The Unfollow Button Saved My Life, More Times Than I Can Count

I don’t read a lot of articles on medium, because yes I am absolutely lazy. When it comes to consuming words I struggle with the listening part, probably because I spent 24 hours a day listening to the vibrations of chaos in the air.

HOWEVER, every once in a while I come across an article that I can’t pull my eyes away from and this one by Sanni Lark is absolutely one of them.

In the article, Sanni talks about how she unfriended a former friend because she was tired of a said friend complaining about poverty and struggle, and I have a lot of things to say about that.

There are some people who drain the ever-living life out of you, purely by existing. They are your neighbours, your friends, and family members, they are every single person knocking at your door for attention while you’re hiding under the sink pretending to be dead, just so they will go the fuck away.

Phew!

I admit I am guilty of the “you make me want to kill myself, I need to unfollow before I die,” reactionary unfollow. And it’s not because I didn’t like the person, it’s because of dude…SHUT THE FUCK UP. WE GET IT YOUR LIFE SUCKS.

I spent years being that person, but because I didn’t really have anyone to complain to and social media didn’t really exist yet, it wasn’t that big of a deal, I don’t think…but as I got older, wiser, and more in tune with the world around me, I started to see things a lot differently.

I used to think that because I’d grown up without friends, that meant that I had to be friends with everyone, no matter how horribly they treated me, it wasn’t until I started to compare how boyfriends treated me to how I wanted to be treated, that I started to realize the two were not the same.

I shattered a phone once because I found myself going back to old patterns of trying to find a man when I didn’t really want one…I just wanted not to be alone.

Then it was a person I really and truly detest who I used to know, that reminded me that people actually don’t like being alone, they don’t know how to function in the quiet.

I love the quiet, not all the time, but I love curling up in bed and ignoring the world as best I can, and I am fully aware that I have the privilege to do so, and that I probably wouldn’t if I were wealthy beyond measure.

I have time to myself, to think and to digest, and to just be, and to understand why I am the way I am, and while I constantly feel a need to explain to people what happened to me to make me who I am, I am starting to realize that it’s less about complaining and more about educating those who think they know better than me.

I will fully admit I enjoy a good “I told you so,” better than anyone, but that’s because I know how much it hurts to suffer alone — to truly keep everything to yourself so that no one knows because you’re just too tired to deal with what they might say or how they might feel.

So when I unfollow someone, it’s genuinely because their negativity is so heavy that I can feel it even through the computer, from across the street, or from around the world. Maybe it’s because I’m an empath or maybe it’s because I’ve been stuck with so much negativity my entire life.

Whatever the reason, sometimes that unfollow is a literal life saver, and I get really annoyed when people take up the guts to ask why I unfollowed them, I understand you might be hurt, but if you have to ask me why I’m no longer following you, then I offer this answer:

It’s not that I don’t like you, and it’s not that the stuff you post doesn’t have importance in the world, it’s just that I don’t really care about what you care about, and I want to make room for the stuff that I do care about. Does that mean we can’t talk? Nah, not usually, but in the rare times it does mean I no longer want you around, I’ll block you. Repeatedly, if I have to. — Devon J Hall, Loud Mouth Brown Girl

For years now I haven’t really just been “Devon,” I’ve been “The Loud Mouth Brown Girl,” that was a subconscious choice that I made, because I wanted to save my life from men I was certain were going to get away with killing me the way they had with others.

I don’t need to come on social media every single day and see a single person being miserable. all the time, and what’s worse than seeing someone else do it is being the person who does it, which is why I try to measure my conversations around my mood…I genuinely don’t want to be a burden to anyone.

I value my online time because it’s an escape but more than that, my online time allows me to follow the dreams that I’ve waited an entire life to make come true, so if all you’re doing is passing on the darkness that you refuse to challenge, refuse to fight for the betterment of your experience while you’re here, you gotta go.

I feel absolutely no shame in telling you it’s because of a Twitter or Facebook glitch, and I have no problem if you choose to unfollow me back. It doesn’t mean I don’t like you or want you to have a good life, it just means that you and I don’t vibe in the ways that I need for my best experience.

#SorryNotSorry

Devon J Hall

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