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Has social media become selfish?

I've been sat on this post for a while now and I think it's time I let it out!

When I first started using social media, in terms of Twitter and Instagram at least, for me it was all about following people whose posts I wanted to see and whose content I was genuinely interested in. In the days of my personal Twitter (which I do still have but tend to forget to use) I never really imagined that people who didn't know me might want to follow me. When I started my Twitter account for my blog of course I wanted to gain followers, that was kind of the point of it, but following other bloggers and seeing what they post also plays a big part for me.

The reason for this post is because recently I've been thinking about how social media appears to be becoming more and more selfish and this stems from the whole following and unfollowing culture that appears to be common place now. Originally I think this was most prevalent on Twitter, but it now appears to affect the majority of platforms, including Bloglovin. To be honest it drives me mad. I used to worry that my content is rubbish, or I must be really annoying, or I've done something to upset people, but now I do realise that in the majority of cases that isn't the case at all. The only reason they've unfollowed me is because I've not followed them back.

I'm currently working really hard on my Instagram and have been doing so since towards the beginning of this year. I'm really pleased that I've grown well so far this year. I'm far from gaining thousands of followers but what I gained across the whole year last year I have been gaining in about 5/6 weeks. I'm now approaching 900 followers, but if it wasn't for the daily unfollowers I have no doubt I would probably be approaching more like 1500 by now. On a good day I might only lose two followers, but in general it's around 5 or 7 followers, with the record being I think 11. I personally think that is crazy! It's natural to lose a few followers here and there, but losing that amount daily is not down to me having a rubbish account.

I use Crowdfire to see who's unfollowed me, I know some people don't want to know but I find it quite interesting, and as a very rough estimate I'd say at least 95% of the people who unfollow me I haven't followed back and about 75% of the people who follow me will unfollow again. It's now got to the point where I'm pretty good at predicting the accounts that will be unfollowing within a few days, sometimes even within the same day. 

The reason I think following/unfollowing is selfish is because all some people (definitely not everybody) seem to be bothered about is trying to get as many people as possible to follow them. They are basically just using that person (or technically their account) for their own gain and if you don't play ball and follow back, they unfollow. I follow somebody because I want to; if they then follow me back that's great, but if they don't follow back that doesn't matter, I'll only unfollow if I later no longer like the content they post. Unfollowing somebody because they haven't followed you back is just selfish. They're obviously not interested in what the person is posting and have only followed them to try and draw attention to their own account. If somebody only does it to me once then I'll probably just ignore them, but if they do it multiple times then I will now just block them. I'm not going to sit back and let them walk all over me, watching my follower number bounce up and down while they follow and unfollow. Yes you have got my attention, but certainly not in a good way.

What really astounds me is that when I was trying to work out how to use Crowdfire I actually discovered the idea is to mass follow and unfollow people to try and increase your own follower numbers. I've also found several articles online advising you to use this method to increase your following and I find that really disappointing, especially when brands adopt it as a tactic. Several smaller brands have damaged my perception of them because I'm aware they've followed and unfollowed me. I know brands want to grow and make a profit, but I personally don't think that trampling all over possible future customers is the way to do it. 

I'd love to know what your thought's are on this? Am I being over-sensitive or do you agree that social media might have become a bit selfish? I'd also love to hear your thoughts if you do use this method to try and gain followers.

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  1. Interesting read! It really bugs me when people follow just to unfollow, I used to think I was annoying too! But then I realised its how people slowly grow a following haha xx

    1. It is really annoying and not fair to the people you're following/unfollowing. I know it's only social media but it can have quite an effect on some peoples confidence x


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