Without rehashing the Twitter events of last night, Leah Jones (no relation, although I do consider her a sista) and I were chatting about resetting our Twitter accounts and starting over. It happened to me about a month ago and Leah took the leap this week. Well, one thing led to another and some of the Twitter elite got pulled into the conversation (yeah, sorry about that). There was arguing, there was defensiveness and there was even some name calling.
After the smoke cleared and we had some time to think about it, Leah and I wanted to gather our thoughts. So here we go:
-I’m not saying everyone should delete their Twitter accounts. But you have to admit, if you did you’d really see who cares about you and who you care about. Like who you will be able to remember to follow, because I’m pretty sure you won’t remember all 20,000 people…or even an nth of that.
-What if you deleted your account and started over every time you reached, oh, I dunno, 2500? You’d cultivate your list again and again making those connections you have the most meaningful and worthwhile. They would not just be numbers anymore, but people you know and care about.
-Look, I don’t hate those folks with high follower counts. In fact, I appreciate their constant evangelism of all things social media. They are bringing attention to the space. And for that, I’m thankful.
-Different people use Twitter for different purposes. One of my main ones is to be entertained.
-If you’re following so many people that you need to use third-party tools to filter that stream, then what’s the point? You’re flitering out the noise. Why not turn the noise off completely?
-It’s just Twitter, people. Don’t get so uptight. It’s a freakin’ tool. Granted those with tens of thousands of followers have the “most” to lose if they hit the reset button, but maybe that’s the reason to do it. Finding your self-worth in an online world is a trap. We only “like” politically correct things on Facebook. We only post flattering pictures of ourselves. I know and see how this tool is beneficial for companies. But for individuals…as you can see, I struggle with it sometimes.
-Again, it’s just Twitter. There are about 75 million Twitter accounts and only 10 to 15 million of those are active (according to a study by RJMetrics in January of 2010). And new user sign-ups are on the decline. I’m sure something will come along and replace Twitter some day. But let’s keep things in perspective, okay?
And here are Leah’s thoughts:
- Any Gleeks out there? This is like quitting the Cheerios or the football team and finding out what you’re really made of and what relationships were strong. Know what? It was kind of scary. I talked it over with a couple people. What if, gasp, 7500 people never follow me again? I’ve lost my platform! Will that book publisher ever talk to me again? Will that guy with 10K followers date me?
- Neither of us kicked puppies, we quit our original Twitter accounts. We didn’t broker peace in the Middle East, we quit our original accounts.
- Twitter is great, I love it. This doesn’t erase my love or my anecdotes OR the relationships I built here. It just means I have to work harder to find some people.
- Finally, I hate when people make rules to follow for social media and I hate when people don’t follow my rules.
So if any feelings were hurt last night, I apologize. There were parts I could have handled better. But if we can’t use this medium to have discussions and (gasp) even disagree sometimes, then what use is it really?