if one of your followers decides to unfollow you.
But why is that?
We gauge partial success on the amount of followers we have and getting unfollowed feels like a slap in the face. To me it can feel like they dislike what I'm writing about or don't find my content interesting anymore.
As a beginner, you might feel like you're getting nothing but negative feedback, and you fail to see either the importance or foolishness of such feedback. So far on Hubpages I've noticed that this platform is far more forgiving than similar sites, and the community is a lot more understanding than I could have imagined.
So this writing platform bodes well for the more sensitive individuals.
The Truth About Online Success
As I mentioned, getting unfollowed is something people don't think will matter until it happens to them. The greatest reason why it seems to matter so much is because you feel you don't think you can succeed online.
For example, if you're an aspiring writer and are passionate about writing, then the last thing you want to hear is that you aren't good enough. Of course that's not what getting unfollowed means but it's something that we'll think about.
We want to be followed, we'll follow back, and the last thing we want is our followers to start paying attention to someone else's work.
It's an unusual topic to think about, but writers are competing in a popularity contest.
The writers with the most views, followers, and comments give you a higher rank in status among your contemporaries. You'll gain more accolades, acclaim, and success compared to the bottom tier of your field.
Remember that there's only a few writers that truly go far and beyond their competitors and achieve massive critical and financial success.
Those top tier writers are similar to the prom kings and queens of our high school, the top quarterbacks in the NFL, and the A-list movie stars we may dream about.
Meanwhile those on the lower tier are akin to the high school kids who get bullied, are overlooked, and are shunned by their classmates.
Writers are in one of the most competitive fields and only the best of the best ever really succeed. The rest of us can only dream of ever becoming half as successful.
The Real Reason People Unfollow Us
Most of the time what you believe in is completely different from reality.
In this case what you need to realize is that it's not about your content, style, or technique but rather the changing preferences of your audience.
Your followers can only follow so many different kinds of people, and other people's content may draw them in more than your content due to conflicting interests. For example, maybe one of your followers loves reading different recipe related hubs and you mostly write poetry.
They may unfollow (I've used that word way too much) you to follow a writer whose main focus is on recipe hubs because that's the topic your ex-follower enjoys reading.
I can't say this kind of reasoning applies to everybody because sometimes it is about the quality of the writing. If your writing becomes sloppier and less interesting over time, then the problem lies with you rather than them. You have to show your followers you still care about writing because it means you still care for them.
You don't have to write content based on their particular hobbies, but it still has to be of high quality and meaningful. As long as you continue to produce the best pieces, then you won't have to worry if you get unfollowed.
Would You Follow Back?
Here's an interesting question that might determine what kind of person you are or what type of character you possess.
If someone unfollows you, would you return the favor and do the same to them. Obviously this problem doesn't exist if you've never followed them in the first place, but what do you do if such an issue arises?
Well if you unfollow them because they did it first, then it could be seen as a form of vengeance.
It's like one of those moments where you get what's coming for you on a far lesser scale. If I had to choose, then I wouldn't purposely return the favor unless my focus was on personal preference.
If my initial reason for following them was because they did it first, then I might return the favor if they decide to unfollow me. If my reasons for following them were because their content intrigued me, then I have no reason to let them go even if they did it to me.
Should We Care
I can't even believe something like this can spark so many philosophical questions. As hubbers we have better things to write about then something so silly right?
Perhaps we do, but it's usually the things people don't write that we wish to know more of. I've felt slighted before when I got unfollowed, and I wanted to address that because I know how much it means to other writers.
Every one of us on Hubpages is trying to improve and become better writers, so we crave positive feedback. The same applies when we branch out into our own blogs and websites where your audience is far less forgiving.
Well having followers is a big deal and while we shouldn't obsess about it, we should care.
I want to write for myself but also for the audience, and that's something numerous writers miss out on. I know we all want to be successful typing our own stories but that's not always possible. Sometimes we have to sacrifice a little to gain a lot, and we owe it to our followers.
As far as getting unfollowed goes, I'd use it as a measuring tool against your content. If you're consistent, then it doesn't matter but if you're erratic then use your followers as a guide to produce bigger and better quality hubs.
Eventually none of this will matter because you'll have so many followers that it'll be deemed insignificant, but that's never an excuse to produce inadequate content and all writers should know this by now.