Ask Hecuba: No Likes in Lyon Center

Dear Hecuba,

I recently discovered that my friend doesn’t follow me back on Instagram. Okay, I checked because I was suspicious, but I was right! Should I confront him? We’re on good terms and talk regularly (and not because we’re being forced to); I have no idea why he would be mad at me!

— No Likes in Lyon Center

Dear No Likes,

This is a tough situation and I can understand why you’re fretting. Feeling snubbed is never fun!

There are many possible explanations to this — one of which you have mentioned. It is quite possible you may have inadvertently offended them at some point and, resultantly, they have banished you from their Instagram feed. However, the fact that you’re still in touch leads me to think this may not be the case.

Another possible explanation is that they could be a social media novice who is merely unaware that you have an account and would be happy to follow you back if it was brought to their attention. To subtly remind them of your existence, DM them something funny that you saw on Instagram that is relevant to any of your recent discussions or reply to their Instagram story with a quick 😂 or 💯 if appropriate.

If neither of those tactics work, unfortunately, I do have some bad news for you. It is possible (and not unlikely) that your friend may not follow you back on Instagram because they simply don’t care about or don’t enjoy your ContentTM.

But Hecuba! I have fantastic posts!”

NL, the truth is hard, but your friend may have Marie Kondo’d his Instagram feed and your avocado toast might have looked too staged (or not staged enough) for his tastes and you didn’t make the cut. This is somewhat brutal of them, but sometimes it can feel like the world could end any second, so not wanting to waste any time with Instagram accounts that don’t inspire joy is somewhat understandable, too.

If this is the case, you could certainly put them on the spot and call them out, but a follower forced is not a follower earned! Alternatively, you could just unfollow them, if the imbalance so bothered you.

And in terms of friendship, I suggest pondering if mutual following on Instagram is a requisite or not. It sounds like your relationship otherwise is copacetic and it would be a shame to lose an analog friend over a digital profile.

May your follower-to-following ratio always be healthy,


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