We've all observed the way Instagram unfollows can signify breakups or coded messages among celebrities (we're looking at you, Angie and Carlin), but the mind games of social media can impact us mere mortals too.
Although it might seem frivolous, being unfollowed can feel like a kind of 'social shade', which can affect our self-esteem, and sometimes even manifest anxiety. Why did she unfollow me? What did I – or my feed – do wrong?
Here, five women share their experiences of being unfollowed on Instagram by someone close to them, and how it impacted them.
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Maggie was unfollowed by her 'friend with benefits' when he found a girlfriend.
"I had been having a casual relationship with *Todd for over a year. Then one day another woman appeared on his Instagram page and the next day I was unfollowed, just like that.
It was very quick. Although our relationship was based around sex, we were still friends. We knew each other pretty well after a year of this arrangement and had said if we ever met anyone that we would let the other know. Clearly this didn’t happen though because the woman in Todd’s feed became his girlfriend.