Okay, so I just unfollowed more than 500 Twitter “friends”. I feel a little guilty about it, so I will try to explain to anyone who cares to read this.
I use quotes as I don’t know any of these people. I’ve never had a conversation with any of the 500 or so, in the Twitterverse or otherwise. I have nothing against any of these people. In fact I’m sure many, if not all of them are fascinating, charming and knowledgeable people in their own right. I just couldn’t figure out why we were following one another. If it’s just a numbers game, I think that I will choose to keep mine low but meaningful.
I suppose it all began innocently, or perhaps idealistically enough when I first joined Twitter and wanted to meet like minded people. Isn’t that why we all join?
What I suddenly realized was that I had a tremendous amount of people on my timeline that I didn’t recognize in any way. They weren’t there to make conversation with me (nor I with them in all fairness), but rather to sell something. Something that I don’t need, nor do I have (since I being completely honest) the desire to research and become convinced that I do need. I would be willing to bet big money that these 500 or so feel much the same about my tweets.
On the other hand, I have made some wonderful friends on Twitter. Some who have been exceedingly helpful, supportive, encouraging or just plain fun and funny. I’ve met people that I consider real friends, people whom I look forward to one day meeting should our paths ever cross. I’ve learned so much from many of these people and they have enriched my life without doubt. That is a mere handful, nowhere near the almost 2,000 I was following. I’m still following over 1,300 and it seems positively ridiculous to me. I can’t possibly be in touch with that many people, nor support, retweet and #FF even with the help of Tweetadder or Hootsuite. Even if I did, am I really benefitting anyone by blindly supporting without really knowing anything about a person and their product, purpose or otherwise?
Perhaps this seems naive, or at cross purposes with how Twitter is supposed to work, but I feel a need to fit myself into this particular social media platform in a way that I can believe in.
I am making a promise to myself from this day forward to only follow people I believe that I can have a relationship with on some level, be it personal or professional. If this seems self indulgent or unkind in any way please accept my apologies.