Why I Booted a Social Media Follower
I’ve hit a milestone in my writing career: I just blocked one of my social media followers.
My mom is going to be so proud!
I’ve been writing professionally — that is, full-time — for only three months, and already I’ve kicked someone off my feed.
He was an Instagram follower. One of my first followers, actually. He commented often. Nothing too horrible, just kind of…icky.
A photo of a mug with tea in it brought the comment, “Good morning, lovely,” followed by a string of smiling heart-eye emojis.
A post about my parenting article, with a photo of a woman holding a child, received the comment, “Hi pretty mommy.”
Today, under an image of a small room full of books, he wrote:
“Yeah,” I responded. “For me and my husband.”
And then I kicked him off my followers’ list.
Do I Need Thicker Skin?
Were his comments threatening? No.
Vulgar? No, not yet.
Creepy AF? Yeah.
I mean, I’m a writer. My Instagram author page is alllll about books and reading and writing. You can’t get more nerdy than my Insta feed.
Take a look for yourself:
Now tell me, do you look at this and think, “Awwww, yeah. This woman wants some lovin’!”
No. You don’t. (And if you do…the hell is wrong with you?)
Point is, I realize he wasn’t threatening me. I’ve read horrific comments left in the feeds of my favorite authors, but the difference is: they have tens of thousands of followers. I don’t. (Yet.) I currently have just over 100 Instagram followers, and a few hundred on Facebook and Twitter.
And that’s why this one guy irked me so much: his comments were sometimes the only ones I saw. If some weirdo makes bizarre statements on J.K. Rowling’s feed, they’re not going to register. Their words will be lost in the noise. I have so few followers that any remark I receive jumps out at me.
I got tired of logging on, hoping to get some feedback on my writing, and instead finding weird flirts from some dude I don’t know.
Maybe I overreacted by kicking him off. Maybe I need thicker skin, or a better ability to shrug off the oddballs. But it felt good to shut this one person out, and know I can, at least for now, log into my account and not be hit on.
Don’t Be That Guy
If an artist’s social feed is all about their work, then comment on the work. If you love it, let them know. If you hate it, share some constructive criticism. Or, better yet, don’t follow them.
But don’t go onto a writer’s page and comment on their looks. There are millions, if not billions, of social media “influencers” out there, desperate for you to hit on them. They want your heart-eye emojis. They need your flames and would give anything for you to call them “baby.”