Unfollow, Unfollow, Unfollow

Unfollow, unfollow, unfollow: I broke up with Facebook and never felt better! 

 I resisted joining Facebook after hearing complaints from people who grew miffed when someone “unfollowed or “unfriended” them. Who needs that kind of pressure? 

And by “friends,” I include everyone – actual friends, family members and total strangers who chose to follow my “socials.” 

 A platform for creative projects. 

When I finally created an account a few years ago, I decided I wouldn’t follow anyone and simply wait to see what happened. I had no expectations. Since all I wanted was a platform for my writing and visual art, I set my account to Public, open to all. 

Wow, I was surprised by how many friend requests appeared in the first few weeks! I didn’t feel these people were all that interested in me in “real” life, and yet now I had a glimpse into their personal lives: when did they change jobs? They have a new partner? What an interesting bathroom reno.
Shannon Kernaghan Unfollow-facebook-400-300x300 Unfollow, Unfollow, Unfollow Humor

My relationship with Facebook felt new and exciting, and I could witness people’s actions and reactions in almost-real time. This became a daily form of armchair voyeurism, and I typed a lot of likes, loves and comments.  

Wait a minute. While I regularly reacted and replied to their posts, few showed any love for my visual art or writing news. Where was the reciprocal rah-rah from them, considering they made comments on other friends’ posts, reviewed every movie, and photographed every meal?  

These same friends shared the posts of other writers and artists, often big-name celebrities who don’t likely need the shares. (Sharing posts means a little more visibility.) But when I uploaded a new painting, did any friends share my creation? Close to nobody. Nothing but the sound of crickets.  

Why did they want to be my friend in the first place? And why didn’t they unfollow me if they weren’t interested in my life? 

Deep bottom to hurt feelings. 

I found pictures of out-of-province friends who travelled to Alberta and had get-togethers a mere two-hour drive away. They’ve invited me in the past and I’ve cheerfully made the drive to party with them. Did they purposely not invite me, and not again the year after that? Um, with all this social media, it’s not tough to reach me. Unfollow, unfollow, unfollow. One day that’s what I did after feeling upset about being left out.  

If you’re thinking, maybe they didn’t want you at their get-together, that’s a good point, and not one I ever want to know the true answer. Yup, these kinds of “friends” are not good for my self-esteem. No matter the reason, I felt overlooked and undervalued, despite the countless occasions I’ve flown or driven to be with them for a mittful of events: reunions, birthday parties, new babies, and anniversary parties. Invite me and I’m there. 

Call me clueless. 

Not long after creating my page, my opinion of Facebook changed. I went from surprise to shock: I learned too much about friends and was disappointed by their posts and reels.  

For instance, one friend spent years attacking President Trump, calling him every nasty name in the book, “Orange Man” being the kindest. All this from a person who – before Facebook – never shared a political opinion with me in our many-decade friendship or spent a day in the US. Love or hate “the Donald,” my friend’s posts were never about his policies, only mean and juvenile comments about his appearance. I could have lived my entire life not knowing these nuggets about my friend. Life BF – before Facebook – was a more contented existence.  

Hacking leads to sacking. 

No matter what recommended Facebook actions I took to protect myself, my account was hacked. Luckily Facebook alerted me, letting me know that a bad actor had attached a strange email address. Good thing I was able to make a fix quickly and unlock my account. But how did nefarious people wriggle in? I might have lost my account.

Shannon Kernaghan Unfollow-screen-lock-400-300x300 Unfollow, Unfollow, Unfollow Humor

Wait another minute. Lose my account? Do I even care? That’s the moment I decided to untether and by the end of day, I’d parted ways with this un-friendly platform. 

Now that I’ve deleted my Facebook account, I won’t feel hurt about being left out because I won’t know what I’m missing.  

And I won’t be disappointed by the opinions and rants people shout from their podiums. Again, I won’t know. When it comes to relationships – especially the ones you can’t avoid – ignorance is bliss.  

As for the handful of lovely friends who were loyal and supportive when I posted news, I thank you and I’ll see you around.  

Somehow my relationships flourished before Facebook landed on my laptop and phone. I believe the good friends will continue to be there for me AF – after Facebook. Between my phone number, email, website and other socials, they can find me. I’ve dropped enough crumbs through the years.

Shannon Kernaghan Unfollow-telephone-400-300x300 Unfollow, Unfollow, Unfollow Humor

Now let’s see how many try. I’ll welcome them, at least most of them. 

2 Replies to “Unfollow, Unfollow, Unfollow”

  1. Oh Shannon – I am so with you on this – all the reasons you outline for leaving Fakebook (not a typo) are the very reasons I never wanted or had an account! I’m glad you extracted yourself from all the unpleasantries it brought – good on ya!

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