I like to think that I navigate awkward situations well, but there's one scenario I've yet to conquer. What do you do when when you want to follow someone on social media you should have been following forever ago? Or — even worse — you unfollow someone in a fit of rage and have to embarrassingly re-add them? Tragically, I have a lot of experience with the subject matter. My first memory dates back to 2010, when my crush asked me if I'd blocked him on AOL Instant Messenger. I had to confess that I'd gone to extreme measures so I wouldn't be tempted to message him. It was, as the kids say, deeply embarrassing, but I convinced him to marry me some time later, so it worked out in the end.
But most late follows will probably not end in marriage. At one point, I used an app that shows who's unfollowed you on Instagram, and the horror it wrought was straight out of Black Mirror.One night, I realized my own sister no longer followed me — so naturally, I called her at 1 a.m. to confront her. She was apologetic, but said she had no idea what happened. (Likely story.) I let it go — because really, when you think it through, what choice do you have? But I've also been in her shoes, both accidentally unfollowing and realizing I wasn't ever following close friends. I'm now blogging regularly on top of posting to an array of social media accounts, so it's even harder to keep track.
Tragically, there isn't a way to stealthily follow someone, which makes sense — if you're a private person, you want to know who's following you. But it makes life harder for those of us who want to avoid sending the person in question a notification. So what do you do when you decide to finally follow someone? Here are four totally not awkward at all ways to go about it — because it's definitely going to happen.