Hate following is something we’re all guilty of and is something we can quite easily fall into without even realising.
Hate following is when you follow someone online (via Instagram, a website, Facebook, Twitter or a blog) and you can’t bring yourself to unfollow them, even though they make you angry, upset or frustrated – bringing out emotions within you unnecessarily. You’ve probably convinced yourself that you’re following this person for networking or because they’re still important to you when in actual fact, they make you feel miserable.
We often don’t realise that we’re hate following. Exes, friends who have drifted away or upset us previously, colleagues we don’t like or even online influencers who frustrate us. We try to justify this follow as being necessary or interesting to us but it’s essential to spot whether the people you follow online are right for you (or not in this case).
How To Spot If You’re Hate Following Someone
Often, hate-follows are harmless, but they can infiltrate your mind without you realising and leave you feeling less motivated to work and be yourself. You need to take control of who you’re following, just like we do in-real-life. You wouldn’t approach someone you didn’t like in the supermarket, you would just ignore them – so it’s time for you to do the same online too.
Each time you wake up and start aimlessly scrolling through your phone, you don’t know what you’re going to see on the internet – it can be a dark and cynical place at times. However, we continue to scroll because we’re naturally intrigued. If you’re continuously seeing content that makes you feel negative, you’re hate following – simple. It’s time for you to have a clear-out.
What can I do to start looking after my mental health online?
Unfollow. I recently had a massive clear-out across all of my social media, and I felt so relieved afterwards. I said goodbye to all of those people from school who I thought I needed to follow for the sake of it, I deleted ‘friends’ who had upset me previously (even though it was hard) and I deleted lots of online moaners who filled my feed with negativity.
Now, it’s amazing – I can actually see the content I want to see, and you should do the same to make your online world a better place too. We all know who we are following and why. Our feeds are often made up of friends, bloggers, YouTubers, news channels and unfortunately, those who make us feel negative, and it’s time for that to change.
You’re in control!
Are you wasting your time online? If anyone you’re following doesn’t inspire you or isn’t on the same page as your personal values, get rid! It’s time to consider how you feel after scrolling through your social media feeds – is there an account which makes you feel negative? Why not unfollow them and see if you start to feel more positive without them in your life. If you’re hate-following someone, you’ll find yourself looking up their profile online if you’re feeling angry about something, without even realising it and that’s not good! We’ve all seen a ‘friend’ or ex online who annoys us, yet, we’re still scrolling through their Instagram profile. If you would go out of your way to avoid them in real life, it’s a hate follow, and you can easily become obsessed with seeing what they’re up to.
Broaden your horizons, discover new people and content
Why not see if you can discover any new positive people or influencers online? The ‘discover’ tab on Instagram is a great way to connect with content that has been tailored for you based on your previous activity. Why not follow a range of news outlets, even those which might not reflect your views, it’s great for a balanced outlook on various subjects? Be careful too, algorithms might try to hide your favourite content so turn on post notifications for your favourite people. You could even join an online networking site like Bumble to meet new connections in real life through fun events and dinners – then, connect with them online and maintain those new friendships.
Your Real-life Relationships Are So Important
Sometimes you just need a digital detox. Your real-life relationships are so meaningful, if you find yourself scrolling through social media regularly, why not use that time to reach out to a friend who you’ve not seen in a while and go for a coffee, ya know, in person!
Use your time wisely, see what’s happening in your area and go to local events. You could also start a WhatsApp or Facebook group with a group of friends and get planning lots of lovely things. We sometimes forget that just because we’re connected with our friends online, interacting with their content and leaving a comment now and again isn’t the same as maintaining a real-life connection with them – don’t forget that!
-Bloom From The Darkness
Harvey Morton is a digital marketer running his own business in the UK. Recently named as Britain’s Young Freelancer of the Year by IPSE Harvey also completes a variety of charity work with Youth Employment UK, The Diana Award and The Prince’s Trust.
Twitter: @HarveyMortonIT – Instagram: @HarveyMorton15