I can’t express how much I ❤ Twitter. It’s been a part of my life before @aplusk and @oprah even knew about it. I originally used it to keep up with people I had not yet met. Yes, a little stalkerish back then, but now…totally acceptable!
I’ve had some very interesting conversations lately with people about how we use Twitter. I’ll admit…I don’t follow back everyone who follows me. I do follow people I’ve met in real life who I think are interesting enough to know their day-today activities. I also follow some people I’ve never met, but still find interesting. All in all, there is a reason I follow those I follow; I like to keep it personal. And just because I’m not following you doesn’t mean I don’t get your replies. I do read all of those and appreciate them all.
I’ve heard lately, and have friends, who have 2 accounts; one where they follow back everyone who follows them and then also a private account, where they only follow a select few. This I don’t understand. Actually, I do understand their reasoning. They follow so many people in their public stream that they want something more private to keep up with a smaller amount of people. What I don’t understand is why they allow others to dictate how they use their public account. Why not just unfollow a bunch of people so it’s only those you really want to follow? Why create 2 accounts to keep up with?
Bottom line is that Twitter is a simple platform that has allowed people to use it how they wish. Who am I to dictate how you should use your Twitter account and vice versa? I’ve had people ‘sneak attack’ me at events with ‘Yeah, I’m following you but you’re not following me back.’ What do I even say to that? I feel like I have to defend my use of Twitter to someone just because I’m not following them.
Some people take Twitter Way. Too. Seriously! Yes, it’s a great tool for keeping up with people and for sharing with the Twitterverse things that are happening in your life, but there’s so much more to be said for real, personal relationships that happen offline. Twitter and other online media should supplement relationships, not replace them.
For example, I was signed up for a service that let me know when someone unfollowed me. Why? Because I wanted to make sure those few I was following were following me back. And truth be told, it hurt when I saw the names of people I knew and were following come through as having unfollowed me. Often, I’d want to go and immediately unfollow them and that’s when I stopped to think about this. Just because they unfollowed me on Twitter, doesn’t mean we’re not friends in real life. Yet, I think this is the mentality a lot of people have about their followers.
I love that more and more people are discovering Twitter and can’t wait to see where it takes us. There are some amazing things happening via Twitter, like Twestival, which raised $250,000 for charity: water. That’s amazing! Twitter truly has power and people are using it in different ways, which is where the real power of Twitter lies. Allow it to be what you want it to be and don’t let anyone change that for you.