Snowball and the Instagram Snafu: Why Supportive Friendships are Essential

Why Being a Supportive Friend is Important:

I got the call a couple weeks ago.

Jen, you won’t believe this. Kelly UNFOLLOWED Snowball on Instagram.

Anna, one of my longtime childhood friends, lives in Atlanta and has been trying for eight years to conceive a child. Eight flipping years. She recently started an Instagram account for her Siamese cat, Snowball, and posts an adorable picture of him once a day. Anna doesn’t have a child, so Snowball is her equivalent. She wants as many people to see and interact with her account as possible. With this in mind, the idea of looking into sites similar to is the way she wants to grow her follow count. In all fairness, companies such as Buzzoid are there for that specific reason, so good on her for doing what’s important to her. If she finds herself too busy to engage with her followers she could use something similar to an Instagram tool to help her keep up with them. Seeing as everyone is pretty much on social media these days, why not use this as an advantage?

He’s always doing something cute in the pictures.

Wearing a tutu.

Doing a trick.

Licking his paw.

Anna downloaded an app on her phone that shows users who unfollowed their social media profiles. Using this app, Anna learned that one of our mutual friends, Kelly, stopped following Snowball’s Instagram account. Hence the phone call. But who cares, Anna can just take a look at Upleap to gain more followers, losing one person over gaining twenty more means nothing.

In case you’re not familiar, unfollowing is to Instagram what unfriending is to Facebook.


I’m sure Kelly had no idea Anna would ever know she unfollowed Snowball’s account. I’m also sure Kelly’s unfollowing wasn’t personal, she just wasn’t interested in seeing pictures of Snowball wearing a sombrero.

What’s noteworthy is that Kelly is a travel writer who routinely posts pictures on social media of tropical and exotic places she’s visiting. Kelly recently opened her own online travel agency and has spent considerable time promoting it on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. I’m pretty sure she’s even used sites like Nitreo to boost her online visibility to potential customers.

And here’s the thing. Anna follows Kelly’s social media accounts and “likes,” “pins,” and “re-tweets” almost every single one of Kelly’s posts and promotions for her travel agency.

She promotes Kelly’s endeavors because she’s Kelly’s friend and she wants to be supportive.

Anna likely doesn’t give a crap that Kelly is eating tempura in Taiwan (like) or hiking near Dudhsagar Falls in Goa (like, comment, share!).

For Anna, sharing Kelly’s posts, or clicking the “like” button on one of Kelly’s pictures is her way of saying, “I acknowledge this and I support you.”

Sometimes being a good friend is supporting other peoples’ pursuits and passions, even if they genuinely don’t make a difference in our own lives. Even if we don’t “care.”

People can be pretty judgmental about what others post on social media. I say this because I’ve been judgy as well.

For instance, I generally get annoyed when people upload pictures of themselves working out or, specially, bragging about the number of calories they’ve burned.

The root of my irritation is jealousy.

Jane Doe finished hiking the Appalachian Trial while I’m sitting on my couch with a red wine mustache after I’ve downed an entire box of Cheez-Its.

And they weren’t even the “Reduced Fat” kind. They were the whole shebang.

Jane, I hope you take your Lululemon pants and fall into a ravine. By the way, I burned 13 calories on my rotation from the sofa, refrigerator, and bathroom. So take that!

People can find all sorts of reasons to be annoyed by other peoples’ social media posts. Job promotions. Selfies. Political rants. Dinner. A million pictures in a row of their children. Creative endeavors. Paintings and pottery. Family deaths. Monogrammed cups and towels for sale. Pictures of “success” stories from someone’s MLM business. (FYI, if someone finds a “stomach wrap” that’s totally legit, I’ll be all over it.) Philanthropic events and fundraisers. Pregnancy announcements. Newborn announcements. Engagement pictures. A new car or home purchase. Mushy gushy love sonnets to significant others.

Nobody is immune from judgment.

Why Being a Supportive Friend is Important:

You know what? People can post pretty much whatever they want on their own social media accounts and nobody really has the right to judge. And further, if someone is posting something that is a milestone or special to them, then as their friends (Read: true friends, not acquaintances we sat next to in middle school biology twenty years ago), it wouldn’t kill us to be supportive and acknowledge it.

I’m not saying someone should feel validated by the number of likes or comments they receive on the Fakebook Facebook. I’m also not saying that clicking “like” on a social media post is the litmus test for true friendship. However, I’m saying that, when looking at the “big picture,” true friends should support their friends’ endeavors.

This isn’t limited to social media. This is real life.

Being a true, supportive friend, is being a friend who routinely shows up.

As we get older and have more personal, family, and career obligations, “showing up” for good friends takes different forms. It means asking about a friend’s new job. It means making an effort to see their new house or their newborn baby, even if it’s “out of the way” and inconvenient. It means attending weddings (even the second and third), baby showers, and milestone birthdays. It means making a phone call or sending a text message or e-mail to congratulate them about a “big deal” accomplishment.

And sometimes, even sometimes, showing up means liking the living bejesus out of Snowball’s Instagram pictures.

Because, come on, seeing pictures of him snoozing on a windowsill are the cat’s meow. (I hate me.)

True friends say, “this is important to me because it’s important to you. So I’ll ask you about it and show an interest.”

What if we all supported people the way we wanted others to support us? Even if we didn’t necessarily “care”? What if we all showed an interest in things that were going on in other peoples’ lives, even if it doesn’t truly matter to us? What if we all showed our friends that something they’re doing is important to us just because it’s important to them?

What would happen?

I can tell you what will happen… a whole lot of love and good feelings would happen.



    30 Comments on Snowball and the Instagram Snafu: Why Supportive Friendships are Essential

    1. Frugal Mom of 8
      February 3, 2016 at 6:53 pm (7 years ago)

      I agree! I had no idea people cared until I heard a relative almost crying because none of our family liked her Facebook posts. It matters to them so if we care, it needs to matter to us. However we need to be careful not to judge the friend who unfollowed. We don’t know why. I hope they had a chance to talk.

      • jenniferdaku
        February 3, 2016 at 8:59 pm (7 years ago)

        Totally agree and thanks for your input! As my own instagram has grown and I’ve had to start using management tools, I’ve often accidentally unfollowed people I care about, like my own sister. It was a pure accident and I would hate to think she would take it personally without asking me about it first. Cheers! xoxo

    2. Heather with WELLFITandFED
      February 3, 2016 at 6:04 pm (7 years ago)

      I fricking fracking love this. I am posting to Facebook and liking the crap out of it myself. You rock.

      • jenniferdaku
        February 3, 2016 at 8:59 pm (7 years ago)

        Thanks again, Heather! You’re the best.

    3. Jenn Slavich
      February 3, 2016 at 6:01 pm (7 years ago)

      Well I hope she talked to her friend about that. Sometimes if there isn’t communication people will never know that those things are bothering them. Hopefully she did talk to her.

      • jenniferdaku
        February 3, 2016 at 9:00 pm (7 years ago)

        Thanks for your input, Jenn! I try to stay out of these things but hopefully there was a happy ending between them. xo

    4. laure n
      February 3, 2016 at 11:53 am (7 years ago)

      nailed it. I will share my friends stuff and buy from them whenever possible, even when I know I can get similar items for way less money. It is about the show of support.. and that is so important when it comes to being a good friend.

      • jenniferdaku
        February 3, 2016 at 9:01 pm (7 years ago)

        Totally agreed. For instance, I bought ten boxes of girl scout cookies last week from my neighbor’s daughter that I’ll likely take to work and let sit at the office for grabs with my co-workers. While they’re delicious, I’m trying to be healthy but wanted to support her efforts. xo

    5. Jessica
      February 3, 2016 at 10:46 am (7 years ago)

      It’s not just unfollowing. But I have an ex-friend who used to like EVERYTHING from me on Facebook. Then we had a falling out. She then stopped liking anything from me on Facebook. Unfortunately, we work together occasionally. She always asks me if I’ve seen x and x post from HER on FB. If she doesn’t like my stuff, why would I like her stuff? People are SO crazy.

      • jenniferdaku
        February 3, 2016 at 9:03 pm (7 years ago)

        Agreed, that’s crazy. People routinely use Facebook and social media as a way to be passive aggressive. (Not liking or commenting/ not wishing someone a happy birthday). It’s one thing if the person legitimately isn’t on social media and never saw the post. It’s another if you know that person logs into social media twenty times a day and there’s no way he/she didn’t see it. Bye, Felicia!

    6. valerie hansen
      February 3, 2016 at 10:38 am (7 years ago)

      I love this post,and so agree with all of it! If you are a true friend..yes SHOW UP and be supportive whether you agree or not! Thanks for sharing! I also want to know that insta acct..I LOVE CATs!

      • jenniferdaku
        February 3, 2016 at 9:03 pm (7 years ago)

        Thanks so much, Valerie. I agree that being a good friend means showing up in the good, bad, and ugly! xo

    7. linda spiker
      February 3, 2016 at 10:00 am (7 years ago)

      You know, I have that app. And I stopped looking at it the first time I noticed a friend unfollowed me. I tried not to take it personally, but i did …a little. So I stopped looking.

      • jenniferdaku
        February 3, 2016 at 9:05 pm (7 years ago)

        I installed the app last month when my IG started really growing and NEVER EVER EVER look at who my recent unfollowers are. I just stick with “people I’m following who aren’t following me back.” As I use my blog’s IG to mainly connect with other bloggers and my personal IG account just for friends, I never have to see if someone I care about unfollowed me. Not worth the hurt feelings.

    8. Cara
      February 3, 2016 at 9:31 am (7 years ago)

      This is such a great post and I’ve seriously been thinking about this very subject here lately. It sometimes feels like it is a one way street when it comes to supporting others and it truly is a shame. There are several posts that come across my news feed that I literally have no interest in whatsoever, but because I care about the person behind it, I support them on it, no matter what it is. Even if it the 8th cat meme of the day. That is the true definition of a friend, and I’m so glad you said this today. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

      • jenniferdaku
        February 3, 2016 at 9:05 pm (7 years ago)

        Thanks Cara! I agree, people can be so selfish. We live in a “what’s best for me” generation and it’s only getting worse. Makes us more appreciative of the true friends. xo

    9. Aarika
      November 19, 2015 at 9:01 pm (7 years ago)

      This is a beautiful post! I am so happy to have discovered it this evening. Your words completely resonate with me. Thanks for your beautiful words and inspiration. Cheers!

    10. Shylie
      November 18, 2015 at 9:44 pm (7 years ago)

      A) what is Snowball’s Instagram account handle? As an insane cat lover I am dying to see pictures of a Siamese in a sombrero and a tutu.
      B) I agree wholeheartedly with this post. At the root of this thread is ‘are you happy for your friend’s happiness?’ In today’s society there is too much competition and judgment of whether other people’s passions are as ‘worthy’ as yours, and treating them accordingly. it costs nothing to click like, and the acknowledgment is I am sure very appreciated by the recipient!!!

      Great post!

    11. Sara Glomski
      November 18, 2015 at 5:20 pm (7 years ago)

      Good point! I saw some one I know unfollowed me when I tagged her in a TBT pic earlier this year and she didn’t see it. And then I realized she unfollowed me. I admit, it hurt my feelings!

      • jenniferdaku
        November 18, 2015 at 8:17 pm (7 years ago)

        Mine would totally be hurt too!

    12. Ali A
      November 18, 2015 at 2:44 pm (7 years ago)

      I’m so big on supporting friends in all of their ventures; at the very least follow and ‘like’ and subscribe and whatever other social media jargon you can do. I have friends involved in all kinds of things (even some I’m not necessarily interested in) but I still support what they’re doing. Also, can we talk about those ‘who unfollowed me apps?” I hate that they exist.

      • jenniferdaku
        November 18, 2015 at 8:17 pm (7 years ago)

        Agreed. And I don’t want to know who unfollowed me. I guess it’s dumb, but it would legitimately hurt my feeling if someone I considered myself “friends” with unsubscribed to my social media. ESPECIALLY if those people whose endeavors I’ve supported in the past.

    13. Carol Cassara
      November 18, 2015 at 10:00 am (7 years ago)

      We are all in this life together, support is critical. I have had a few social media crazy reasons for people unfollowing, too.

      • jenniferdaku
        November 18, 2015 at 10:12 am (7 years ago)

        Oh girl… trust me when I say that I’ve “hidden” and “unfollowed” my share of acquaintances. “Sorry dude, I don’t want to see pictures of your bloody toenail in my newsfeed.” That said, I generally try to be supportive of people who are decently good friends, both in social media and in real life. I hope the meaning behind the post wasn’t lost in translation. Cheers!

    14. LauraInFlorida
      November 18, 2015 at 8:56 am (7 years ago)

      Another great post!

      • jenniferdaku
        November 18, 2015 at 10:12 am (7 years ago)

        Thanks so much, Laura!

    15. Amber Hill
      November 18, 2015 at 7:05 am (7 years ago)

      Loved the post, commented, and shared. And when you post this bad boy on Facebook, I’ll like that too!

      • jenniferdaku
        November 18, 2015 at 10:12 am (7 years ago)

        As always, thanks Amber!

    16. Stella Lee@ Purfylle
      November 17, 2015 at 10:57 pm (7 years ago)

      I don’t know. I get where you’re coming from but I disagree. If it’s boring for you I don’t want you to have to endure it for my sake.

      • jenniferdaku
        November 18, 2015 at 10:14 am (7 years ago)

        Thanks for stopping by and for your opinion, Stella! I think sometimes being a good friend means occasionally boring stuff for the sake of the friendship. I’m not saying we have to break our necks for people, but calling someone to ask about their new job or clicking “like” on a comment and continuing to scroll probably never killed anyone. Cheers, and I’ll stop by your blog. xo