The “unfollow” button on the popular social networking service Instagram, sported a safeguard feature until now that enabled the Instagrammers to reconsider their decision of unfollowing someone on the mobile app, especially if it was done accidentally. By clicking on the “unfollow” button deliberately or accidentally, which looks like the top half of a person’s profile with a check mark next to it, the feature would ask if one really wanted to unfollow that account.
Like the fast-paced social media goers that we are, if we had accidentally unfollowed someone, a friend say, or a colleague, the safeguard feature put up a dialogue box immediately that would allow us to go back on our mistake, and if it was a well thought out move, then well, to just stick with the decision to “unfollow”.
The safeguard tab was like a control mechanism meted out to the users to be doubly convinced of their decision to unfollow someone, so as to not lose contact with a person just because maybe it was a whimsical move, or accidental, or an impulsive act triggered on the spur of the moment due to a surge of anger (owing to some reason whatsoever) which would eventually subside later and make us regret the rash click on the “unfollow” button soon after it had been done.
But, recently, and on an unhappy note for many, Instagram has done away with the dialogue box, as found in the latest app update. So now the touchscreen technology of our smartphones rather spells a hitch for us as quick swiping or one’s large thumbs could lead to unintentional “unfollow” and then particularly uncomfortable re-follow request situations. One can lose a person almost permanently after accidentally unfollowing his/her account, which is cause enough to fret for the avid Instagram generation that we are, as we are really caught up with our social media activity and our popularity on these platforms as gauged in terms of the number of followers.
The Instagram team has not responded yet when asked about why it chose to take down the feature, and also whether it was a temporary test-run or a permanent change.
However, it’s not all on the downside as with increased access to social media en masse; it also unfortunately leaves a larger room for creeps to flare up their heads on this space, as seen in strings of unwanted and often downright objectionable comments on shared posts. Seen from this perspective, this makes weeding out creeps by “unfollowing” them easier than before.
Every feature, especially of favourite social media go-tos like Instagram, will spark a gamut of reactions, both positive and negative, so it’s only up to us Instagrammers to eventually settle down to whether we want the safeguard feature back, or no, and as to that, only time will tell what suits us best.