June 7, 2016

The Power of the Unfollow (EXCLUDING UNFOLLOWING THE HEN!)

Sorry not sorry.
What happened to all the days between May 4 and today? It's too astonishing to address or consider, so I won't.

Instead, I write here today to urge all of you in my coop to take action in your social media lives and to teach something I've learned recently. I will not be teaching you middle school science, figure skating, or kindergarten phonics; I'm here to teach you the power of the "unfollow." You may have also just learned proper semicolon usage (see previous sentence).

First and most importantly, this unfollow lesson DOES NOT APPLY TO THE CACKLING HEN. DO NOT EVER UNFOLLOW THE CACKLING HEN. That would be a horrible life choice and you will cry when this bird takes off for entertainment domination and you're out of the coop.

As I troll the Internet for self help, I see countless articles that profess a key to happiness is removing negativity from one's life: that toxic relationship, the job you hate, and mom's meatloaf. This was all easy for me to achieve: I avoid relationships, I'm not qualified for jobs I apply for, and I keep hot dogs on standby. But after one too many eye rolls and groans at my Facebook newsfeed, I realized I'd had enough of this stream of updates pissing me off. These people are supposed to be my friends, after all, so why I do I leave my 6 hours of newsfeed time irritable? There had to be a better way!

My first unfollow was years ago in a moment of empowerment and despair. One of my "friends" was just soiling my feed with perfect couple photos and high-paying job success. When the wedding and job promotion came, that was enough. I'm a single, part-time drunk and I don't even really like this person! Doesn't the Facebook algorithm understand? In this complicated social media world, defriending would be too dramatic. I don't dislike this person, I just don't need this acquaintance's life in my face. So instead of going down that slippery slope of "why am I not the married and successful one?" each night, I just clicked "unfollow." Poof! Gone! I hope he/she has a nice life, but we truly aren't in each other's lives anymore. Once that was off of my feed, I remembered that I really didn't want to be married and that I enjoyed being a partially successful, part-time drunk. He/she probably also had to unfollow me.

I then had a few good social media years, posting pictures of travel and hiding any evidence of 3-show days or having a meltdown at breakfast in a French hotel. But now that my life has temporarily slowed down a bit, I found that Facebook feed irritation creeping back my life. I mostly blame Donald Trump news, but some of my "friends" were also getting under my skin. I use Facebook to keep in touch with friends, share bits of my life, and leave obnoxious comments on photos. But those acquaintances on the periphery are wild cards. Again, I realized that if someone is annoying, I don't have to see it. I'm in control! So I've taken more control.

Trump supporters: BYE.

Ranting friends: VANISHED. Talk to me when you calm down. I'm doing everything I can to avoid my own rants.

Babies of people I don't talk to in real life: NIGHT NIGHT.

Every day is the best.day.EVER. friends: NOPE.

Friends who only post in foreign languages that aren't Spanish: HUH?

Trump supporters: BYE.

I urge you to take control as well! Your Trump supporter friends don't want to see your posts about "feeling the Bern" or "being with her" either, so they'll probably unfollow you too. Let's save our irritations for bad drivers and gas prices.

*Facebook unfollows do not affect real life relationships.*

KEEP READING! "Teaching Science!"
"The Best of Unfinished Archives!"
"Waking Up in Lisbon!"

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