‘Not Following Back’ Symptom | Opinion Post

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Image: Pixabay

We live in an era where technology has become part of our daily lives. If you don’t have a profile on a social media, you might as well be a Jane Doe or not exist at all. Nowadays, people not only have to worry about how they dress and speak but also how they use their online profiles and what they share in them. As an amateur blogger, I tend to use social media to promote my content, being Instagram and Twitter the networks I use most.

One of the best ways for your posts to reach more viewers is by obviously gaining more followers — aside from using the correct hashtags. But how are small bloggers supposed to grow when the community is so greedy about their ‘following’ count? What’s worse is that this doesn’t only happen in the blogging community, it happens everywhere.

Just the other day, I’ve experienced this for the fourth time or so. After adding someone on Facebook as ‘friends’ — rather colleagues or people I’ve somehow met in real life — notifications start to appear on Instagram. At least once a day when I get on Instagram, I see sections that persuade me to follow Facebook friends or people who I have contacts in common. So I did just that. I clicked the blue button, expecting to get a notification shortly afterward saying “that person is now following you”.

But that notification never came. Not this time, nor the last time I followed another person I'd met. Not even after liking their posts or having viewed their stories. And must I emphasize, these people are not bloggers or influencers.

You might be thinking “girl...these people don’t like you, get new friends.” But when I see them again in person, they’re as friendly as ever. Ok, so there’s the theory that I’ve unfortunately encountered hypocrites or the other theory — people value their following number too much. Everyone wants to seem popular online, for their followers to be larger than the number of accounts they’re following. This happens on networks where the contacts lists are divided into two. Whereas in Facebook no one really cares, they just accept the request without much thought.

Is not following back a symptom or the syndrome? I personally think it’s a symptom, a manifestation of this Millennial and Gen Z generation. The pressure of what others think has always been present in human interactions (just take a look at a few Jane Austen novels). But times have changed, and what we portray online — whether real or not — has become more important than who we actually are.

Imagine a day of a massive blackout, kind of like the sci-fi film “The Fifth Wave” featuring Chloë Moretz. If technology was somehow taken away from us, would it have been really worth it? Counting followers on daily basis and curating your feed in such a strict way that prevented you from posting a picture you liked just because it “didn’t match”?

Evidently, I don’t bear the answers. The psychologist in me wishes to do some research and inquire these people about why they didn’t follow me back. But for the meantime, I’ll remain seated and continue observing.

‘Til next time!

Post a Comment

© La Luna Vita . Design by FCD.