Unfollow, Confirm

1,200 photos of the same dog in a thousand different places. In each picture, the dog looks happier than I have ever felt. In each photo, the dog is staged and tagged in a place I will probably never visit. Dogs are amazing. I have two. But a celebrity dog usually means expendable income for their owner – like a pageant mother running their child all over town – so I unfollow the dog. I unfollow all of them.

I unfollow all the fitness folks, the yogis, the nutrition experts and anything with footage of someone doing something in a gym. I will never nail a handstand or secure the sole of my foot to the back of my head. I unfollow them and feel the burden lifted. Unfollow the famous yogi-doer and achieve immediate enlightenment.

Who are the half a million followers of a woman I’ve never heard of? The one with a thousand million photos of her face and ass. “A portfolio page,” they call it. There is no story here. Just a mis-attributed quote and a slew of lewd comments. The story is that this woman gets photographed a lot. Why am I here looking at you? Unfollowed.

The woman wearing the same bikini in the same pose at all the tourist spots they (and you, probably) only discovered because someone else in a different bikini took the same shot there a month ago. I do not look great in a bikini. I will never run into these people at the global destination I will never find myself at. Same goes for the guy who quit his corporate job and travels the world making $5million a year from his laptop business.

I have my suspicions.

Unfollowed. All of them.

I keep following the lady who sometimes dog-sits for us when we are out of town because she is too damn nice. I will also follow her boyfriend because I think he’s a compelling enough guy even though I haven’t gotten the chance to get to know him. But I know what he likes on Netflix because that’s what he last watched on my queue (when he was at my pace, dogsitting with the nice lady.

There is another guy I know kind of well I follow. His struggles with health resulted in a breakup with the person he wanted to marry. He posts oddly saturated photos every now and again that are devoid of context or captions. At least we know he’s doing well enough to do that. I should call him.

There are hundreds of others I follow because I met them once or twice. I keep following them because they post comically bad photos of the food they are eating at a restaurant and no one ever comments on it one way or another. A few accounts have flipped over to uncomfortable MLM selling tools. I should probably get around to unfollowing them too.

I also unfollowed all of the Ferrisses and Vaynerchucks of the world. Good intentions for someone, I’m sure. Nothing they suggest works unless there is a bag of cash attached to it. “Grinding” is bad. Grinding is how machines wear down and eventually destroy themselves. All machines need oil to keep moving. I recommend a modestly priced single batch rye.

Unfollow the brands. They want your money, and they will jam into the stream of nice things you like to get it. More lives have probably been influenced by the Harry Potter books than the “12 Steps to your first Million” courses you can buy online.

That photographer with a million gorgeous photos all edited the same – of models or landscapes or whatever – will I ever actually buy and frame a print of theirs? Will I ever pay for them to take my photo? Of course, they are on a great journey. I’m sure they appreciate the support I never actually give them. Double-tap to like.

I’ll follow the travelers who post photos of them sleeping in airports or the ones who post once every two months because that’s when they get into a wifi area that works. The kind of folks with journeys that leave them filthy and smiling. The kind who enjoy a shower out of a bucket rather than a hot tub overlooking a sunset.

I’ll follow the causes which are working for something grander and more important than the sum of its people. Follow causes because they NEED your support.

Follow the creators who are new and fresh and still refining their craft. Watch them grow. Watch how grateful they are when you buy their work and share it with others.

Follow the creators and artists who inspire you to a point where you can’t help but close the app, drop your phone, and get going on something incredible of your own.

These apps should be a source of inspiration, not desperation.

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