In the week since Instagram announced its plan to delete inactive accounts and spam-bots, users have been anxiously wondering when the axe would drop and how bad the carnage would be. Well, Thursday that axe fell with a resounding “everything you know is a lie.” Justin Bieber lost 3 million followers; Harry Styles, over 700,000; Bryan Boy, 255,000; Jen Selter, the Belfie Queen, 100,000 precious pieces of her identity. Kim Kardashian lost a cool million followers.
And Nicki Minaj? Well, Nicki just wants to return to the comfort that comes with ignorance. Someone give her back her fake followers, please.
Wait. IG gave me the followers of the girl that was impersonating me wen I created an IG. Now that I'm on they snatched dem shits bak. LMFAO— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) December 18, 2014
Almost nobody was safe — we at the the Cut lost 33,000 fake followers today. Go on without us; leave us here to die.
From Twitter reactions (many tagged #lostfollowers), it seems that what once was the bedrock of validation has crumbled away into the ocean. Today, we realize we are mere specks in the cosmos, dust in the wind, lint in the belly button of the universe. We don’t matter, says this purge. We’re not ready to accept this, we say back.
Whether you lost 29 followers or 29 million, the existential crisis looked the same.
At first, anger:
I don't understand why I lost so many Instagram followers. I never once bought followers or any of that bs. I'm mad at you @instagram— Meghan McCarthy (@MeghanWMcCarthy) December 18, 2014
And then, a moment of self-reckoning in which you were forced to ask yourself the following questions:
What does it mean?
"You can buy them but you are a lie, baby bye bye byeeeee... " instagram followers getting Nsync-ed, haha— Jason Richardson (@JaiRich) December 18, 2014
Does it matter?
Like realizing the calories you burn on an elliptical are inflated by 30 percent, realizing this number allows you to be free. We are all just on an elliptical of life, climbing to nowhere.
Do I even matter?
When you realize you've lost 300 IG followers to the streets. pic.twitter.com/2gEOnFusuh— Jian DeLeon (@jiandeleon) December 18, 2014
Everyone on Instagram right now pic.twitter.com/yVU3jtgiti— Kardashian Reactions (@KardashianReact) December 18, 2014
Does anything even matter?
Probably not. Especially not this.
Do I even exist anymore? Do you?
RIP to my ghost followers I lost on Instagram this morning. It's like y'all were barely even there, or not at all, because you didn't exist.— Chris Lee (@ChristopherLeex) December 18, 2014
Supposing I do exist, should I even exist?
Learn from Mase. After losing 1.5 million followers in mere seconds, Mase looked at himself in the mirror and asked the question into the void. The void told him "get off Instagram," and he did. He went into the deep and never returned.
Does Nietzsche address this?
Does he? Doesn't he? Fight Club does, though, close enough.
Should we begin again?
I lost 20k followers in the #InstagramPurge and I'm feeling cleaner than ever! Only real people, please! Twitter, next?— Andy Cohen (@Andy) December 18, 2014
We can begin again. We should begin again. Even you, Mase.