The Case of The Followback

What’s broken with Instagram? Just because I liked a picture of yours, commented under a post or sent you a direct message does not mean that I will follow you. Even if you follow me.

I know that this sparks outrage in some people. Why should I follow someone who does not follow me back? That’s not cool.

Let me tell you this: I follow people who post things that I actually enjoy looking at. Which inspire my day. Give me creative ideas. But that also means that I sometimes unfollow friends who post boring pictures. That might be rude. I don’t really care anymore.

If everybody on Instagram would follow back everybody? Where would that lead? For one. It would only work up to 7.500 followers since you can’t follow more people at that point. What then? Unfollow some who already followed you back and then follow some new people? Well, that’s not for me.

But more than that. How do you stay on top of things if you are following 500 people? Let alone 3.000? I can’t even keep up with 180 and see all their posts! So if I follow more and more people, that would also become worth less and less. Since I could not interact with the accounts as well. And that means low engagement. Not good!

I see the point in following back. It’s about growing together. It’s sharing a path. But it doesn’t work. And I don’t understand why some are so outraged that they even send DMs to tell me that I am not following back1. Most likely I already know that I am not. And most likely I just don’t want to.

Sorry, I am using Instagram differently.

  1. And then we are not even talking about people who are asking me to promote their account. Them having 200 followers while following 2.000 accounts and 3 posts on their profile? Who would promote something like that? ↩︎