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לעוקב שעזב (or “to the follower who left” in English) is an emerging trend among Israeli Twitter users that involves tweet-replying to ex-followers who have recently unsubscribed themselves from their friends list. On Twitter, anyone can easily find out which of his/her Twitter followers have unsubscribed from friends list by using a client service called “Qwitter.” The tweeting fad began to gain momentum since mid-December 2010.
On April 6th, 2010, the phrase first appeared in this tweet, in which Twitterer schaingarte posted a link to the song “Since You Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson with the message, “מוקדש לעוקב שעזב אותי… LOL” or “This is dedicated to the follower who left…LOL.” The phrase did not catch on at this time, only appearing about twenty times sporadically throughout the rest of the year until December.
On December 10th, Noy Aloosh, an Israeli journalist, musician, and comedian, tweeted to his account noyalooshemusic, “לעוקב שעזב. צבוע, פורנו אתה כן רואה אז אח גדול לא?” which translates to “To the follower who left: Hypocrite! You’ll watch porn, but you’re too good for ‘Big Brother’?” (Apparently, Aloosh had recently posted some stuff featuring people from the Israeli “Big Brother” show in the form of a video mash up on his YouTube account.) This was retweeted by a handful of people, and for whatever reason, the phrase caught on like wildfire.
Jimmy Kimmel’s National Unfriend Day
Another possible factor for the spread of the meme may have been an episode of the Jimmy Kimmel show which had recently begun airing in Israel. The show airs with a delay of several weeks and the meme’s spread comes in conjunction with the airing of the “National Unfriend Day” campaign that ran on the show encouraging Facebook users to unfriend people they don’t really know.
The campaign caught on in Israel on both Facebook and Twitter as a backlash to Israelis’ recent obsession with social networks. The term “לאנפל” (pronounced “le-unpel”) was created, a hipper mutation of the term “unfollow” subjected to incorrect Hebrew grammar. The Twitter-obsessed Israeli community members refused to except such mass “unpeling” and responded by signing up to the “Qwitter” website and responding to their “unfollowers” with a “To the follower who left” message.
The meme follows a set pattern, starting with “לעוקב שעזב” (pronounced “la okev sha azav”) and loosely translated into “To the follower who left.” The phrase follows up with a humorous response to the person who has “un-followed” you.
These phrases will usually come in the form of:
לעוקב שעזב: ברוך שפטרנו ! יש לי עוד 445 יותר טובים ממך!
(To the follower who left: Good riddance! I’ve got, like, 445 better followers than you!)
לעוקב שעזב: תחזור בבקשה !
(To the follower who left: Come back! Please!)
לעוקב שעזב: מאחל לך ריבת טחורים לארוחת בוקר
(To the follower who left: I hope you eat hemorrhoid jam for breakfast.)
לעוקב שעזב: עד ה- 15 ליולי אתה תיעקץ ע"י דבור באזור אינטימי. בברכת מלח מים, דני
(To the follower who left: By July 15 you will be stung by a bee in your private parts, amen.)
לעוקב שעזב: הלוואי שיהיו לך נמלים בבית
(To the follower who left: I hope your house gets an ant infestation.)
לעוקב שעזב: אני בוהה במסך בעודי בולס בייגלה שפרוריו מתפזרים לי על החזה השעיר. חבל הייתי נותן לך לבוא ולעשות פו
(To the follower who left: I sit here, bagel crumbs on my hairy chest. Too bad, you could come here and blow on them.)
לעוקב שעזב: לא השתמשתי בקונדום
(To the follower who left: I didn’t use a condom.)
לעוקב שעזב: התעוררתי היום בבוקר והמחזור שלי מאחר ויש לי בחילות בוקר ! אם יש לך קשר לזה בבקשה תוסיף אותי חזרה !
(To the follower who left: I woke up today and my period is late and I have morning sickness! If you have anything to do with this, please add me back!)
Real-time Google Searches
Realtime Google search for לעוקב שעזב on June 7, 2010 [ED: Original poster’s link, reason for posting unknown]
Realtime Google search for לעוקב שעזב for 2010 [Note timeline graph and upswing in early December]
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