This simple yet crushing act can bruise your ego and leave you feeling hurt, angry, and even anxious. It’s completely valid to experience these negative feelings, but there are some ways to cope with social media anxiety when someone taps “unfollow” on your profile.
Realize that followers don’t define your worth: The first step to coping with feelings of hurt is to realize that you are worth more than your follower count. When you’ve been unfollowed, it may feel like you’re not accepted on a platform that treats followers and likes as social currencies. Your value as a person doesn’t diminish because someone hits the “unfollow” button on your profile.
Don’t feel pressure to change yourself or your content in order to maintain followers. It’s important to express your true self and focus on your own happiness as you’re scrolling through your social media feeds.
Don’t take it personally: Being unfollowed is totally normal—it’s something that’s probably happened to every social media user at some point in time. However, when you lose a follower, it’s easy to question your self-worth and wonder: “Am I too boring or unlikable?” However, there are many other explanations behind why someone unfollows you. For example, they may have simply been clearing up their following list to improve their own mental health.
Being unfollowed by someone you know in real life can especially feel like a punch in the gut. But, if someone in your personal life chooses to unfollow you, remember that they are the ones missing out on all the special life moments you share on your profile.
Don’t obsess over it: You might find yourself constantly checking your follower count each time you open your go-to social media app. However, this can really take a toll on your mental health and heighten any feelings of anxiety or rejection.
Instead, if you notice a dip in followers, brush it off and direct your on-screen energy to indulging in content that leaves you feeling fulfilled and refreshed. It may also be useful to delete any third-party apps that track unfollowers.
Take a “Digital Detox”: If you feel stressed after losing followers, it might be best to toss your phone in your backpack and take a break from social media. Turn to a productive, non-digital activity you enjoy like reading a book, decorating your backpack with patches, or connecting with nature by hiking or walking. This could even be an opportunity to branch out and find new hobbies.
Social media breaks don’t have to be incredibly long—just a few days away from the digital world can cure the social media anxiety that may arise when you notice a dent in your follower count.
Because social media is so ingrained in today’s culture, being “unfollowed”—especially by people you know—might feel devastating at first. Worrying about followers can be emotionally and mentally draining, especially since social media is supposed to be a fun way to stay connected with others.
However, remember that followers and likes are insignificant in the long run. As long as you are staying true to yourself on social media and engaging in the content you enjoy, that’s what truly matters.