What is hatfollowing

Hatefollowing – a situation where users of social networks subscribe to people or secretly follow those who cause them unpleasant emotions. It can be anger, contempt, irritation. Sometimes a person silently looks through the tape of the one who infuriates. And sometimes he fills up the object of observation with angry comments.

Why do people follow those they don’t like

It would seem that if someone infuriates you, just unsubscribe. Why continue to gnaw this cactus? The reasons may be different, and all of them are more related to the one who is watching, and not to the personality of the object of observation.

To feel some emotion

If life seems too boring, the carousel of hatred is the most accessible entertainment.

Pavel Beschastnov


A person has a need to experience emotions, because the parts of the brain responsible for sociality and feelings are much larger and more powerful than the parts that are responsible for symbolic thinking and reason.

The absence of emotions is perceived as something unpleasant and abnormal. In psychiatry, there is even a symptom of “a painful feeling of loss of feelings”, it is also “mournful insensitivity”. This, of course, is an extreme and pathological manifestation, but even within the framework of normal functioning, emotional emptiness and insensitivity are perceived uncomfortable.

At the general household level, it is obvious to everyone that a person strives for positive experiences. This is not entirely true: people need experiences in general. As positive as possible. But negative emotions are also emotions, and it’s better than nothing. Therefore, people seek thrills and even enjoy it. For example, they ride roller coasters and other extreme attractions, although formally fear is unpleasant.

According to Beschastnov, something similar happens with hate following. In an ideal world, people would love to have vivid positive experiences, but in reality, such experiences are rare and hard to come by. The excitement, excitement, empathy of community that fans have when their team wins or at a concert of their favorite artist – this happens infrequently. Vivid negative emotions – indignation, rage, indignation, harsh condemnation – are much easier to experience, and they are strong.

To feel in control

A person subconsciously may believe that the one who annoys him is a danger. He will watch the source of the disturbance because it gives the illusion of being in control of the situation. Let’s say, if you meet a snake in the forest, then don’t take your eyes off it until it gets away. Because you never know what – she can crawl unnoticed. It’s the same with people on social media.

And if a person writes comments, it gives emotions of a completely different kind.

Natalya Kaurova

Analytical psychologist, neuropsychologist.

A person enjoys having power over something significant (in this case, over a blogger, a famous person), enjoying the possibility of defeating an opponent at any cost.

To “merge” emotions

A hater can write any comments he wants, and nothing will happen to him.

Maria Bogrova


Let’s not forget that the Internet is a space that allows you to play off emotions with little or no response. I can write all sorts of nasty things, but the maximum that I get for this is a ban. Therefore, many people who do not know how to cope with anger in everyday life, surrounded by colleagues and family, go to let off steam on the Web.

To prove (to themselves first of all) that they live right

A strong reaction does not occur from scratch. So the blogger is broadcasting something that worries, offends. Especially if he does what the person himself forbids.

Maria Bogrova

Many people in adulthood retain adolescent black-and-white thinking. There can be no different points of view or ways to live life – there is only one right way. Such a person has to constantly convince himself of his own rightness both in reality and on the Internet.

If he sees that someone on the Web does not agree with him, lives differently and cuts his hair differently, then he panics. How? Someone does not look like me at all, but looks quite satisfied with life? What happens, is he right, and I’m a sucker? But I don’t want to be a fool. You have to defend yourself.

And the person begins to defend. He may swear in the comments or conduct angry monologues inside his head, but the essence is the same: to convince himself that he is right and others are wrong.

To assert myself

This is a very simple way to feel better: find someone on the Internet and think “wow, what fools can be, it’s good that I’m not like that.” To consolidate the result, a person can, for example, look for grammatical errors from a blogger and point to them, or do something differently so that everyone notices too. Well, let the rest see how much better he is than this influencer.

Maria Bogrova

Battles in the comments usually evoke strong emotions and therefore create the illusion that a person is doing something important: rebelling against fools, steering public opinion, or fighting for the truth. Yes, and in itself, righteous anger is quite pleasant to experience.

To take your mind off the real problems

According to Maria Bogrova, watching a hated blogger’s feed and angry comments often help to forget about current problems. This is the same way to kill time as scrolling through all the cat videos in a row.

Why hatfollowing is harmful

It would seem, no matter what the child was amused by. But keeping an eye on those who annoy is not so harmless. Here are some reasons why this can be dangerous.

It hurts

There is nothing wrong with negative emotions in and of themselves. They act as a danger signal. For example, someone gives you a passive-aggressive compliment: “What a great haircut! Finally, he looks like a person. It seems that the wrapper is elegant, they say pleasant things to you, and you are angry. And anger helps to understand: these are not such good words.

If a person subscribes to someone he does not like, he also experiences anger, resentment, sadness. But he feels it, because he chooses to get hurt. And this is unpleasant. So it turns out the situation from the proverb about mice that cried, pricked, but continued to gnaw at the cactus.

It’s wasting your time

It’s not even that a person opens someone’s account, it takes minutes. But one must still move away from the feelings that rise in him. He can also return his thoughts to annoying posts, conduct an internal dialogue, and so on.

It helps those who piss you off

Social networks take into account views, subscriptions, comments. And algorithms don’t care if you admire a person or hate him. Your attention adds to his popularity and authority.

What to do if you catch yourself hatfollowing

If someone causes irritation, this is an occasion to delve into yourself.

Maria Bogrova

If hate following does not create problems, then you can continue to do this – who will forbid it. But if you don’t like such leisure and want to stop, I recommend asking yourself the question “why”. So I subscribed to people who piss me off. Why am I subscribed to them? Why do I read posts and comment? What does it give me? What’s stopping you from unsubscribing? If I stop following these people, what will I have time for?

Maria Bogrova offers to understand what needs you satisfy by following hated people on the Web, and learn how to achieve this somehow differently. This is quite possible if you observe yourself honestly and with interest for some time.