the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Unfollowed

I signed up for his application that emails you when someone “unfollows” you on Twitter.  This means that you immediately learn when a person has decided to refuse to see your brilliant 140-character “tweets” on their timeline, so they will never know how good your roast beef sandwich was at lunch.   In internet terms, it is considered a “diss.”  Like most people on this silly Twitter application, I get followed and unfollowed everyday.  Usually, I am unfollowed by people I don’t “know,” like marketers, sex chat sites, or bloggers who mistakenly thought I was a bigshot and then dumped me immediately when they discovered the truth.  

Yesterday, I received a notification that Gorillabuns “unfollowed” me as a friend on Twitter.  For the life of me,  could not understand why.  Did she quit using Twitter?  No.  I knew that she was seven months pregnant.  Perhaps she has gotten so emotional and irrational, as women tend to do in stressful situations, that she was striking out at random targets.  Believe me, I know how women can get. 

Or was there something else going on?!  I did just write a post about my “date” with Astrogirl this weekend.  Perhaps Gorillabuns was insanely jealous?  Was there some sort of blogosphere “Fatal Attraction” going on?  Has Gorillabuns been harboring a secret love for me all these years?  Can my writing be such an aphrodisiac?  I mean, it isn’t that surprising.  I make myself horny with some of my posts.  And she does live in Oklahoma.  She is probably envious of my glamorous life in New York, while she is stuck there, having her husband drive her to the OBGYN in the old family surrey with the fringe on top.  (dear reader:  if you don’t get this reference, you don’t deserve to be reading this blog).

Anyway, what is the point of this post?  Is he writing about blogging and Twitter again?  Doesn’t this dude have a REAL life?

Well, actually — no.    But I am finding that the virtual world is helping me overcome some issues that will hopefully transfer into the real world.  Like how I deal with social situations like this.

Normally, I would have sulked for an hour after someone like Gorillabuns “unfollowed” me.  I would assume that I did something wrong.  But in this case — it made no sense.  I’ve never had an unpleasant word with her.  I even told her she looked “hot” as a pregant woman, and all pregnant women love to hear that!

So, I emailed her.  I asked her why she unfollowed me.  I told her that I was just curious, so maybe I could make amends.

But there is a twist to this saga.  Within minutes of sending the message to Gorillabuns, I received a whole rash of emails from this Twitter “unfollow” application.  Fifty other bloggers had just unfollowed me, including some “friends.”  What the hell was going on?  Had Sophia started up a “revenge” blog, telling the world about her nickname for me, “the  Twenty-Three Second Man.”  Had X been sending around that “photo” I made on that lonely, lonely night to all her blog friends?  Or was it worse — were others under the impression that I was voting for McCain? 

Eventually, I figured out that this “unfollow” application had gone as crazy as HAL in “2001” and was just sending me random and WRONG information.  I quickly dumped the application and apologized to Gorillabuns for accusing her of treason (although now she really thinks I’m unstable and has sent me a restraining order from getting 100 feet from her home).    But at least she is still following me on Twitter!

Even though the whole event was a mistake, I think I deserve some kudos.  Do you know how brave of me it was to email Gorillabuns?  I would have never done that before.  I would have been too afraid of losing face… or learning the truth.

In the real world, has a friend or aquaintance ever thrown a party and NOT invited you?  What do you usually do?  Do you keep it to yourself and feel left out?  Or do you ask your friend, “Hey, what’s up?”  Maybe there is an issue that you don’t know about, or a conflict between you and another friend.

If I ever unfollow you, or don’t respond to a comment, or do something that confuses you — don’t be shy about asking me.   If the farmer and the cowman can be friends, why shouldn’t we communicate honestly?  (now do you get the reference?)

Note:  My latest green post is up on Filter for Good:  A Tree Should Grow in Queens

53 Comments

  1. kat

    if it makes you feel any better, i’m still following you on twitter 🙂

  2. Astrogirl

    Yes, I do tend to ask friends when I think they’ve slighted me. The other day I asked a fellow blogger why the unfollowed me on Twitter, and they gave a perfectly nice explanation that had nothing to do with me. But with strangers I tend not to, because I figure that if they’re anything like me, they’ll lie to avoid a confrontation anyway. So my answer is yes, and no. You’re welcome.

  3. Astrogirl

    Damn you, Kat! I thought I’d make it to first this time! Gah!!! 😉

  4. kateanon

    twenty three second man could be your alternate twitter name in case we all start unfollowing and you have to start over under a new pseudonym.

  5. gorillabuns

    Neil, Neil, Neil, you know I would never unfollow you! If anything, the hot comment has sealed your number one status with me.

    and our surrey isn’t all that fancy. We’re saving up for the fringe on top.

  6. Ashley

    Are you also one of those people who are bothered when you find out people don’t like you, and then you just need to know WHY. Because I am totally one of those people.

  7. Sammanthia

    So far, I’ve only been unfollowed by spammers and porn but it’s only a matter of time before it’s a “friend”. I can’t see myself asking them why… I’d be too afraid of the answer.

  8. bejewell

    If I could follow you more than once as a result of this post, I totally would.

  9. blissfully caffeinated

    I don’t pay attention to who unfollows me. I can’t take that kind of rejection.

    Also? I was in the chorus of our 7th grade production of Oklahoma. I can sing the whole thing for you, if you’d like.

  10. Finn

    Twenty-three seconds? Neil, Neil, Neil…

  11. always home and uncool

    I guess GorillaBuns is a girl who CAN say no. Yet, she’s still in a terrible fix.

  12. anymommy

    Where the wind comes sweeping down the plains, and the waving wheat.

    I’m unfollowing you right now. For putting that song in my head. Or maybe I’ll just start tweeting show tune lyrics until you unfollow me.

    Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a…

  13. Otir

    Hey, Neilochka, when I got divorced – not even *my* decision – neighbors and friends stopped inviting me to their homes, and I was told it was because I could be after *their* husbands now.

    I also have another friend who has not returned any of the phone messages I left on her machine for the last eighteen months, even though those messages were spaced enough, greetings and inquiries about her mom’s health or her own whereabouts and well being.

    So, I guess I am totally prepared for you to diss me on Twitter whenever you want. And even better, I don’t have the application so I would not even know about it.

  14. All Adither

    Reading the moniker Gorillabuns over and over made me snicker like a fourth grader.

    IzzyMom unfollowed me on Twitter and for some stupid reason it really stung. I thought we had a little rapport. So now, whenever I see her name on the internet I get all sad inside.

  15. Marinka

    I now have to follow Gorillabuns, just so that I can retaliate and unfollow later. Maybe she gave you up for Lent.

  16. Lis Garrett

    Or how about this:

    I decided to quit my personal blog when it started to go downhill; I was simply running out of blog-worthy content, and the last straw was when I lost a few blog subscribers. But since I’ve stopped writing on the blog, I’ve noticed that the number of subscribers has actually gone up. What’s up with that? Are they telling me they’d rather me keep my virtual mouth shut than have to read my moronic ramblings?!

    PS – I totally got the reference to Oklahoma. Damn . . . now that song is stuck in my head.

  17. Dagny

    What? People have parties at which I am not in attendance? Impossible. It’s not a party unless I’m there.

  18. Maura/MoBu67

    I’m glad it was just a haywire application causing the problem. It gave you a chance to stretch those social wings without actually losing a follower. Win-win! 🙂

  19. Kathy

    I rarely use Twitter, but the last time I logged in I noticed a few people had stopped following me. Whatever. (By the way, I just noticed the feature that lets you know someone has left you an @ message — I’ve been unknowingly snubbing people for months. Maybe this is why they “un-followed” me.)

    I’ve had worse online snubbing than on Twitter, Unless the APP goes HAL on you again, I wouldn’t worry about it.

  20. ali

    what? how did i not know such a thing existed? you are saying i can find out who is unfollowing me? i MUST have it!

  21. Sheryl

    I use Twitterless, because I want to know who is unfollowing me. It usually doesn’t hurt my feelings, I’m just curious. A lot of times I think it’s because I’m not following them. Or they think my tweets are dull. But I don’t really think it’s any of my business why they unfollow.

  22. Karen Sugarpants

    Well there is this one comment you made once…oh nevermind, it’s stupid.

  23. patois

    Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry.

    I give you props for trying to find out why she dumped you. I always just stew about these things and secretly harbor ill feelings for the rest of my life.

  24. Danny

    Oh my God, you are crazy for getting that application that tells you when people “unfollow” you. Why torment yourself? What next–an application that tells us when people are dissing us behind our backs? I don’t want to know! And I’m relieved I’m not on Twitter because I’m neurotic enough as it is with my blog and Facebook. My first thought when I went to your blog right now was “Jesus Christ! He’s barely had this post up for an hour and he already has 23 comments! I couldn’t get more than 7 comments on a post if my life depended on it and I included nude shots that I personally took of Sarah Palin!” See? I’m too neurotic for the Internet. The LAST thing I want is any confirmation that people are losing interest in my ramblings. I say remove that application at once!

    P.S. Thanks for the “Oklahoma” references! I’m glad you’ve stopped pandering to your younger readers!

  25. V-Grrrl

    There’s so much pressure being your friend…the monitoriing of contact, the measuring of comments, the frequency and cleverness of IM exchanges, the sex appeal factor, the willingness to send nude photos, and the competition from the million other people who are all your “friends” too.

    This relationship is beginning to affect my self esteem. I may have to devote myself to Be the Boy instead.

  26. V-Grrrl

    Danny,

    Forget Be the Boy. You’re my Main Man now. : )

  27. Ellen Bloom

    Oy! Twitter, Flutter, Facebook, MySpace! I can barely keep up with my own blog and Ravelry (Facebook for knitters). How connected do we really have to be? Sheesh! Time to un-connect for awhile. Seems like you’re “just a boy who cain’t say no!”

  28. ingrid

    am i heartless if i say i don’t really care if people unfollow me?

    unless i have some sort of regular communication with a follower, i don’t think i really care. it would only matter to me if we, for example, commented on each other’s blogs, e-mailed or chatted.

    other than that, i just figure i can be boring and overly navel gazing. (i get bored with me, so maybe that’s why it doesn’t shock me if other people do.)

    i don’t think i’d respond particularly well if someone asked me why i’d unfollowed. i’d assume they are a bit stalkerish.

    that said, i’ll never unfollow you, neil. 🙂 i’ll stalk you instead.

  29. anna

    Unless you mean a Country Squire station wagon, I have no idea what “surrey with fringe” means. T/f, I don’t deserve to read this blog. Which means you don’t deserve to be followed by me.

  30. ajooja

    I stopped following someone on Twitter the other day because I found a conversation between this guy and someone else where he talked about all of his religious/political views.

    I was following him because he writes a blog on another subject I really enjoy.

    I whacked him because he’s a nutjob in his personal life.

    You got lucky, Neil. 🙂

  31. Danny

    Oops, now you’re alienating the youth of America with your gay 1940s musical references (even though, as you know, I’m a straight male who can sing every word to every song in “Oklahoma”)!

    While I admire all efforts toward assertiveness, the more I think about it, the more I feel you have no business asking people why they “unfollowed” you on Twitter–it strikes me not as assertive but very confrontational and putting people in a very uncomfortable position that isn’t really fair. It’s way different than confronting a friend who’s stood you up or something like that. Not that anyone really IS “unfollowing” you, that’s just the handiwork of Hal 9000. But if they DO, I say you should never inquire about it!

  32. Noelle

    Okay, this inspired me to let you know that I unfollowed you on Twitter because you had too many Tweets. (If it’s any consolation, I’m about to do the same to The Bloggess.) I just can’t follow that many threads of thought, especially if I only check Twitter a couple of times a day and have to read through it backwards.

    I’m sure you’re a great guy, and you have been entertaining, but I decided to scale back the overwhelming amount of media I get. And that’s why I gave you the ax. If you haven’t already, I won’t be angry if you unfollow me, but I’ll probably never know as I never check.

  33. Mad Woman

    Just as I was thinking that I don’t deserve to be reading your blog because the whole Twitter thing completely baffles me (I can’t figure out how to use it properly..sad right?), I totally got the Oklahoma reference. I feel totally redeemed.

    As for how I deal with things, I’m rather blunt. I tell people what I think of them, or their actions. It’s part of the reason they all like to take me shopping. “Oh honey no. You can’t pull that look off”. Yeah. That’s me.

  34. vodkamom

    I once called my BEST FRIEND on the phone (three months ago) and when she answered I heard her make an unpleasant remark before saying Hello. I was PISSED and tried not to speak to her for a couple of days, until she finally asked what was up, and of course the story fell out of my mouth with uncontrollable emotion….yadda, yadda, yadda. It was all a misunderstanding that could have been resolved had I just said, “HEY BITCH, WHAT JUST HAPPENED?” Now I know better.

  35. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    This is why I did not add that app. I do not want to know. 😉

  36. Ginger

    The only reason I “unfollow” on Twitter is if they make a habit out of hijacking pages and pages of my updates. But that’s only if it’s a recurring problem.

    Otherwise, you’re my friend for life! 🙂

  37. Kristin T.

    Sometimes it’s important to ask yourself if you should even think twice about some individual who seems to have snubbed you or has something up their butt. Discernment is key.

    But if you realize you do care and it does matter, like it did for you and Gorillabuns, then I couldn’t agree more with your Very Mature just ask policy.

    I learned that lesson recently, after 6 months of worrying that my husband’s ex-wife was mad at me about something (you might think “of course she is,” but she really isn’t, at least not about that, and we’re actually good friends). Anyway, I finally found out that she was hurt about something she heard I had said six months earlier. Yeah, kind of stupid on her part to let that simmer for so long, but I really should have just asked.

  38. Neil

    Danny — I’m not sure I agree with you about that. I’m not so insecure that I would get upset if someone like you unfollowed me. But I might be confused or surprised. So, I think it is only shows respect for you to ask you if there is some sort of problem.

    And Noelle — I assume that I was just tweeting too much, so you unfollowed me. Very understandable. I need to go out more. But I have known Gorillabuns for longer than you, so I figured that she wouldn’t unfollow me, even if I was annoying as hell — unless she told me first. I think that can be a good policy. Saying, “Sorry friend, but you chat way too much. I’m gonna unfollow you, but still love you.” That’s what I’m going to do now.

  39. Neil

    By the way, I never really liked “Oklahoma” too much anyway. Too hokey.

  40. Twenty Four At Heart

    “I make myself horny with some of my posts” ???? AND TWENTY THREE SECONDS???
    Ha ha! I once dated Mr. 23 Seconds. It didn’t last long. Haha. Aren’t I funny? I think I am. I don’t even follow who follows me on Twitter. Meaning, I never pay much attention to that. I just twitter myself when I feel the urge.

  41. Suzanne

    I’m going and following you right now. Don’t believe that application if it says I have!

  42. Danny

    But my issue is with you assuming that there is a “problem” if I “unfollowed” you (I can’t stop putting that in quotes because frankly, I’m still not entirely sure what it means!) and then asking me about it. That would feel like an awkward confrontation to me whether or not it did to you. However, I guess that would be MY issue and if you felt like inquiring, you should go for it. I guess I’m just a neurotic mess–I can’t stand IMing, partly because I don’t know how to end a session (which I always want to do the second after it starts) without imagining that I’m hurting the other person’s feelings.

    On the other hand, if I WERE on Twitter, I’d “unfollow” you in a heartbeat after that crack about “Oklahoma.” How dare you!

    There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow,
    There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow,
    The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye,
    An’ it looks like its climbin’ clear up to the sky…

  43. Kate

    I could never unfollow a blogger who knows his musicals. I think I even loved “Who’s the Boss” a little bit after Mona asked Tony if “the corn was as high as an elephant’s eys” when he was interviewing for a coaching job in Oklahoma. Wasn’t I just commenting here about watching too many after school reruns? Anway – Oklahoma isn’t my favorite, but I’d love it if you could include some Gigi or The King and I quotes in your next post. Gigi is my favorite. Seriously – I’m thinking that more men should ask themselves, “what would Maurice Chevalier do?” Or maybe I’m just thinking that now that I’ve killed a couple of bottles of wine with my husband…

  44. better safe than sorry

    this is a perfect example of why i don’t have twitter.
    in my real life, if a friend had a party and didn’t invite me, i’d be hurt and i’d probably say something about it, but i might not. i’d probably ask around and find out who else went, hoping maybe someone was there that my friend didn’t want me to see. i’d still be hurt that my friend hadn’t at least told me about the party and explained why i didn’t get the invite. an acquaintance, i wouldn’t care.

  45. non-highlighted heather

    Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooklahoma!

    I have nothing of value to add to the whole Twitter thing. I’m not signed up to receive any tweets, never have been, never will be. Seems an odd thing to do if you ask me.

  46. Poppy Buxom

    Speaking of an author becoming sexually aroused, how’s this for hot:

    Shirley Jones’s adorable little double chin.

    If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you don’t deserve to have me comment on your blog.

  47. leah

    OMG! i think we’ve “come out” together.

    you were the first person that i ever harassed on this topic. maybe, just maybe you’ve been the first that i actually cared about ignoring me 🙂

  48. PAPA

    Do you ever go pick on a 6 persons following person and follow them and then they don’t follow you back.
    That hurts.

  49. Margaret (Nanny Goats)

    Oh, shoot, I felt all comment-worthy, getting the surrey with the fringe on top, but then you lost me at the farmer and the cowman. Same musical, different song? Oh, God, Please don’t unfollow me because of this! You’re going to unfollow me now, aren’t you? I knew it! I shouldn’t have said anything. I shouldn’t have pushed the “Say It!” button. Now I’m going to wonder for the rest of my life if it was something I said. Oh, what’s the point of living?!?!

    By the way, your post seems a little neurotic. You should see someone about that.

  50. kapgar

    Good thing you didn’t load that software until well after I defriended you everywhere! Phew!

    JK 😉

  51. Poppy

    Ok, that’s just too many comments.

    I’m guessing she was paring down her follows so she could get a grip on her incoming tweets and didn’t know it sends a message saying “YOU SUCK, I’M NOT FOLLOWING YOU ANYMORE.”

  52. Rachel

    Neil,
    I just love your blog! You always put a smile on my face! I promise to always follow you!

    Rach

  53. Jane

    You take Twitter and those social apps way too seriously IMO, Neil. Seriously, you cannot be that insecure — you have one of the best blogs going — why care about how many people follow you on Twitter? Especially when a person is following HUNDREDS of people a day, all those tweets just get lost in the shuffle.

    I’ve almost unfollowed you a couple of times, because there are days you’ll write like fifteen tweets in a row that aren’t about anything, really, and I end up reading them despite myself, then feel dumb for having done that. 🙂 However, even if one day your Twittereah, as V-Grrrl calls it, makes me click the unfollow button, I’ll ALWAYS check in on your blog, because it’s funny and I like your writing.

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