Following people on social media can be stressful…but it really shouldn't be. If it feels that way, that’s what the ‘unfollow’ and 'unfriend' buttons are for. The idea, though, is to avoid having to do that in the first place. Selection in who becomes a part of your social media home is so important. It’s like picking someone for a team sport or work group. You’ll be stuck with these folks for a good little while, so let’s hope what they bring to the table is sufficient—and not horribly annoying.
As an avid social media user (it’s kind of my job, seriously), I can honestly understand those few people who refuse to sign up for any site. I used to think they were weird or hiding some sort of secret, but they may have been on to something. It sucks, but you can’t welcome everyone into your social media home and you shouldn't step into everyone else's; sometimes, that even goes for those you know. When you do, you may be disappointed to find that a seemingly cool friend-of-a-friend or co-worker turns out to be more cynical and ignorant as you could have ever imagined, or worse, you realize that some of the most beautiful men and women can’t spell worth a damn or put together a coherent thought—I'm sure we can all think of an R&B singer (or two) who fits that profile.
Social media blows sometimes. Keep your experience as pleasant as possible by avoiding these folks at all costs:
1) Ultimate Selfies: I wonder if I fall into this category sometimes until I see those people who fit the bill perfectly. It's cool to post a few self-portraits to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, especially when there's some sort of special occasion—a new hairstyle, a birthday celebration, a vacay. But when folks feel the need to update the world on your every facial expression, or every angle of how their butt looks in a pair of jeans that they've had since freshman year, every single day? Do not follow. It’s your account, yes, and you have a right to post whatever you please, but save some of those bathroom shots with kissy faces for the photo roll on your phone.
2) Men Who Hate Women: I didn’t know how many of these guys existed until I started expanding my Twitter follows; my eyes were opened to a whole new world of dudes who spend their days preaching the gospel of the no-good Black woman. We’ll never be perfect enough, sexy enough or smart enough for these dudes. Then again, we should be quiet Stepford wives who submit to men who don’t know their left from right, let alone right from wrong. And we don't put out enough, which is curious because we’re also promiscuous Jezebels who can’t be trusted. Who knew? While it's impossible to avoid all sexists (or racists or any other sort of hateful person) in your offline life, you can spare yourself some unneeded stress by keeping them off of your timeline or mini-feed. Debating with them will only send you down a rabbit hole of headaches; they aren't actually going to stop their ways because you called them out and many of them are just trolling for the female attention they can't get in real life. Hit them with a "Who hurt you?", block and move on.
3) Oversharers: It's one thing to occasionally complain or vent about the things that are going wrong in your life, but no one wants to be subjected to daily stories about marital or child-rearing issues, nor spats with friends or coworkers or depressing morning thoughts. There are journals, niche blogs and e-communities for that. If someone is showing signs of being in help of a real shoulder to cry on, feel free to reach out. But if you're seeing signs of a habitual complainer who simply seems interested in putting on a show with their misery—real or otherwise—then you should click your way out of the audience.
4) Self-Appointed Relationship “Experts”: It seemed like this trend was disappearing, but new "love gurus" keep popping up like roaches. Unfortunately, refusing to follow them doesn't keep them out of your TL, as many gullible folks retweet their nonsense right to you. Sorry, but there’s no way I’m following guys who end their tweets with fancy catch phrases or tell women they’re whores because they carry condoms to protect them from fatal STDS and unwanted pregnancies. Nope. Ladies, it is impossible to be so lost in love that the only thing that can save you is the weak game of some dude who probably fits well in to category 2 (above) and fellas, your endorsement of these hacks makes you look like a woman-hating goofball...and might even mess up your chances with some decent women.