Is not following someone on Instagram considered a Personal Insult?

By | September 26, 2012

Is not following someone on Instagram -or any social media application- considered as a personal insult? Should we read too much into it?

I’m not really sure how to answer the above question for I myself have conflicting feelings towards it. Do we expect people to follow us in the virtual world if they knew us in the real world? Well, in an ideal case they should. But what if they don’t? What does that entail exactly?

What about ones that follow us say, on Twitter? Then when you open up your instagram account, and they follow suit, you see that they’ve followed everyone else and made the choice, deliberatly, not to follow you when they imported their facebook/twitter contacts. What does that say exactly? Will your feelings be hurt to a certain degree? Or at all? Should your feelings be hurt?

Who do we really follow? Friends, family, and people of interest to us. A business we like for updates or an instagrammers with amazing pictures. Do we have to follow the cousin who posts about nothing but their shoes? Or that aunt who posts nothing but pictures of cats making cute faces every five minutes?

Sometimes you have to give people the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they truly didn’t know you were there, or they missed you somehow. Should you go and follow them? If you subtly remind them you are there with your own follow, likes, and comments on their picture and they still won’t follow you, should you corner them in real life and demand they explain themselves and follow you?

What is worse and more insulting, not following someone at all from the start which insinuates that they are not of any interest to you before giving them a chance, or those people you know who do follow you only to unfollow you after a couple of days. What does that say?

The funniest thing is when people do fight in real life. You know the fight is serious when the person unfollows AND blocks you on instagram.  Is that really necessary? What happens if you make up later on? Do you unblock and refollow each other? Is it childish? In some cases it is but we can also take it as a proof that people do consider following others in social media as an extension of their relationship with you and therefore would be insulted if you do not follow/like/comment etc.

What do you think? Is not following a person you know on Instagram or other social media applications a personal insult? Should we read too much into it? Does it mean anything really?


25 Responses to “Is not following someone on Instagram considered a Personal Insult?”

  1. essa k alessa says:

    ما يشوفون شر
    من كثر ما الناس فاظيه اتدور أي شيء يزعلون عليه

    • danderma says:

      أي انا اشوف هوشات و زعل على هالسالفة… زعل و قطيعة بعد بس هل صج ما يسوى؟ و لا في ناس تقصد تعاند ناس بهالطريقة؟

  2. That happened to me before,I asked my friend if she has Instagram and she told me her username and I told her mine back though she didn’t ask for it,I followed her a week ago and she still doesn’t follow me,she’s active and posts a lot of picture but to be honest,I didn’t get upset at all and didn’t stop talking to her,I still say Hi to her when I meet her at University,it’s not really a big deal. I’m cool with it.

    • danderma says:

      But don’t you wonder why didn’t she follow you back? Or do you feel like you were imposing when you asked for her instagram account and she is sending you a message that you are not welcome by not following you back?

  3. Shahou88 says:

    =/ I dont really see it that way

    but I follow you cause your an amazing photographer mashalaah
    love how to take the pictures with your perfect angles and lights ^_^

  4. Shayma says:

    Haha eee wallah so true…. Actually I have a lot of people on my Facebook because of work relationship I don’t want to upset them that I have stopped posting things on my Facebook

    • danderma says:

      I stopped using my personal Facebook a long time ago ago. Its just there gathering dust. I know how sometimes personal clashes with public and it gets out of hand :)

  5. Fz says:

    Twitter, facebook, instagram are all bullsh*t. Get real people!

    • danderma says:

      But some others think of them as, say, an extension of their mobile numbers for example?

  6. OwlOlive says:

    Ahh, the social dynamics of social media. Its interesting but there’s something kind of ridiculous about it.

    Personally, I never really got into Twitter or Instagram before I created accounts for the blog. To me, it always just seemed like more of a ‘look at me!’ show than a medium through which to try and directly get in contact with people. Its great for people who would like to expand and personally connect with clients, readers, professional peers, companies, and what have you. Because in order to make these kinds of connections, you kind of need the ‘look at me!’ aspect of social media.

    But in personal relationships it becomes a big narcissistic game of ‘ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME? WHY AREN’T YOU LOOKING AT ME?!’ Basically, people use the amount of likes and follows to gauge whether or not their friends and family approve of them. If you like my pictures and follow me then you approve of me. If you don’t like and follow then you must think I’m not worthy of your approval.

    I think this is a vicious cycle and is actually based on a hallucinatory level of narcissism so I try to stay away from it as much as I can in my own personal life. That way I can share whatever I like on my blog’s social platforms and follow whomever I please without having to worry about all the social drama mumbo-jumbo.

    And, also, I’m sorry this is so crazy long!

  7. Cara says:

    I get upset if it’s someone I know personally… other than that I don’t mind if they ignore me. One of my friends has a private account, and she let me follow her, but didn’t follow me back. I tried unfollowing and refollowing her and the same thing happened. She’s been posting pictures so I know that she’s ignoring me on purpose, and it kind of hurts my feelings. I’m too afraid to bring it up in conversation though, It would just make me feel a lot better if she would. So I say, follow back, you might make someone’s day better.

    • danderma says:

      I’d say you unfollow her once and for all and totally ignore her when she speaks about instagram. She obviously doesn’t want to follow you on the social media platform for whatever reason she have but then if you bring it up in real life she’ll somehow manage to twist this around so you’d turn out the “childish and selfish and self-centred one!” therefore its better left undiscussed unless she herself brings the issue up. People are weird!

      • Cara says:

        I just took you advice and unfollowed a lot of people who did this… I guess it’s dumb that I care so much about this sort of thing but it felt so good to do it.

        • danderma says:

          Some might think it is a bit silly but there is indeed a question mark behind people you know in real life who refuse to connect with you in the social media world! It does feel good afterwards!

  8. BlockedMe says:

    I believe the ultimate FU is blocking you, especially if you considered the person a friend from your point of view. You never truly know how others view you or act towards you, but that action should be taken personally.

    • danderma says:

      I believe its true. Blocking someone roughly translates to “you are not welcome in my life anymore”. I personally block strangers who leave rude comments. As for ex-friends, I block them only if they unfollow me first and they make it clear the friendship is over from their part, what’s more left to say or do besides a block to show my agreement?

  9. Jess says:

    Thank you for this post.

    I’ve unfollowed a lot of people recently who have unfollowed me or didn’t follow me back. They are people I know too, so it’s not like they don’t know me or just didn’t see me. I’m sorry if it makes me sound dumb, but I really don’t like it. I’m not excruciatingly upset over it, just more of a “you don’t care, then I don’t care” sort of vibe about it.

    • danderma says:

      I know it sounds a bit, juvenile, but somehow it bugs you when others you know in real life follow everyone else you both know except you. Why? God knows, but since your social media life is an extension of your real social life it makes you think if that person is somehow not completely happy with you being in their actual life in the first place. Whatever their reasons, they should understand where you are coming from when you refuse to “follow” them as well…

  10. Callie says:

    can i just say, it made me feel so much better to read this! it seemed like i was being immature and over sensitive but it does feel like a personal jab when you follow a friend, like their photos, and leave comments — to which they reply — but they refuse to follow back! maybe it just makes them feel better to have more followers than people they follow? whatever. if they are immature enough to feel that way, then i am immature enough to unfollow.

    • danderma says:

      I think in your case their replies are out of politeness. Its just weird the way people behave.

  11. michelle says:

    I, too, feel the same. Except in my case it’s my manager. We were talking about social media while at work and they mentioned Instagram, asked my screen name – insinuating that they’d follow me back. They haven’t. And they are doing the same thing as the other posters have mentioned: posting a pic, liking/commenting. What do I do? Ignore it? Or wait and see if they are slow to respond to adding followers? This isn’t just an acquaintance, this is a work supervisor and it puts me in a weird situation.

    • danderma says:

      I’m not sure exactly but I’d say be careful. For a work supervisor to ask your social media account and not add you it means they might very well be keeping an eye on you from a distance. Or perhaps they just wanted to insinuate that they know your social media accounts so be on your best behaviour or something.

  12. Michelle says:

    There isn’t anything they can get me on (I don’t post often and when I do it doesn’t say anything negative/weird about me.) It’s been nearly a week and they haven’t followed me back so I unfollowed them. I guess they don’t really care so neither do I! It bothers me that we put so much emphasis on this kind of immature crap. Social media is a huge headache.

    • danderma says:

      True, it feels immature but is it really? It shouldn’t be that complicated but it does raise question marks when you see someone you know happy and bouncing from one account to another liking and commenting and then wouldn’t even bother following yourself. However, we are also entitled to doing whatever makes us happy and if unfollowing or not following someone will reflect in a more positive way into our own actual lives, then so be it!