One of the cruel realities of our new, social media-driven life is that it’s removed all the comforting ambiguity from ditching your friends. There once was a time when, if you hadn’t heard from someone in a while, you could just assume they were too busy. You’d smile wistfully as you reflected on the forking paths that carry us in and out of each other’s orbits, imagining that they, too, were surely wondering about you and lamenting all the things keeping you apart. But now you can look at Facebook and confirm that, nope, they just don’t like you anymore. That fucking asshole.
Of course, finding out exactly which of these so-called “friends” opted out of your life used to be a rather gauche process of combing through your contacts list, then posting an all-caps public status update railing against “fakes.” But The Daily Dot has rounded up several services that provide a relatively more dignified way to learn exactly who’s unfriended and unfollowed you, whose betrayal you can then agonize over until you’re dead.
For Twitter, Who Unfollowed Me answers the question screaming inside your skull by linking to your account, taking inventory of your followers, then tracking those numbers hourly to give you details on exactly who you lost or, more rarely, gained. While the basic service is free, if you’re really into brooding over who’s paying attention to your 140-character thoughts, there are also several premium pricing levels that can break down who has you muted or blocked, and provide you with detailed histories of abandonment stretching back 30 days, a year, or to the very reaches of your Twitter existence. Then there’s Friend Check, which does all of that and filters your followers into categories like “famous” and “influential,” so you can see precisely how few of those there are and feel bad about that, too.
Friend Check also works for Instagram, but if you’re ready to wallow fully in this thoroughly modern form of self-flagellation, you’ll want to check out some of the apps that are specifically dedicated to caring about who doesn’t like your photos. Unfollowgram is a popular option; like Friend Check it also has Twitter capabilities, but at least here there is the cold comfort offered by its distancing, silly portmanteau, which doesn’t force you to think of these people who spurned you as your “friends.” After all, if they were really your friends, they wouldn’t have unfollowed you. They would look at all your shitty photos and pretend to be interested.
If you’re looking to make Instagram a more Machiavellian experience, there’s also Followers For Instagram. Not only can you track the fools who unfollowed you, but you can also sort those who remained into your “best” and “worst followers,” according to how often they offer tithings of likes. Even better, you can see who your “secret admirers” are—the anonymous people who don’t follow you but clearly want to, given how frequently they like or comment on your posts. Oh, how they long for you there in the shadows, and you may beckon to them or cast them out according to your wont. You hold all the power. You are in control. Those on your “worst followers” list would be wise to understand this, for their day of reckoning is coming.
Instagram and Twitter, by their nature, offer a far more gossamer social connection. If you really want to choke on your own bile, you’ll want to log into Facebook and download something like Deleted or the more sarcastically titled Still Friends. The latter requires you to pay a price—an emotional price, but also 99 cents—to reveal exactly who left you twisting in the wind, but Deleted is a free browser extension that will notify you for free, in real time, the very second someone unfriends you. Clicking the link will tell you whether they deactivated their entire account, or if they just hate you now.
Unfortunately, it will not tell you whether they always sort of hated you—but you can probably figure that out for yourself. Yes, thinking back on it now, between the hours of 3 and 5 a.m., you can see there was always a slight mocking tone to their voice whenever they spoke to you, some barely indiscernible sneer to their lips when you spoke to them. Well, fuck them. They think they’re so much better than you? Fuck them. In fact, fuck everyone, forever. You don’t need their lies and phony loyalties. You see now that you can’t trust anyone. All you can trust are these apps.
As of right now, there’s no similar app for Snapchat, so just assume that everyone on there is also a conniving Judas who would turn on you without a second’s remorse in this seething, pitiless nest of backbiting vipers we must slither through, cold and alone.