But is it bad to unfollow in the first place?
It's a One-Sided Game
The ‘Follow’ concept only exists in asynchronous social media like Twitter and Instagram. In this model, you can follow any public account as you please, just like one follows news. Although most services send notifications, the other party does not necessarily have to be aware that a link has been established. For a popular figure like Lebron James, a new follower is just a daily increment on his count.
In Facebook and other traditional social networks, we all know it’s a two-way system. The other side has to confirm first before the site creates a relationship.
Severing the Ties
With the premise above, it would be easy to say that unfollowing is a far cry from unfriending. Unfriending is a relatively uncommon activity – reserved only for bad breakups and real-life quarrels. It is an explicit social statement – “I don’t want you to be my friend anymore”.
Unfollowing, on the other hand, is just like switching TV channels. When a person starts posting things his audience doesn’t want to see, or is not in line with the reason they followed him for, they may decide to unfollow.
Here are the common reasons why people unfollow:
2. Advertising. Promoting a get-rich-quick program on your tweets or feed tends to turn off many followers.
3. Over-posting. Nothing is more annoying than being bombarded by dozens of tweets or photos from a single person. As with anything, it’s quality over quantity.
4. Shifting theme. You may still be posting good tweets or photos, but now instead of tweeting funny quotes you’ve switched to political topics.
5. Following clean-up. Someone may have done mass-following before and is just trimming down the folks that didn't follow back.
6. Inactivity. No point in following a person who doesn’t post anything for a prolonged period anymore.
7. Lack of interaction. Some followers expect some degree of interaction with their followings. If the expected engagement is not reciprocated, they may decide to leave.
So it is Bad to Unfollow?
Before we finally answer the question – let’s consider the phenomenon of the follow-for-folllow. If one decides to drop out, he has broken the unwritten agreement. That’s a gray area where unfollowing can be considered unethical.
But when following is a voluntary activity from the initiator, which is oftentimes the case, he is free to unfollow whenever he pleases. It will never be a vile act. If I stopped following Rajon Rondo on twitter, it doesn't mean I already despise the guy. I'm still a great fan.
To avoid losing followers - continue generating quality, meaningful and useful content, and people will stick around.