Earlier this month, Miley Cyrus yet again made national news when she “unfollowed” her ex-fiancé, Liam Hemsworth on Twitter. Older generations, like our parents seemed to wonder why this would make national news. Our generation on the other hand, thought “oh no she didn’t”. Being unfollowed is a new social networking tactic our generation can use to be mean.
Social networking allows you to let people into your life by “friending” or “following.” Many of us admit we don’t know all our friends personally that we friend or follow on social media. Yet in a weird way it creates some sort of connection that many of us attribute to friendship or acceptance.
Being able to see into someone else’s life via Facebook or Twitter you sense to feel some sort of connection to them. With a significant other especially, you may follow them on Twitter where you might mention (@), retweet, or favorite their tweets. All these actions of “liking” or acknowledging has been studied by psychologist and viewed as “virtual empathy”. You also attribute positive feelings towards this person as well.
So what happens when you are unfollowed? Or deleted? Are you offended? Many of us would have to say yes. Especially after a break up, you might already not be on speaking terms and then one day to find yourself unfollowed, pretty much seals the deal that everything is OVER. Also to think, that this person still follows celebrities and companies makes you realize that you are no longer that significant. Crazy thing is this person probably knows what kind of message they are sending when they unfollow or delete you too.
As social networking continues to evolve, we are going to experience more passive aggressive ways to create drama on the internet. All of this seems really immature, yet its still affecting our generation.
Remember Myspace Top 8? And the drama it started?