Instagram Accounts to Unfollow in 2016

Show no mercy, experience immediate relief


2015 was Snapchat’s year, but just because it’s someone else’s birthday doesn’t mean you can’t dance — and Instagram danced, alright. It tangoed through the thought process of writing a caption and cha-cha-cha’d its way into a debate about the best time to post. It did even the hustle with your Instagram husband.

Well, here we are again: a new year, a new stage and a clean slate so that Instagram doesn’t scuff up its new dancing shoes. For your sanity and the sake of starting 2016 with the best triple axel you can, it’s time to break out your social media scissors and unfollow the following:

Your Ex


The time has come, the walrus said, to stop stalking that person who used to be a part of your life but now only leaves a residue of uncomfy feelings when perusing through his/her photos, especially when said photos cause any of the following: early-onset tear detection, low self-esteem, remorse, regret (either for not being with that person currently, or having been with, ever), attraction reflux, acid reflux and/or dangerous nostalgia (dangerous meaning it could lead to tears or sex). No mercy: Bye!



End your habit now of checking the public Insta of the new person your ex is dating. Consider it a blessing that she wasn’t private and thank your lucky stars that you didn’t accidentally like a photo of her in a bikini from about 200 weeks ago, but no one’s luck holds out forever. Besides, comparing yourself to anyone is pointless. Snip.

The Ex


Another one to cross out: Not your ex, but The Ex of your current significant other, frequently referred to in the way one might a problematic pair of in-laws or Facebook before Justin Timberlake came along — with a “the.”

Reasons for mandatory deletion: see “HER” above, then factor in that if caught (and you definitely are snooping), you’ll have to have one of those convos with your companion that will definitely result in a fight. And for what? Someone no longer in either of your lives?

The Hate-Follow


Perhaps the most addictive one of all, getting rid of the hate-follow is like easing yourself out of a bad habit. Commit to only checking his or her account once a day. Then three times a week. Then once a week. Then agree to stop sending screen shots of the very obvious Photoshop jobs. Harboring bad feelings will only waste your time and make you feel guilty for perpetuating the stink.

However: if you secretly love this person (maybe an embarrassing celebrity), then why not embrace it? You’ll feel liberated.



You know that person who you followed just because you guys were in a friend’s group picture together one summer, whose photos confuse you when they appear on your screen because you forget who they are? No? Exactly. Unfollow. They’re only liking your photos because they’re confused about you, too.

Aw, Dave. He Was Nice.


Get rid of that kid who you were friends with in college but haven’t talked to in 6 years. No way he’ll notice, no way he’ll care.

Your least favorite meme account(s).


They all post the same stuff anyway — choose your favorite one and unclog your feed so that your real friends stop getting mad that you never comment on their photos. (I know! Because you never see it! Now you will.)

Anyone whose baby or animal annoys you.


It’s fine. This is your feed, not theirs.

The Deflater


To anyone who makes you feel like a lesser version of yourself, whether their bragging is intentional or your distaste is internal (you hate how you look or where you live or where you work or where you sit every single time you open their account) — say your goodbyes. When inspiration starts becoming deflation, it’s time to break out the social media scissors.

Don’t You Have a Job?


“Life’s a beach,” (sorry, here’s a barf bucket) but your Instagram feed doesn’t have to be Passport Patty’s travel blog. If her daily hotdog-or-knee pics annoy your desk-knee reality, and you’re not getting all the benefits of that Vitamin D, try an even better Vitamin D: the Delete button.

The “Foodie”


There’s no greater form of jealousy than the kind one experiences whilst scrolling past a food ‘gram on an empty stomach. In an ideal world, the Mad Teacher’s Universal Rule of Snacks would be applied online: if you can’t share with the class, don’t post it. In the meantime, if it makes you mad, unfollow.

The Gym Queen


If her dedication to various athletic studio mirror-selfies actually inspire you to get up at 6 a.m. and kick/stretch/kick, keep her in the queue. But if her abs are keeping you in bed for a 2-hour-long scrolling binge of self-loathing each morning while you sing sad Dashboard Confessional songs to your thighs, cut her loose.

The Compulsive Selfie-Poster


You’ve memorized her face by now. You know what she looks like from every angle. As far as you’re concerned, you could draw her with your eyes closed — and you can’t even really hold a pen properly. If yet another photo of her from the left angle in natural light will not alter your world in a positive way, feel free to unfollow. She’s probably engrained into your memory by now, anyway.

All of these people likely are. So send them a kiss, and send them on their way.

Illustrated by Clare Drummond


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  • You’ve pretty much described my instagram and my Facebook. I did delete my big ex from everything a few years ago and it felt so amazing!!!

    • Leena Gilson

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  • Bels Torché

    Haha I guess if we all unfollowed all of the above, there were just two or three accounts to follow.. I liked the post, though 🙂

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      • Janet Chua

        Thanks for the tip Kelly! btw did you read the article 😀

        • Janet Chua

          It’s all about Instagram…hey but it could very well be about WhatsApp, Netflix or hey maybe, just maybe…it could even realllly be about the secret of making money at home….hmmm…

  • Fee_DP

    I feel like this is pretty much all there is on Instagram

    • Krista Anna Lewis

      What about your friends?!

      • Fee_DP

        All listed above!

      • Tania

        TLC just started playing in my head

      • Elizabeth Tamkin

        The friends who don’t actually *know* me (Kendall)

  • So the best instagram accounts to follow are the ones that are a perfect balance of selfies, travel pics, food pics, etc. If it’s too much of one thing it gets annoying.


      i agree.I did a massive unfollow on Insta recently and it felt great!.. much needed feature by instagram. came in too late.

  • Marianne Ronsse

    I’m with you on all of the exes’ accounts and the not funny memes but not regarding the food account! It might make you mad/hungry sometimes but I find it inspirational (unless it’s someone tagging his bowl of cereals with “#foodie”, cereals and milk are not “#foodie”-material).
    It’s like the Manrepeller newsletter you know? When I saw the title the other day “skinny jeans are dead”, I was like “what?! This is fashion dictatorship!” And it did piss me off, but am I going to unfollow? No, it’s only natural we don’t always agree.

    • Amelia Diamond

      So very true, Marianne Ronsee! (thank you for not unfollowing at our skinny jeans proclamation) but one thing: milk and cereal is the only meal I can make 🙁

      • Marianne Ronsse

        Not to worry, if you add a few fruit pieces ordered symmetrically in your bowl, you can use the hashtag “foodie” righteously 🙂

  • nygirltrappedinfl

    Let’s not forget the religious zealot and the political idiot who needs to convert everyone to their side…..unless that’s your thing of course….


    Liked the one with “Baby or Animal”. No hard feelings. 🙂

  • It feels so good to be freeeeee. I unfollowed people that I don’t like at all…and remind of shit I don’t want to see. It was liberating.

  • Olivia O

    The Dashboard Confessional reference made me so happy.

    I have one to add though…the bragger! Two direct quotes that made me want to unfollow so badly:

    • My response to that first one would be: commuting to work you b****! lol Sometimes if I bother reading the hashtags I can’t help but think that some people are just so full of shit on Instagram!

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    • Liz

      Ohh, the workout selfies. Barf. And the whole #squadgoals thing can just die already. Yes, you have friends. We all have friends. Yours aren’t better than anyone else’s.

  • Marta

    Don’t forget to unfollow “This handsome boy you’ve never seen”. You love his style non lachant, his long blond hair surfing, his sexy tattoos; an extremely temptation you could never have. Because to be honest, we have no idea of where he is living, where he is working (probably he is model…)… nothing!! Is just an illusion hahahhaha

  • My Instagram cleanses don’t involve going without Instagram for a week/month/year/whatever. They involve purging my follow list. Another really good one to add:

    – The person who hasn’t posted anything in 20+ weeks. Because clearly they haven’t been contributing to your finely curated feed.

  • Selene

    hahaha loved this post so so much, definitely need to unfollow some of the accounts you describe!

  • Kelly

    Agree with all of it. Only thing I would add is the annoying person who posts nothing but their significant other. #cheesyweddinghashtag #soandsotietheknot

    • I think let them have it for a little bit (when they’re new together, after the proposal/wedding) – big moments in general. but if they’re still posting pictures of their ring a month after the proposal… unfollow.

  • I’m a gym queen, compulsive selfie-taker, AND post too many pictures of cats. Feel free to follow!

  • starryhye

    I did a massive unfollow on Insta recently and it felt great! What about
    “The Hubble-braggart”? Pics of expensive purses and shoes (“OMG, my hubby is sooooo thoughtful!”) fancy vacations and other superficial crap. They post pics to incite jealousy in others, but if you’re smart you can see that they’re desperate for attention. Remember peeps, Instagram is not real life; It’s the highlight reel!

    • Olivia AP

      The worst! I have to unfollow those too since Christmas is their favourite time to brag

    • i cannot stand when people brag about their significant others on social media. it really makes me want to unfriend/unfollow them but i know some of these people in real life, so that would be rude.

  • Ashli Molina

    Thank God I don’t have any exs or HERs in my life…

    Everyone else, lemme go do dat now

  • Elizabeth Tamkin

    What about the new person you THINK your ex is dating or the new person your ex liked a photo of??? at that point, just get off social media altogether.

  • Ana

    There’s a mistake: The Compulsive Selfie-Poster doesn’t post selfies from different angles, always the same one 😛

  • Safe to say I’m probably guilty of following every single one of these people… but will I unfollow them? Only if one day soon I get sick and can be bothered…

  • Dear Leandra,

    does the insta account of Kim Kardashian West falls into the compulsive selfie-poster?

  • Brieana

    One of my new year social media resolutions was to stop looking at my ex’s soon-to-be-fiancé’s public page. 14 days and counting lol

  • This post is genius! I am currently following a lot of people I know personally but whose instagrams have zero interest. That would be the socially-I-have-to-follow.

  • Liz

    Oh, Insta. I’ve never had a problem with following exes (or current partners of exes) but it’s the hate follows that I can’t seem to quit. The contrived outfit pics, the bad Photoshop jobs, the cringeworthy plastic surgery… hard to quit, but you’re right that you’re better off just ignoring it. And the ‘Don’t You Have a Job?’ accounts are the WORST. Yeah, I get it, you’re on the beach with a cocktail in hand and I’m pulling my hair out over an Excel formula gone awry. Shut it.

    Can’t make me quit my ‘you’ve got kids and have quit every other interest since they came along’ schadenfreude feed, though.


  • this is too good. the ex (my bf’s ex) accidentally followed me on pinterest a couple years ago and i’m pretty sure is still following me. awk. i totally don’t blame her, though, i have a pretty cool pinterest feed.

  • Great post, I have to clean my social networks asap 😉

  • Ellie

    I may be the only one but I actually like the food accounts! I find it motivational and inspirational to watch what other people eat. Probably because I’m not a good eater myself, so I like to be motivated to eat better 🙂

  • Letters to Nowhere

    I just purged my instagram feed last night. (But then went on to follow accounts I had been eyeing). It was so very much needed.

  • On any social media account I automatically unfollow anyone who does Selfies. Anyone who takes Selfies is a raging narcissist searching for compliments. It’s childish, pathetic, and people need to realise this. Stop NOW. The same goes for the relentless baby pictures.

    • not every selfie is taken by a raging narcissist, but by all means, unfollow any and all accounts that stir you up that way!

  • Szia Ujj

    This is fab. I deleted all meme accounts. So, when I want a meme hit I have to search for them. Luckily I know some underground meme accounts and I like to see the trail from some Portuguese guy’s account make it on the big stage or in some cases when they never do and there is a thought just left hanging there with 13 love heart “Likes”. Anyway it sounds more trouble than I have depicted but it isn’t. It is more for the idea of preserving my own personal acknowledgement for people’s hard yakka.

  • kaiju

    Or only follow what you really like..duh

  • If you dislike the deflater you should probably keep them. They say more about you than they say about themselves. Translation = Stop being Jealous and work harder bitch!!!

  • Michelle High

    sing Dashboard Confessional songs to my thighs…too real!!!!!!

  • Hara Konistakh

    Also those who try so fucking hard to seem sophisticated by uploading themselves in every fucking museum or event and always bragging about how much they love art…?

  • James Polcan

    This is the best application and it’s working properly.