why-friends-dont-follow-on-social-mediaSince beginning my online presence years ago, I’ve had a number of friends and family members who jump online and follow me on various platforms. However, I’ve also had a number of those family and friends stop using the platform, delete and re-open their accounts, and even unfollow me.

This type of behavior doesn’t bother me. Considering Twitter users have an average number of 307 tweets, I’m not shocked that many of my friends and family members who are merely checking out the platform don’t continue to use them or, in some cases, follow me.

Here are some reasons why, if you’re a heavy social media user, you should be unsurprised if those closest to you in real life don’t interact with you on social media.

1. You Post “Too Much” Many people find the vast amount of content on social media overwhelming. For those that are not heavy users, having a friend or family member who posts regularly can fill up their streams quickly. Keep in mind that “regularly” is a subjective term. I have many friends and family members who only post to Instagram once every few weeks. So if I post only once a day, it may be that they only see my posts when they login and would like to see their other friends’ content as well. In this case, it makes sense for them to unfollow me. The same can be said for a relatively high volume of posts on any social media platform.

2. They Don’t Understand Social Media Social media is truly meant to be social and connect people with common friends, interests and worldviews. However, my parents may not understand why Facebook is alerting them to posts I made on others’ pages. This can feel like information overload at best and a violation of privacy at worst. Without the time or an interest in keeping up on how social media works, it should not be surprising that friends and family members may not “keep up” with you online.

3. They Only Want the News Twitter, Facebook and Google+ can be excellent sources of current events. Many people join these platforms to keep in touch with what’s going on in the world. As a result, they may not really want to see that awesome dinner you recently had on date night. Each person uses each platform differently. I’m a great example of this as I use G+ for hobbies, Facebook to connect with people I know IRL, Twitter to connect with new people and Instagram for purely personal use. You cannot dictate how others’ use any given platform – and that’s a good thing.

So what do these things mean for you? Ultimately, it means that people will follow you if they choose and if you’re not the right fit for them, it’s no reason to be hurt. It also means that social media may help you build relationships with others that ARE the right fit for you – those that match your interests and level of activity.

Social media should broaden your social network – it is not meant to be a perfect replica of the life you live outside the computer.

This can also be good news for businesses, too. While some of your most loyal customers may not interact with you daily or even use social media at all, you may instead gain the attention of a new potential client who loves your awesome content and has learned to see you as an expert through it.

Social media can expand your horizons in every way but don’t expect your loved ones to follow your every online move.

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