Things that we once thought were very good can change. That’s why I take care to constantly reassess the things I like. If I realise I don’t like something anymore, I stop following it. This also applies to people; sometimes it just happens that there is a shift in my feelings and the connection I have with that person doesn’t feel good to me anymore. With people especially, the shift can be hard to observe in oneself because a lot of self-deception gets in the way. When that happens, I am remembering old, good memories and feelings that I shared with that person, and not objectively assessing our connection as it stands in the present. The layers of denial can be very thick due to wanting to hold on and not let go of what was good before. When this has happened to me, I’ve found myself in constant doubt, even blaming myself for things between us not feeling right. Now though, I’m getting better at simply observing the change in my feelings and making a mental note of it—in most cases there is no need to take immediate action to remove someone from your life—the slow fizzle does the job.

Updating what or whom I like can be annoying because it’s like a snake shedding its skin. It’s hard to do because it takes a lot of energy and during this process old, irritating flakes of skin get stuck for a while.

When it comes to online content, there is only one blog that I have consistently followed for more than 4 years. Most of everything else I’ve only been into for short phases. Sometimes it’s because I’ve lost interest and other times it is a conscious decision to stop. I stop following someone if their information strikes me as having been corrupted in some way—for example, the person now spreads false information (usually to make big money) or has turned into a cult leader. I also stop following people when ‘internet fame’ has gone to their heads. It can be really disconcerting and even upsetting when this happens because you wonder if you were deceived at first, or else why would you have followed this person?

When I perceive someone to be spreading false information, this does not mean the same thing as me disagreeing with that person’s viewpoint. It relates more to perceiving some background agenda in the person’s words that they aren’t being upfront about. Usually they have some magic method for sale or a philosophy that they want you to become a follower of. It’s a red flag for me whenever someone touts a product or philosophy as being the only solution that works for a particular problem.

Referring back to myself now as a content maker, I change a lot and for some people who follow me or who used to follow me, that’s disconcerting. To that I say that the changes you see in me are much more obvious because they are shown on the outside and are being expressed, whereas with a lot of people, their changes might not be directly shown because the person is protecting their brand image and income stream. On top of this, the majority of people only have one creative mode of expression (like a typecast actor) which is more widely distanced from their real-life personality; who you see on screen and who you get in real life are totally different beings. When this is the case, inner changes can be relegated solely to the private personality who is kept away from the camera. This means ‘unflattering’ or uncommerical inner changes that a person goes through tend not to leak out into what they have to say online. Although if you’re paying attention and watching carefully, you can still notice subtle changes.