What, if anything, would it take for you to unfollow another blogger? This wasn’t something I gave any thought to when I first started blogging, but now that I’ve been doing this for a while, I’ve settled on a few things that would typically lead me to unfollow someone. It’s part of managing my own blogging experience, and kind of goes along with my policy of deleting comments that I don’t want on my blog. I can’t control what other people do, and I have no desire to do so, but I can control my own blogging experience.
One of the biggest issues for me is mental illness stigma. I don’t want to read blogs that, at least from my perspective, promote stigma. Examples would be medication-bashing and attempts to link violence to mental illness. I wouldn’t generally be inclined to leave a comment on the other person’s blog, because it’s up to them if they want to have that kind of content – they’re free to do so. I just choose not to read it.
I also don’t want to read blogs that promote victim-blaming, especially when it comes to sexual assault. I unfollowed a blog once because the blogger claimed that young women going braless would be more likely to be sexually assaulted because men wouldn’t be able to restrain themselves. That pissed me off enough that I called the blogger out in their comments, but that’s not something I would normally do.
I’m not particularly flexible (or flexible at all, really) when it comes to tolerating obnoxious comments on my blog. If it’s really offensive, I’ll blacklist and unfollow immediately. With more moderately inappropriate comments, I might take a three strikes and you’re out approach before blacklist and unfollowing.
I will sometimes unfollow ultra high-frequency posters. I do all my blog reading via the WP Reader, and if it gets to the point where it feels like someone has hijacked my Reader feed, it starts to get spammy and annoying. Does that mean people shouldn’t post as often as they want? Of course not. And some bloggers I follow post frequently, but not in a spammy pattern, and I’m fine with that. But if it’s getting to the point where ultra high-frequency posting is irritating me, that’s really not helpful for anyone.
Not a good fit
Another reason I occasionally unfollow blogs is if their content just doesn’t fit with what I’m looking for, and I never end up reading their posts. Again, it’s my desire to have a streamlined Reader feed. A cluttered feed does not go well with my scrambled mind.
If all of this sounds curmudgeonly, well, that’s because I am a bit of a curmudgeon. I spend a lot of time in the blogosphere, and if there are ways to make my experience easier and more satisfying, I’m in.
Are you a grumpy old coot like me or do you take a more laid back approach to the issue of unfollowing?