Dear Lee — Friends & Social Media


Dear Lee, I follow an old college friend of mine on Instagram, and vice versa.  We are friendly but aren't friends really anymore, which I don't mind at all as we are quite different people now.  She regularly posts on Instagram, and it makes me roll my eyes every single time I see a post of hers.  She's also the type to notice if I unfollow her but I somewhat feel obligated.  Should I just ignore her posts, or is it okay to unfollow her? Has this happened to you?

Thank you,



Hi Katherine,

Thank you for writing in.  This has happened to me more times than I can count.  It's natural to grow up, move on, and find new (better) friends.  Social media has made this growing up awkward, and moving on virtually (joke!) impossible.

First, let's start with the word obligation.  It's one of my least favorite words, and when I'm obligated (insert eye roll emoji) or feel obligated, I realize it for what it is, a useless emotion.  Generally, if you are not obligated to do anything, especially something like this that isn't making you happy.  This is another version of hate following --- following out-of-touch old friends from long ago for literally no reason at all except obligation.  I find hate following people a huge waste of time and emotions.  I sometimes slip into this (ask Olivia) and look to see what an old friend of mine is up to and have lots to say but I really try to stay away from it, if I can.

My rule always and always is if something comes up on any social media platform that doesn't make me happy, or I find myself needlessly dwelling on it, especially if it's negative, then I unfollow.  I suggest you do the same; your life will improve, trust me.

Your friend may notice that you unfollowed but I doubt she will confront you, especially if you've somewhat fallen out of touch aside from social media.

I hope this helps!