Sally Around the Bay

Social Media Overwhelm

I don’t know about you but I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with life. In particular I’m feeling overwhelmed with social media. Ever since Google+ arrived on the scene… I have felt pulled in 3 directions. Then Facebook started messing with our privacy to the point where even I’m feeling a bit invaded, and I am not a very private person. I’m barely able to keep up with my @ messages on Twitter which means half the time I miss reading my friends tweets. My DM (direct message) column is filled with unwanted promotional and spammy messages and I sometimes miss real DMs. I even forgot to check my personal email sometimes.

Earlier today I announced on Twitter that I was doing a little Twitter experiment. Well that experiment is that I’m totally going to copy Chris Brogan and do a Great Twitter UnFollow. I’m in the process of unfollowing most of the 5000 people/businesses that I’m currently following and am just keep the handful that I actually interact with.

I used to believe it was rude to not follow back everyone who follows you but that was 2 years ago. I’m now starting to think it is rude to follow everyone who follows you. If you follow everyone it drowns out the people who are most important to you. So, I’m trying this little experiment. Please don’t take it personally if I have unfollowed you. If you start a conversation with me using an @ I’ll most likely follow you back because I’ll know you are a real person interested in real conversations. Many people are on the lists I’ve created so technically I am still following them, but only when I look at my lists.

I know for me personally when I find out someone has unfollowed me it stings a little. Then I remember we’re all busy and everyone needs to make decisions on what information they’re going to allow in to their overcrowded information garden.

Already I’m seeing interesting tweets from people I’d been missing. I look forward to discovering and rediscovering new tweeps now that I can actually see what is going on in my Twitter stream. I’m changing my Tweet stream from the autobahn in Germany to Highway 1 in Marin, making it a little slower and easier to handle.

 

*disclaimer: I sort of went on an unfollow rampage today so I may have unintentionally unfollowed someone I meant to be following.  I’ve already unfollowed about 2000 people, I will continue my great unfollow over the next week. I’ll let you know in a few weeks if this crazy idea has reduced the feeling of overwhelm or caused more stress. ;-)

Watch out Facebook you’re next!

4 thoughts on “Social Media Overwhelm

  1. Robin

    Interesting – I certainly feel the same way at times but I deal with it just by making lists (in hootsuite) that have only the people I want to read. Then I just look at the tweets in that list.

    I’ve found if you unfollow people, they will unfollow you – even if they do like and read your tweets. So unfollowing cuts your audience down drastically and just hurts peoples feeling unnecessarily.

    Fortunately for me, I left most of my feelings behind years ago ;-)

    robin
    @WalkingAwake

    1. Sally_K Post author

      Hi Robin, Thank you for your comment. I’m really okay with people unfollowing me on Twitter, if they chose to unfollow me because I unfollowed them they probably weren’t getting anything useful out of my tweets anyway. I follow quite a few people who do not follow me back and I’m fine with that because I get something from their tweets (information, inspiration, laughter, you name it).

      As for hurting people’s feelings, I never intended to do that. I am truly sorry if I hurt someone’s feelings who actually read my tweets – I just wish they would have reached out and started a conversation with me earlier so I would have known they were there on the other side on my tweeting. What baffles me though is the people who only noticed I unfollowed them because some automated service let them know, the people who never had even read a single one of my tweets and upon finding out I unfollowed them call me out on Twitter or other ways saying they are hurt I unfollowed them. I just don’t understand. If they’d never read my tweets and I’d never read theirs because they were not in one of my lists then why are feelings hurt?

      Robin – I really appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. Since what I am looking for on Twitter is human connection and you made one, I am following you. Thank you!

      PS. I like your Twitter handle.

  2. Leila Radan

    I went through a great unfollow for ABOW and MizBoheMia too! Felt SOOOO good! There were so many people that NEVER engaged with me that I followed so BAM, gone! I plan to do it every so often, focusing on quality over quantity…

    And those that tweet “follow for follow” get automatically reported for spam… couldn’t be bothered with them. It’s made life so much easier! I say HOLLA at the big unfollow! GO SALLY!

    :-)

  3. Anne Flournoy

    Just the topic ON MY MIND. Social Media overload. Thank you for bringing the subject up and explaining your strategy. Will look forward to hearing how it goes with the unfollowing. Unfortunately, I’m going to need even more help than just with twitter… Lovely to see that you’re friends with the amazing Leila Radan.

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