Tweeple don’t like to lose followers. I know this because I’ve seen the tweets. It’s just one more area where we question our value in society. In this case, Twitter society. I have started to watch my own follower count fluctuate and I have the same questions as all of you. Do I tweet too much? Not enough? Should I reply, retweet, and direct message (DM) more…or less? Am I not sharing enough links to news items and blogs? Should I be preaching Tweetiquette, using more #hashtags, and can I recommend following someone on a day other than Friday?
Tweeting is a lot of pressure. Think about it. Other than a DM, when you prepare a tweet, you do so for your whole community; that is, everyone who is following you. In real life (remember that?), it would equate to your giving a speech to everyone you know every single time you spoke. Kind of like the President. Maybe that’s why he’s so comfortable on Twitter. Hmm. Anyway, when you combine all that pressure of tweeting with the torture of having to watch as your follower list dwindles, you can see how some twitterers lose their way and start auto-DMing or slamming products and services down our Tweetdecks every 15 minutes for weeks on end. These tweeple just couldn’t take it anymore. That’s the only explanation.
If that’s not enough, the stress is compounded by the fact that the more followers one has, the more elite the twocial twatus one has (too much with the Twitterisms?). So while we are trying to accumulate followers in order to increase our tworth (I can’t help it), we are also increasing the importance of each tweet and subsequently adding more stress to our Twitter lives. This doesn’t happen on Facebook.
Lucky for us there is an answer, but it lies in our darkest twitter fears. The Unfollow Button. Yes, that same button that causes so much grief in our Twitter lives when employed against us can now be used to make everything right and whole again. Like using a strain of bacteria to create the antibody that will cure us (I hope I have my science right), we can use the unfollow button to snatch our confidence and self-estweem back. We have the power to create our own audience. You don’t like constant product/service push and the auto-DM tweeps, unfollow them. It’s your choice. Follow who you want. Set up your own community and if someone decides to unfollow you, don’t read too much into it – unless you are a Twitter pain in the ass in which case you should read a lot into it.
Looking at this a little closer, isn’t the Unfollow button the greatest invention ever? You don’t like what folks are Tweeting, click Unfollow and your world instantly becomes a better place. It makes me wonder why we worry so much about Twitter behavior. Talk about a self-policing community. I wish I had that button in my non-Twitter world. Man, would that be great. I’d be clicking that sucker left and right. Think the Staples Easy button is cool, it would have nothin’ on the Unfollow button. But since the Unfollow button only exists in Twitterland, for now, I will learn to use it wisely and know that I am empowered to create my own community, not solely based on the number of followers and those I follow, but based more on the quality of the tweet within whatever sized community I have. I will learn to embrace the follower count and know that when it decreases, it does so in the name of making everyone’s Twitter experience a better one. As Jack Handy Stuart Smalley would say if he were on Twitter, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darn it, Tweeple Tweet me!”