My Name is Erika and I’m an Active Unfollower…

Sheep - 'Nuff said(Hi, Erika.)

Hello, sheep. How are ya this fine freakin’ morning? We’re talking Twitter again today. It’s in my craw and we haven’t talked tweeting since my schoolyard smack-down as to why I’m not following you back on Twitter and three snarky ways to be annoying while using the medium.

On a side note, the picture to the left was just cute enough to offend me this morning and I might send it over to Fuck You, Penguin, to see what he can do with it.

While at Blog World, I was consistently asked, “Oh! Do you follow so-and-so? How about _____? No?! Really! You should.”

No, I shouldn’t. And I started responding with one simple phrase:

“Actually, I’m an Active Un-Follower.”

This prompted many “blinky-blinks” and “what do you means?”

Twitter is becoming bloated and the Fail Whale is looking more and more like some tragedy from a National Geographic special, washed-up on the shore and stinking of death. The addition of Bing and Google into the real-time search game will only bloat the system even more (and you can read my thoughts on the Social Media “Group Hug” here). Hence, I’m conserving energy and narrowing my focus.

What I’m doing isn’t new. Others have dumped 100% of their followers and started adding people back again. But here’s my reasoning for paring-down my network:

  • I Can’t Listen to What Needs Listening: I have clients who rely upon my ability to read the Twitter stream and understand what’s going on in social media, their industries and well…shit I want to read on my own. If I don’t recognize your username as someone with whom I regularly exchange tweets with, you’re getting the axe.
  • If I Can’t Listen, I Can’t FIND the Right People to Follow. I come across interesting people online each and every day. I’m also looking for new folks to add to my stream and those of my clients. Through all the damn noise (and it’s only going to get louder), I can’t build meaningful communities. I’m just left with piles of people. Piles suck. Look at your laundry. No one likes folding laundry, so it stays in piles.
  • Pure Spite: I’m so fucking sick and tired of the DM spam that talks about “fauxllowers” (i.e.: people you follow who don’t follow you back) and how to “get a gazillion followers TODAY” that I’m being childish and sending a very straight and intentional middle finger to the Twittersphere. Nanny-nanny-boo-boo.

If you’ve gotten or find yourself getting the axe from The Redhead, don’t fret and it’s not personal. This isn’t a game of elementary school kickball where everyone gets to play. While I use Twitter and social media for business and pleasure, I have no doubt we’d all be better off if we collectively treated it more like a business. Stop being the crazy aunt (and we all have one) who keeps everything and whose house smells like Spaghetti-Os and mothballs.

16 comments
Trece
Trece

I will follow people who I find interesting. I have no expectation of a cause/effect floow-back. What I really don't like are the spammy types who never RT and never @ anyone. I figure they're kind of like j*rking *ff. I really enjoy your writing, especially because it is so different from mine.

Trece
Trece

I will follow people who I find interesting. I have no expectation of a cause/effect floow-back. What I really don't like are the spammy types who never RT and never @ anyone. I figure they're kind of like j*rking *ff. I really enjoy your writing, especially because it is so different from mine.

lucnypes
lucnypes

Isn't the lists feature designed to allow you narrow down your "following" crowd to those you really want to hear?

lucnypes
lucnypes

Isn't the lists feature designed to allow you narrow down your "following" crowd to those you really want to hear?

The Redhead
The Redhead

Hey Nathan! Great to see you again. The guest cameo with Pemba was a highlight and so much fun...thanks for stopping by. Katie - I don't know what that perfect number is for me yet. I'm taking another "whack" this weekend and the numbers will go down yet again. But strangely enough, my number of followers keeps going up. Huh. Who knew?

The Redhead
The Redhead

Hey Nathan! Great to see you again. The guest cameo with Pemba was a highlight and so much fun...thanks for stopping by. Katie - I don't know what that perfect number is for me yet. I'm taking another "whack" this weekend and the numbers will go down yet again. But strangely enough, my number of followers keeps going up. Huh. Who knew?

Katie
Katie

I absolutely agree too, and find I get much less out of twitter if I follow too many people. I've capped my following list around 300, just to make sure I can actually pay attention to everyone on the list. It's my twitter stream, and I'll direct it any way I please! (Keep it up, I love reading your stuff!)

Katie
Katie

I absolutely agree too, and find I get much less out of twitter if I follow too many people. I've capped my following list around 300, just to make sure I can actually pay attention to everyone on the list. It's my twitter stream, and I'll direct it any way I please! (Keep it up, I love reading your stuff!)

Nathan Mathews
Nathan Mathews

Love it, and I totally agree with you . . .you probably don't remember me, but I did tell you HI once upon via webcam at the PembaServes Tweet-up during Outdoor Retail. Love your blog and how sassy you always are . . . Nathan

Nathan Mathews
Nathan Mathews

Love it, and I totally agree with you . . .you probably don't remember me, but I did tell you HI once upon via webcam at the PembaServes Tweet-up during Outdoor Retail. Love your blog and how sassy you always are . . . Nathan

MIke
MIke

I hope you don't take offense - I didn't follow you for the reciprocating follow. I just found that more often than not, what you have to say interests me, peaks my curiosity, or I just flat out sit back and say "YES! That's what I'm talking about!" Twitter is all about making connections and getting the latest and greatest. It's not a popularity contest. I do appreciate how often you do reply when I feel the need to mention something to you. I guess in that regard I don't need to get the axe when you realize nothing I say interests you, but I can still drop a tweet-nugget your way every once in a while and enjoy the response!

MIke
MIke

I hope you don't take offense - I didn't follow you for the reciprocating follow. I just found that more often than not, what you have to say interests me, peaks my curiosity, or I just flat out sit back and say "YES! That's what I'm talking about!" Twitter is all about making connections and getting the latest and greatest. It's not a popularity contest. I do appreciate how often you do reply when I feel the need to mention something to you. I guess in that regard I don't need to get the axe when you realize nothing I say interests you, but I can still drop a tweet-nugget your way every once in a while and enjoy the response!