The Mute Button Is Twitter's Greatest Contribution To Society
In 2019 one’s self worth is often tied to the number of followers they possess an app like Twitter or Instagram. It’s sad and pathetic that this is the world we live in but it’s where we’re at. I’d be lying if I told you that at least a portion of my self esteem is wrapped in my followings on the two social media apps listed above. I yearn for a dystopian future where I have 100,000 followers on IG gassing up all of my terrible outfits.
I obsessively check Twitter and Instagram day in and day out, looking at my notifications and perusing the list of people who have liked a tweet that I’ve sent out into the void. I check my follower count, and on occasion I feel it necessary to follow people back.
Sometimes it’s a friend of a friend who, through word of mouth has had the misfortune of hearing someone talk of my drivel at a party or bar - other times it’s a person from a former job or another personality you only know because of the internet. Whatever the case may be, we as humans sometimes feel an obligation to be on “Team Follow Back.” We have to follow some people back in order to save face. To not do so would be the IRL equivalent of refusing to shake someone’s hand at a party.
I’m not saying there’s a cultural rule that we follow every single person back who follows us, but sometimes there’s an expectation that you’ll play along and just follow the fuck back. I’ve felt obligated to follow people back on Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat for years now, and I oblige because I follow social cues.
But sometimes you find that the people you decide to follow back tweet incredibly corny, hackneyed bullshit that is neither funny nor clever and more likely than not stolen from someone else’s account.
Sometimes you’ll come to figure out that a person you’ve followed back on Instagram puts up a picture everyday of some motivational garbage he/she saw on Pinterest and want to gouge your eyes out with a fork. This is the problem with being a nice person in 2019. And I think at some point the people who work on the backend of Twitter and IG figured this out and invented the mute button, which is in my opinion the best thing to come out of either Twitter or IG.
Because rest assured there is no unfollowing once you follow. That would be rude, and most of the people I know track their followers religiously, meaning they’ll find out that you unfollowed them and then you’ve got yourself a bit of an awkward situation on your hands. The next best solution to unfollowing is the mute button.
No awkward conversations with your mutual acquaintence who asks why you unfollowed them on Instagram. No subtweet from some goober on Twitter who is pissed off that you unfollowed them. Just mute them forever and forget all about it. You don’t see the tweets they like anymore, they don’t show up on your feed no matter who retweets them, and best of all that person is under the assumption that you still like them.