Ever wondered how you’d react if a social media practitioner you follow, who also follows you back, suddenly decides to unfollow you; actually, not just you but all their follows as well?
I prefer the term ‘practitioner’ because those of us who’ve become adept with social media actually do practice it, regardless of whether or not we consider ourselves or are perceived by others as gurus, experts, explorers or droolers.
Being unfollowed actually has no significant impact to the more expansive, pervasive value social media brings to my daily experience. But there are some who dump follows and seem compelled to explain why. However, for reasons which ironically have defined why social media totally rocks for me, here are some thoughts on why I think such explanation is simply for naught:
- It’s not about you. Social media is first and foremost about nurturing social interactions that bring value to each other’s experience. This collaborative, almost self-effacing quality is a natural tendency when cultivating good relations and earning trust among complete strangers. So unplugging suddenly only sets you back after all the work you’ve done to date.
- Dunbar’s number makes high follow ratios look ludicrous. While theoretical, it makes complete sense to me that there exists a limited cognitive threshold, or number of people with whom you can realistically maintain meaningful social interactions on a regular basis. So if you claim to be unable to properly maintain interactions with a multitude, unfollowing all would certainly be one drastic course of action. It’s dramatic—unless of course it was meant to be dramatic.
- Spam is here and here to stay. Get over it. Whether you like it or not, filtering is a daily chore. If you argue that there’s so much noise on your stream that you’re spending more time sifting through trash rather than tweeting or blogging then perhaps you should have thought twice about subscribing to that auto-follow app that brought in all that crap to begin with. Unplugged or not, spam will continue to invade you elsewhere.
- Social influence is still a relative science. With all due respect to my trusted colleague Joseph (@RepuTrack), I know he would to an extent agree with me when I say that we are still in the midst of proving that social influence, ranking, etc. can indeed be accurately, justifiably and sustainably measured. If you choose to despair and unfollow all because you suddenly feel that your influence has been negatively affected by slumping ranking based on a relative science, then what are you really despairing about?
- Twitter still will be here without you. ♫ England still will be here without you..♫ (My Fair Lady) There are so many social media practitioners crowding the online space that even the smarmiest who have the brightest (or seemingly bright?) torch held high with laurels of kudos crowning their social media clout can easily *pouff* vanish at any given moment, and yet the stream will continue to gush and roar without care.
|photo sourced from moviestore.com|
Oh but perhaps if you unfollowed everyone all at once..perhaps then you could secure a nano’s moment for someone to actually notice and care enough to blog about it. Eh?
It’s all good, I suppose. We are after all still in that long, drawn-out age of attention, which started back in the 60’s and managed to drag its lumbering, whiney feet into 2009.
For whatever reason, no explanations needed, and no I won’t take it personally, it’s really quite okay to let go…and just go with the flow.