Every so often, I unfollow lots of people and tighten my stream back to a bare minimum. I’ve always done this since I first started using Twitter – it serves me best as a platform where I only see those closest to me and then expand it out little by little over a few months then repeat the reduction and start again.
Every time I do this, I get a few messages from people, asking what they did wrong, or if I’m upset, or something similar.
I’ve never followed many people, I find the noise drowns out people I really want to hear from. As one of the first uptakers I’ve always used Twitter as a place where I talk to my friends. It’s never been about “growing my network” or having a personal brand. I think that’s why I’ve received comments in the past about my weird social media approach – it’s always almost TMI, and if I’m angry I share it. If I’m happy, I share it. If I’m sad, I share it. It’s a chat room of my good friends, but anyone is welcome to join in too. Some people from my Twitter have become my best friends both off and online. Others are people I know in real life that I like to keep up with. Others still, people whose opinions really matter to me, or from cultures and backgrounds I’d like to understand better. Some accounts I just follow because the content (often art) makes me feel happy when I log on to Twitter.
The main reason I’m writing this post though, is to explain that if I don’t follow you, or unfollow you for a bit, it doesn’t mean anything. You haven’t upset me, your content is great (you do you!) and you shouldn’t take it as a personal sleight. I just prefer to keep my stream stream-lined (!) and changeable.
“Can’t you just mute me/people so not to hurt feelings?!” I’ve had a few times in the past. Well, no. I don’t want to. I like unfollowing and re-following. I find mute is a bit of a lie. I don’t want people to THINK I’m following them and not joining in on their conversations or lives, but actually I’m not. Seems like an ego stroke that serves no-one. I’m annoyingly and often irritatingly transparent in who I am and how I live my life and what’s happening in my head, I don’t change that online. Also, whether I follow you on Twitter or not is zero indication of how much I like or dislike you. I once followed a group of Trump supporters for a week to try and understand their interactions and viewpoints. THAT WAS A HARD WEEK. But yeah, I didn’t like them. Following (or not) is no endorsement.
Lastly – I drop in on people’s streams a lot, even when I’m not following them, so don’t think because I’ve unfollowed I’m gone for good – and I often re-follow people, sometimes multiple times a year. I’m just making sure what I see when I log on to my feed is curated tightly to what noise I can handle at any one time.
You’re all amazing. Keep doing you. Don’t stress if someone on the internet follows or unfollows you. If you have a thing that tells you when people do, do yourself a favour and turn it off. *kisses*