It troubles me whenever I see a comment on Twitter or Facebook to the effect of “See who unfollowed/unfriended you!” with a link to some service or other that lets you find out which of your cyber-pals are now former cyber-pals. My question is:
Why do that? Is there a good, beneficial reason to locate this information? This is not a rhetorical question—if someone knows of a beneficial reason for tracking down this info, I’d like to hear it, because the main result I'd think would come from this detective work is hurt feelings—“Jennifer unfollowed me? She didn’t like my tweets? Well, FINE. I don’t like hers either.” (unfollows Jennifer). Okay, I guess a possible benefit could be if you are using the information to analyze and improve your updates/tweets—(“I see I lost 102 Utah-based followers when I dissed Jimmer. Oops. I won’t do that again.”). But do people really use the info that way? It seems that in most cases you wouldn’t have a clue why the person unfollowed (unless you know they’re mad at you in real life).
It seems to me that social media networks should be places where connecting with someone doesn’t mean you’re locked in for life, and you should be able to quietly disconnect if, for whatever reason, the online connection doesn't work. I don’t go around unfollowing people right and left, but I have unfollowed people who tweeted so much that it drove me nuts, or bombarded me with ads. It was nothing personal—I just didn’t care for their tweeting style. If they don’t care for mine, they’re welcome to unfollow—no harm done. We should both be able to quietly and tactfully disconnect, no offense given or taken. What’s the benefit of tracking down each others’ names?
I think there’s a good reason Twitter, Facebook (and Goodreads, for that matter) don’t notify us when someone unfollows/unfriends us. I can’t see how it benefits us to seek out that information on our own. Granted, I'm no social media expert, so maybe there are angles I haven't considered. What are your thoughts on this?