Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Would You Notice?

UntitledSeveral months ago someone stopped following me on a social media platform I use  regularly. Apparently.

You see, I didn't figure it out until last month.

We knew each other personally before we became friends on social media. We've been to each other's houses (that's a pretty big thing in NYC), we have a few purposeful mutual friends and some accidental ones. We like a lot of the same things, even when we like them for different reasons or in different ways. We weren't best friends, certainly, but I thought we were solidly friends, more than acquaintances. I thought things were just basically pleasant and would go along like that foreverish.

But I tend to think that about a lot of things until they stop and then I'm all, "But? Forever? Why change?" and the thing clearly says, "Nothing is forever. Shush now."

I'm not deeply wounded here. Something happened, I'm not sure what, and losing me from the information stream made someone happier. I'm all for happier.

I'm a little concerned for myself, though, because I didn't notice for so long. I mean, seriously, it's not like we met twenty years ago at a conference and just kept the connection because it was polite. There was more to it and yet...I didn't notice. What does that say about my emotional housekeeping?

Recently I've been thinking about unfollowing some folks, people I honestly like in real life but who make my information feed difficult in both silly and serious ways. I wouldn't unfriend them or block them, just remove their posts from what I see effortlessly. Since I really like them I don't want to hurt feelings or even make them feel unheard in some way so I started to wonder. Would they notice? Is it arrogant to think that anybody would? How much of an impact on anybody's life can I possibly be making through my posts about vegetable peelers and reproductive rights and cute dog videos?

This is why I'm asking you today, if one of your combo social media + real life friends stopped following you, would you notice?

I'm asking for a friend.


  1. Anonymous9:39 PM

    I don't have a ton of social media friends and the ones I do have are all friends in real life, so I would notice. But I can see how you wouldn't notice for a while if you have a lot of social media friends, even if some of them are real life friends. I think we're just so bombarded with so much information that it would be easy to lose touch on every little communication.

  2. if it's Facebook, i notice immediately...but i have an app that shows me when people remove me from their list. sometimes this is useful, other times it isn't.

    on other social media services, i don't notice. i stopped using Twitter (though my profile still exists, in the event i need to contact a company via twitter), Tumblr doesn't notify people, and i don't use any other platforms that have that sort of follow/unfollow scheme.

    if you're just removing those profiles from your feed but you aren't removing them from your friend list, they won't notice.

    1. ...unless you were a frequent commenter before, and suddenly stop.

  3. What Laura says. I usually just don't pay attention to the numbers. But also, I take terms literally. I just don't hit that "like" button for every single thing I see from my friends. I'm sure that probably annoys some people.

    1. i find it annoying when people "like" everything posted. someone i know posted their relative died and there were 5 or 6 "likes" on the post. what the hell, people? how can you "like" the fact that someone died?

      the "like" scheme is less than optimal.

  4. probably wouldn't notice, to be honest. not for awhile anyhow. had a good friend on FB (and real life) unfriend me and it took me 3 weeks or so to notice. i don't really compute who i've seen in my feed and who i haven't, unless it's someone who posts a lot and i see it every day. sorry you got cut tho, on some level it does hurt. not knowing why, especially.

  5. I wouldn't notice but OTOH this person might not have unfriended you. I've heard that sometimes, for no reason, friends get removed. And if this person actually resigned from FB that would account for her not being in your feed.