I like Twitter. I think it has lots of potential. However, in 2009, I got caught up in the race to get more and more followers. I ended up following almost 4,500, with around 4,000 following me. That’s too many, well past Dunbar’s Law of 150 people that a human can cognitively be friends with.
Who are these people?!
Furthermore, I didn’t know any of the people. None of them were friends or business associates. There were a handful that I actually talked to, for a short time; then I quit. So out of the nearly 4,500 people, I actually know and communicated with a total of zero of them. (None, nilch, nada.)
So it was well past time for me to either quit Twitter all together or just unfollow everyone and start over again. Since I do think that Twitter has potential, I didn’t want to turn my back on it all together. I did want to make it more manageable, however.
I browsed through some of the people I follow on twitter and picked out a few names who I actually want to follow (7 of them, to be exact). Then I deleted EVERYONE using this nifty website. (It took some time, since I could only delete 100 at a time. I did find a helpful plugin that made it quicker.) Since I also had about 1,300 direct messages, I used this script to delete all of them. Following zero people, zero DM’s, and I still have a healthy number of people following me!
Since I wrote down the people that I DO want to follow (7, plus an additional 1), once my following count reached zero I added them. Occasionally, I will search out more users in order to find other people that I want to connect with, and really take the time to actually communicate with them.
I suppose this could be considered an extension of the Minimalist Experiment, since I’m changing my Twitter experience into a minimalist one. I’m pretty excited to see how good it feels to have only a few people I’m following, instead of thousands! Horrah for modern Luddites!