Social Media: Rambling Thoughts About People Who Hate-Follow

It’s not that I’m a martyr to nice, but I don’t hate-follow anyone on social media.  It seems like more work than fun to me, but maybe I don’t know how to do it right.

I know it’s a thing to hate-follow other people.  I keep hearing about it from friends and family, sometimes in the context of harmless mischief, other times mentioned as, what I’d call, peremptory maliciousness.

They tell me who they follow, often a high school nemesis or a work frenemy or a disliked neighbor.

They tell me that doing this makes them feel good about themselves. That by keeping tabs on someone who they dislike, they come to understand themselves better &/or stay ahead of any trouble that might be brewing.

I don’t know if I totally buy into my friends and family’s reasoning behind the hate-following. To me their reasoning sounds more like rationalization about doing something kinda fun + almost amoral, than behavior contributing to a person’s good mental health.

But considering no one expects me to become a hate-follower, and no one seems to have upped his or her dosage of Zanax because of the hate-following, I figure what the heck?

I mean if nothing else, these friends and family do seem to have some fun, juicy stories to share about people– and you know me, I always love a good story, regardless of how someone learns about it.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY:

• Do you hate-follow anyone on social media? If so, how’s that working out for you? Details, please.

• Alternately, do you know anyone who hate-follows on social media? If so, do they have good stories to tell because of it? Or is it warping their brain to the dark side?

• Even more intriguing, do you think anyone is hate-following you? Hmmm?

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

93 thoughts on “Social Media: Rambling Thoughts About People Who Hate-Follow”

  1. It sounds like a dreadful way to spend one’s time. And really that is the crux of it – how do we spend our time? I’m not interesting enough to be hated, so I doubt I have that kind of following. I rarely use Facebook or Twitter, which I think is a positive mental health step.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Michelle, I agree with you– I tend to focus on the positive. I dunno that I have enough extra energy to hate-follow, but then for me it’d be draining. I get the impression that for those people who enjoy doing this, it is empowering. o.O

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        1. Well said. I try to live by the idea that energy flows where attention goes, so for me to be attentive to haters would give them too much power. But I will admit that the stories these friends and family tell are interesting, so I’m not entirely in the moral clear here. ‘Ya know?

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    1. Maggie, I’d not heard of this “phenomenon” until a few people mentioned it to me, so I researched it. It seems to be a thing, but one that for me would be a waste of my time. Too much effort.

      Of course on the flip side, the friends and family who mentioned hate-following do have some good stories to tell. So I’m feeling a little conflicted about my opinion of hate-following. Go figure.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree with it being a waste – of emotional and psychic energy, as well as time. I also see the “train wreck” appeal. But as a steady diet? I imagine that I’d end up feeling sullied by it all.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Me too, Maggie. I’m sure that my friends and family who do this, get something out of it– and they seem to need for me to know that they do it. But for me, all I could think was: WHY?

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never heard it labeled with a name, but I’ve seen it. People even following businesses or public figures just to rile up nonsense over petty disagreements. Or people following someone just to gawk at their supposed inability to adult properly. And I’m over here dodging drama like Neo lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lowcountry Hippie, I’d not heard this term either, but then two very different people mentioned it to me, so I got curious. I hadn’t thought of it in the context of bothering a business/public figure, but I’m sure you’re right about that. Haters gotta hate.

      Is there room in your corner for another drama-avoidant person? I promise to not hate-follow you. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. In a nutshell, I suppose I want to say, “Get a life!” I mean what really is the point of exerting so much energy and time monitoring someone you really have no interest in being friends with. When I was active on FB I had some folk who sent me friend requests and out of pure guilt regarding the idea that I didn’t want to be labeled as “unfriendly” I accepted them. Not anyone who I normally would have considered to be a friend, but that FB guilt can be a strong thing. I kept them in my list for some time, but their views/comments/posts just got to be irritating showing up here and there…nothing in common at all and many that I really truly did not like as people. I tossed all of them and was happy not to see their stuff anymore so I don’t get the drama involved in following someone out of what–spite, for gossip, to dig up dirt…??

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Deb, your common sense reply “Get a life!” is perfect. Made me laugh on that one. I left FB years ago, long before everyone and his or her brother joined it– so I didn’t run into the problems you’re talking about. I get where you’re coming from about why be a “friend” with someone who you can’t stand?

      And following that line of reasoning I cannot imagine me hate-following anyone just to keep up with their stuff. But like I said above, I’m not too evolved to not listen to the stories other people tell me that they learned through hate-following. Not sure what that says about me…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think we all love a little gossip and those ‘stories’ that are shared. I just want to let someone else have the headaches of digging them out 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m too lazy to watch other people from afar on the off-chance that I’ll learn a juicy bit of gossip about them. But hearing about them from someone else… well, that’s a different thing.

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  4. I’ve never heard it called this. I know someone who just calls it Facebook Stalking. She devotes hours and hours to it, poking around other people’s business, digging up dirt, and generally being the New Millennium Gladys Kravitz/busybody of the electronic neighborhood.

    She’ll try talking to me about former highschool classmates or other people I knew, and honestly, I just don’t want to hear about it. I don’t have any interaction with any of them, so…why? (This is a huge reason I do NOT DO FB.) There are no boundaries with her.

    And…I know we’re not all talking about the same person. So…again, see why I am not on FB or any of the other platforms? Yuck. It’s like junior high and cliques and people needing to get lives all over again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nance, I’m not on FB either. It’s not my cup of tea to keep in touch with people from way back when who I only knew because of genetics or geography. If a relationship from the past has survived without FB, then I’m all in today. But otherwise, why rig the system?

      I agree with you that there’s a whole lot of no boundaries/Gladys Kravitz about hate-following– which may or may not be the same thing as stalking, a term I’ve also heard. Truly I don’t know the distinction between the two and I don’t care enough about it to google it.

      I’m on Twitter which is entirely different than FB. In fact, I only know a couple people in real life who are on Twitter so most of the conversations and exchanges of news are based on personality similarities, not some forced idea of friendship. I think that you’d enjoy Twitter. Much smarter than FB.

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  5. I’m following so many people on social media that I like that it is hard to imagine finding the time to follow those I seriously dislike. The news kind of forces me to follow some prominent individuals in that category, but that’s different. I haven’t noticed any hate-followers and hadn’t been thinking of it as a thing. When I have heard of people being hate-followed, I have thought of them as plagued by trolls, at least when the hate-followers post comments and argue. I don’t seem to have any myself, but then I also don’t tend to engage with other people’s hate-followers unles they ae way out of line.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. bobcabkings, I’d not heard this term, but when I looked it up there it was. The oddest thing to me is that the two people who first mentioned hate-following to me are in real life, seemingly, nice people. But their admission about spending their free time hate-following other people makes me wonder about them.

      I don’t know how having trolls follow you compares to hate-following. Maybe the former are verbal and mean, while the latter are quiet and sneaky? Trolls don’t know you in real life, but hate-followers do?

      I dunno about any of this, truth be told. It all seems so negative to me, that I can’t even… as they say.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The whole notion reminds me of this:

        “Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker’s game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.”

        ― Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Janis, I agree that it seems to me to be a waste of time. I’m too lazy to ever do it, but friends and family openly tell me about what they learn while hate-following other people, so what do I know?

      After thinking about this whole issue, I got wondering if anyone is hate-following me? Don’t know how I’d find out, but I suppose someone might be. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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  6. Nope. Never will. I have more important things to do.

    My use of Twitter has dramatically declined this year because of this issue.

    Good post Ally

    Have a blessed day and week.

    Jim

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    1. Hi Jim, it’s interesting that you’ve encountered hate-following on Twitter. I’ve not, to my knowledge, seen it there. I’m hearing about it in real life.

      I don’t see the appeal of hate-following, but then my approach to life rather precludes worrying about what other people are doing. Being a slacker/free spirit has its advantages. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Amazing. Social media has opened up a whole new way of interacting with people, consequence-free. Like you, I unfollow the haters and move on. Quietly, but with purpose.

          Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m another of your followers who apparently lives under a rock! I had never heard this term before. Like Bobcabkings, the news does hold me hostage to follow some prominent individuals in the ‘deeply detest’ category. Otherwise, hate-following sounds like an incredibly negative use of time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Donna, I’d never heard the term either, until two friends used it. I think there’s a difference between being aware of a disliked public figure and hate-following someone you despise for a personal reason. One is for safety, the other is for gossip. But apparently it’s a thing to do both…

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  8. QUESTIONS OF THE DAY:

    • Do you hate-follow anyone on social media? If so, how’s that working out for you? Details, please. No, I don’t do that. What a waste of time IMHO, but more power to those who have that kind of time to waste. I’m not judging.

    • Alternately, do you know anyone who hate-follows on social media? If so, do they have good stories to tell because of it? Or is it warping their brain to the dark side?
    Nope. Well I might sorta know someone, but it’s covered below.

    • Even more intriguing, do you think anyone is hate-following you? Hmmm?
    The only person(s) who might be doing such a thing (and I have no idea HOW they’d do it frankly) are an ex-lover and his spouse. I call such activity stalking. And I’ve blocked them from my only source of social media – the face place. Of course, now and then he pops back up under some odd pseudonym trying to get me to friend him so he can possibly hate-follow me. Personally I find this behavior pathetic. And my security standards on social media are always uber high. Doesn’t pay to take chances.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Embeecee, I’m with you about how much of a time waste it’d be to follow someone who you don’t like. It’s not my way, but I think that doing this might be more common than we think it is.

      What a fascinating story you have to tell of maybe being hate-followed. I don’t know for sure what the difference is between stalking and hate-following, but I’d guess that stalking is malicious while hate-following is more “mean girls.” Either way, I cannot imagine what I’d do if I discovered what you have about a so-called former “friend.”

      Social media brings out the best and the worst in people, doesn’t it?

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  9. I think Deb summed my thoughts up best with her “Get A Life”! I had not heard of the term but I can’t imagine wasting my energy or my time on such a thing. Come to think of it, I have actually unfriended a couple of people who seem to love nothing better than to spew crap.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lynn, yes, Deb said it best! I only heard the term when a couple of friends casually mentioned to me that they were hate-following someone. It was news to me, both the behavior and the term. I dunno that hate-following is for me, but I am glad that I’m aware of what’s going on, such as it is.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I follow my sister and her new husband and share their Facebook posts with my mom and our other sister who are not on Facebook, but I call that keeping the family in the loop. Just because I sometimes make fun of them doesn’t really mean I’m a hate-follower, does it? No one could hate-follow you, Ally!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Janet, what you’re doing is so NOT hate-following. Your behavior is all on the up-&-up, and with no weird intent behind it. Hate-followers are more sneaky, from what I can tell.

      If someone is hate-following me, I don’t know it– but that’s exactly what a hate-follower does, so…? Be that as it may, I’m not losing any sleep over it!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. GAAAAAH! It never occurred to me that there are people who might be hate-following me!!
    Now I’m going to be wondering ….

    Do I do it? If someone is making me *hate* them, I will simply stop following them. Is this perhaps another one of those odd generational things?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joanne, I’ve had trolls follow me on a blog, but until these conversations with friends and family it never dawned on me that someone who I know might be hate-following me here. Right in front of my face, but not really.

      I wish I could tell you that this is only a younger generation thing, but one of the woman who mentioned doing this is close to 70. The other woman is closer to 50. Both used this term, so they know what they’re doing. 😲

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is a little alarming to think that someone who *likes* me to my face secretly loathes me. As long as they don’t turn into an anonymous troll, I guess I’m ok with it – not thrilled, but ok.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Really? People do this? Why? Although, when I think about it, perhaps my reading news articles about the “follies” of our government on Facebook is not much different. I tell myself I’m just staying informed, but maybe . . .

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    1. Carol, there’s a big difference between staying informed about what’s going on in the country versus hate-following someone you know in real life. The first behavior is being a good citizen, while the second behavior is being a bad friend– or worse.

      I don’t get hate-following either, but there you go, people do what people do.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I assume the people I know who are following President Orange are doing so because they hate him and can troll him. If they aren’t, I’ll need to reevaluate my following list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tara, following 45, regardless of your reasons, is being a good citizen who wants to stay alive for the next 4 years. As for hate-following people who you know in real life, that’s a different motivation entirely. Although checking your followers is never a bad idea, just to see exactly what’s going on with them. 👀

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        1. I gave up on FB years ago, when it became apparent that I had no interest in or patience for re-living middle and high school. I sensed that to my “friends” I meant as little to them now as when we were in school together. So why bother, I concluded.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. Carrie, that’s what I thought when I first heard this term and came to understand what it means. I thought, but I’m behind with all the people who I enjoy, how would I ever find the time to watch the ones who I don’t like? For me that’d be exhausting, but for those people who enjoy hate-following I believe it is invigorating. Go figure.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Ah, yes. This is similar to hate-watching a show. I admit that I did begrudgingly watch the first episode of Riverdale (I had a feeling I was going to dislike it, but I had to see if I actually would), but that was less about watching it to make myself angry and more about me bringing my preconceived notions and expectations to it.

    Hate-watchers watch a show that they know will piss them off, and they watch it just to revel in the anger. I don’t get it. I’d rather spend my time on media (including social media) that makes me happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Akilah, I’ve never heard of hate-watching, but it’s the same behavior concerning TV shows. I’m with you, I don’t get any of this hate stuff, either. But it’s going on out there, and once I heard two [supposedly nice] people talking about doing it, I realized it was a thing. To be aware of.

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        1. It’s going to take more than a semester of psych to figure out the real motivations behind people who hate follow. I don’t have an explanation for this behavior, but I know it’s a thing. That I’m not doing. Ever.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Kate, it’s interesting behavior to hate-follow, isn’t it? I wouldn’t have known about this if people in my real life hadn’t mentioned doing so to me. I admit that they have some fun stories to tell because of it, but from my lazy perspective it sounds like work, frustration– and bad karma. Still, it’s a thing…

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Never heard of it, and it wouldn’t be for me. I do stalk people occasionally on Facebook(due to my relentless curiosity!), but otherwise try to keep it positive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margret, this is something that many people do apparently. I have no interest in following people who I don’t like, but for those who do, there’s a name for it. You say you stalk…? Interesting.

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  16. I didn’t even know such a thing existed, though I’m not surprise. I’m going to have to say no to all your questions with a disclaimer to the last one that I at least hope not! What’s not to love about me?! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Betsy, naturally I love you so it sounds unrealistic to me that anyone would hate-follow you. Or me, for that matter. But it’s a thing that seems to be happening. To others, of course. And now that I know about it, I’m fascinated.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I do not hate follow anyone. I am aware that people do. Either I like you, or I don’t. I feel like sometimes I don’t have time to look at/read the social media of people I like, I certainly don’t have time to stalk people I don’t even care for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joey, that’s my exact attitude, too. But when I discovered that some people who I know do this, and then talk about it openly, I was curious to see if other people do it, too.

      The point that has stuck with me about hate-following is that in the future when someone tells me something about a mutual acquaintance I’m going to wonder how they know this. And am I complicit in their hate-following by listening to them talk about someone else?

      It boggles my mind.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Nah, I don’t think there’s any guilt by association. As with all sources, we may not want to know the methods, but it’s still good gossip. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    1. evilsquirrel13, I know how you feel. I’m on Twitter but I’ve no awareness of any hate-following. I suspect that the desire [need?] to hate-follow transcends communication channels, and is more of a personality trait than anything else.

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  18. Just in the last few months, I’ve started removing myself from social media. If anyone is hate-following me, they’re not anymore. The only social media I’m on now is Twitter and that is only because I am writing for a larger opinion site and its a requirement to have Twitter. I can count on one hand the number of times that I’ve scrolled through my feed. None of my followers are people that I know personally, only online through the act of writing. In the scenario where I still had social media, I doubt I would follow anyone that I didn’t want to follow and no, hate is not a reason to follow someone in my opinion. Social media is bad enough already without a bunch of people being mean by following others that think their “friends”.

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    1. Andrew, I’m on Twitter, too, and have this blog. That’s it for me on social media. I don’t hate-follow in either place. [I’m assuming that people must also hate-follow blogs, don’t you suppose?]

      I’m with you, and most of the commenters here, in that I’d find hate-following on any social media platform to be a poor use of my time and energy. But for those who do it, hate-following must fill a need of some sort. Go figure.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I don’t hate follow and I wouldn’t advocate or support. If you focus on the negative you’ll only get more in return. I can’t see how reveling in what you hate about someone could ever be a positive thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Phil, I agree with you, of course. I live by the mantra: “energy flows where attention goes.” But I got interested in this topic when seemingly pleasant people in my real life made casual mention of doing this, as if it were normal. I dunno…

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I have to admit, I have. My husband owns his own business and occasionally there have been people he’s dealt with who have for whatever reason felt the need to seek revenge for real or imagined slights including taking to social media. He wound up going to court over it once and I followed for a time to see if there was a case for libel in addition to harassment. However, once the matter was resolved, I moved on.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Allie P, your logic for why you hate-followed make sense to me. In fact, what you said is similar to what 2 people who I know in real life said about hate-following: it’s a way to protect themselves from attack by people who they’re forced to deal with.

      To me if you’re hate-following to be informed of threats, that is different than doing it for snorts & giggles.

      I’m glad that you’ve been able to move on from that situation, but sorry that if ever happened to you. Some people suck…

      Liked by 2 people

  21. I’m so uncool I hadn’t heard of this before. The closest I think I’ve come is when I saw an old high-school friend on another friend’s page. I hadn’t spoken to this woman in 30+ years. I don’t even remember what our falling out was about. But I do remember some hurt afterwards, definitely on my side and probably on hers, but since we stopped talking, I don’t know. Anyway, I went on her page and learned about her profession, a little bit about her family, and she seemed to be leading a good, interesting life, and I was happy for her. Then about a year later I saw her again in a political group, and it turned out we had very similar political views, and she sent me a friend request, which I accepted. I tried to reach out by PM at Christmas but she didn’t answer. So now we just follow each other and occasionally “like” each other’s posts. I think/hope it may eventually turn into a real conversation.

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    1. K.L. Allendoerfer, I’d never heard of this term either, until some people mentioned it to me. I don’t know for sure but I think that anyone who says “and I was happy for her” is NOT a hate-follower! 😉 Although I get what you’re saying about kind of hanging back a little bit before extending a friendship offer. That’s just sounds prudent to me.

      The people who I know who have mentioned this term have reveled in knowing bad things about someone who they know in real life. I won’t lie and say that I’m such an angel that I stopped them from telling me what they knew, but the behavior that underscored how they knew what they knew seems odd to me.

      Of course, my disinterest in following people who I dislike might seem odd to them, so what do I know? People do what they do.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Could it be a case of “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”? As you say, some of the people who’ve told you they do it are doing so almost as a peremptory strike. Personally, it’s not for me. I’d have to think for every potentially useful bit of information gleaned, a person would probably waste 30 hours or so plus become more obsessed, further increasing the importance of the ” hated one.”

    That said I think some people devote more time and energy to people they hate than people they love. Social media is just another way.

    I blog with the idea that I must be comfortable with ANYONE reading it, even people who don’t like me or who might not wish me well. I think people are far too comfortable with opening up their lives for all to see on social media, forgetting that it leaves them vulnerable. On the other hand if someone becomes aware they are being followed by people for the wrong reasons, they can block them – or only friend people they *know* to be friends. The drive to be popular and get lots of attention and likes sets people up for trouble.

    Social media perhaps reveals character? I tend to think so. Because what we do there matters.

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    1. writerinsoul, you’ve nailed it with the “the friends close, enemies closer” idea. I suspect that’s exactly what’s happening with the people who have told me that they are hate-following. They’re not bad people in real life so their admissions gave me pause.

      I agree that the amount of effort it’d take to watch someone I hated would never equal the value of the info gleaned. But haters gotta hate, you know? And to them hate-following makes sense, I guess.

      I have the same standards as you do about what I talk about here on this blog. Anyone can read it, I tell my truth, but I don’t tell everything about me or my life. There are limits to what you’ll know about me because I’m not on a mission to be the most popular blogger on the www. In fact, that sounds like a level of hell I’d don’t want to think about.

      Now what does that reveal about my character? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Being very popular looks like a full time job.

        I just read Unfriending my Ex and Other Things I’ll Never Do by Kim Stolz. She said many interesting things but one that comes to mind now is that once people get attention for revealing things, they start telling more & more to get the likes and comments.

        On top of that (I think) they are not thinking about (further) opening themselves up to judgment and making themselves a target for people who dislike/hate them. People get online and spill like they’re in a vacuum.

        I’m with you – there are some things I’ll never discuss on the blog or anywhere else on line.

        Thought provoking post!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ll look for the book you mentioned. No doubt she’s right that once you get accustomed to the attention and enjoy it, there’s no going back to being a reserved personality. I suppose [guess] the “likes” are an addiction of some sort that certain people crave.

          In some ways I’m not made for social media, in that I know how to limit myself. Restraint is so old-fashioned, you know?

          Liked by 1 person

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