Please don’t read this as a second installment on “Why I Don’t Facebook,” because I’m not as anti-social media as you may think I am.
Here’s the thing. I’ve had a Twitter account since long before most of my friends, and loved it for the simplicity of communication. As a journalism student, I embraced it as an incredible way to merge social attitudes and news consumption.
Then came that job where I had to manage like 20 Twitter accounts, and before I knew it, I was following TONS of people … even had that software that told me when people unfollowed me, and automatically followed people who followed me. I sort of hated myself for what I allowed Twitter to become. It was no longer a way for me to get bite-sized pieces of info on my close friends and favorite news orgs. It had become a cluster of information overload … and a Twitter clean up was long overdue.
So. Very carefully over the past few weeks, I’ve been organizing the people I follow like crazy. Making lists, named for the reason I follow them, I put those that I follow into those categories. Then, I unfollowed.
GASP. I know… it’s worse than a Facebook breakup for the world to see, or accidentially sending an @reply when you meant to send a DM. It’s a relationship ruiner and all around crappy way to treat that Tweep.
Eh. I feel OK about it. I took the number of people I follow from around 250 down to 99. So my timeline is only filled with my close friends, a few news sources and favorite personalities (couldn’t quite let go of @grammarhulk or @OHnewsroom).
Now, I feel closer to my friends and know the answer to the original question “What’s happening?” in the lives of my friends. When I need my nerdy journo fix, I read up on Poynter articles and MediaBistro posts. I have a list for foodies, local news and business, favorite magazines and SEC football. Imagine that… I’m in control of what information is brought to me. Amazing concept.
Maybe this is just a post for those who might have noticed the unfollow. Perhaps I need to justify why I ended Twitter relationships. I reckon I might be a little concerned that people won’t take the consolation prize of making a Twitter list as a fun prize to receive. Maybe it might just be affirming for me to say what I need to hear from myself again.
Sigh. Life is totally better on the other side, though. I encourage a good follower clean-up for those who long for the days of 140-character simplicity and keeping up with friends. That is, of course if you manage like 20 Twitter accounts.
In that case, I recommend a therapist and a trip to a white sandy beach.