Long before I hit my 20 unfollowers mark, my first batch of unfollowers sprung about at a rather low point for me, when I was visited by some sort of flesh-expanding disease, as detailed below.
My juiced-up, Benadryl-warped brain thought it would be funny if I documented this. My followers, on the other hand, did not. Which brings me to my first point…
1. Post disturbing photos
Here’s your first lesson in getting unfollowed: the more you resemble Jocelyn Wildenstein (aka “Cat Woman”) in photos, the better. For reference:
It seems followers are rather disquieted at the site of decomposing flesh. I’m going to take this one step further and assume roadkill falls under this category too, as do botched surgery photos.
2. Hone your bio
Unfollowers are looking for a fundamentally disparate bio. A bio that, at its core, just doesn’t add up. Something flowery, yet bloodcurdling. Something ill-conceived. I encourage you to use hyphenated phrases to sum up your character like “latté-enthusiast,” “sunshine-follower,” or “truth-seeker.” Something that suggests you’re too ethereal for mere mortals, like “wandering soul.”
Trite identity phrases work well too, such as “little girl, big city.” And if you’re still stumped then I’m going to have to direct you to clichés, which, if pasted into your bio, will ensure at least one unfollower. Aim for a phrase that looks like it was ripped right off of a throw pillow you might find at Anthropologie. Something that will rankle, and propel others into a blind rage.
3. Highlight your good fortune
Hating your job? Unemployed? If there’s one thing you take away from this article let it be this: A prospective unfollower does not care about your woes. What they need is an anomaly. Someone who has made nearly impossibly strides in their career and at such a young age. But, most importantly, someone who is eager to publicize this information too. So if you’re the kind of person who tweets “loving my job” with zero trace of irony, then congratulations. Because your followers’ days are numbered.
4. Unreasonable selfies
Probably the easiest and fastest way to get unfollowed is to go HAM with selfies. I know what you’re thinking: “But Rachel. What about someone like Rihanna? In her Instagram, selfies abound. And she just hit over 10 million followers!” And to this I say, right you are, young sleuth! And one way to guarantee your selfie isn’t mistaken for something disarming is to make sure it’s poorly timed. Post it at a time when there are far more pressing matters. Say, during a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Strive for a selfie that doesn’t merely suggest you’re vain, but that you might also have an actual medical condition called terminal egomania.
5. Couples photos
It’s not enough to just know that you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. A good unfollower wants to be reminded of it every couple of hours. They’re looking for someone who makes it virtually impossible to not know that they’re dating someone. So go ahead and chronicle your relationship, along with every banal moment. Did you guys do something fun and silly this weekend, like eat lobster while wearing bibs? Share it! How about some sick graffiti—did you guys happen upon some and take photos in front of it? Bring it on! Or a street fair—something tells me you two rascals shared some fried dough and are thinking of posting the proof…Yes please!
6. Sepia tone your life
Another thing that earns followers, I’ve learned, is a deep predilection for sepia toned images. Let it be known: a sporadic beach or landscape photo with a sepia filter does not an unfollower make. I’m talking about when damn-near all your poorly-lit photos look like they were taken in the movie Sahara with Matthew McConaughey. You need to have a natural pallor and, in the dead of winter, post photos where your skin is equal in tone and shine to Mario Lopez’s right butt-cheek.
7. Hashtag the shit out of everything
Unfollowers like budding and thirsty model/actresses who use hashtags to expand their career. What I’ve learned from these curious cretins: Hashtag everything from your chosen pose (#HandOnHip) and random aesthetic details (#SidePart #MisMatchedSocks #ConcealerOnNoseZit), to the most mundane things you can pick out in the photo (#CounterTop #TupperwareLid), issues that aren’t even visible (#YouWouldntKnowThisByLookingAtThisPhotoButIHaveAMassiveBush), and things that are more thoughts than tangible observations (#INeedALipWax). Then hashtag those hashtags and, when you’re done, you can hashtag that.
8. Sunset pictures
An unfollower is in search of anything that seems redundant or trite. Which is why they gravitate toward sunset photos—sunsets being something that happen every day and all. It never hurts to slap on a caption like “skies like this make me feel so lucky to live here.” But, throw in a #NoFilter and—if luck is on your side—you may just get reported.
9. Weather pictures
Perhaps you think this is no different from point #8. To which I say: It’s time you think outside of the box and learn to differentiate the two if you want to get those unfollows. As always, a dose of ignorance never hurts. Particularly to the fact that most of your followers live in close vicinity to you and are therefore privy to current weather conditions. Here, a maddeningly joyful comment to accompany the photo is of paramount importance—even more so here than in your sunset photo. Some examples: If sunny—“Fun in the sun!” If gray skies—“Storm’s-a-brewin!”
10. Excessive international photos
It would appear that the clincher here is the quantity of photos, which, in effect, imply that you believe your followers are no smarter than a 4-year-old. Because after the 8th photo of you drinking a cappuccino on an obscure, European cliff it is abundantly clear to anyone—including my unborn child—that you travel. To add more photos on top of that would seem to suggest that you don’t think your followers quite grasp the amount that you travel, when in fact, they do. Ergo unfollow.
11. If your face is a douche, post it
You know who you are.
Ah, the reappropriation of grams, à la #latergram. Personally, I don’t think this should be limited to grams. I think you should be able to steal anything that’s technically someone else’s property and then call it yours by smacking a “later” in front of it. Like, I don’t know, #laterBirkinBag or #LaterCashFromBank. Not only will you get unfollowed, but you might also get imprisoned.
13. Take physically strenuous pictures that you think look effortless
I’m talking about the photo that just coincidentally caught you as you were hanging off your bed, with the light from the window hitting your face at just the right angle so as to cover up your herpes, your eyes staring off into the ether, and all while balancing a cat on your right toe.