I did it. I purged my Twitter. I no longer follow companies. I no longer follow news outlets (unless you count national geographic…they have some dope photos). I only follow that which fulfills me, which is mostly comedians, musicians, friends, and the select parody accounts.
As someone who works in the digital space, including social media, it’s like I have just committed a foul sin.
My Twitter golden years seemed to occur during the 4 years I spent in college, 2009 through 2013. All of my friends posted daily nonsense, TextsFromLastNight posted all day, parody accounts ruled the timelines, and famous funny people were consistently famous and funny. Twitter was an endless stream of connectedness comedy.
Then it started changing. There was less commentary. There was less fun. There were more ads. There were more random business following me for no reason. It seemed like everyone was trying to sell something. All in all, there was more bullshit and less of a pull to be engaged in the twitter-verse.
I can tell you that a big part of my disillusionment with Twitter happened when I entered the workforce. I was an intern working within social media and I bought into the idea that I should follow the brands that I like. Also, my friends stopped posting as often as they used to, and when they did it wasn’t as carefree and fun as it used to be. On top of that I had started to follow more digital professionals and far more news outlets. Twitter became a place where I constantly was reminded that I needed to go this conference, or learn about this “new method”. It became my hub for news and information until I grew tired of endlessly scrolling through 140 character posts to find things that interested me. I felt like I had created a vacuum for my mind in which I was limiting myself to this one platform, with these select users and their chosen content and messages.
I went from using Twitter as entertainment, to using Twitter as a source of news and information. It was a movie theater that stopped playing my favorite movies and started playing commercials.
I had bought into the idea of Twitter, and that to be successful in my field of interest I had to utilize this social platform. Why? To show that I was up-to-date in my field? To show I was watching other social media teams on how to find a brand voice that works? To show possible employers I knew the ins and outs of it?
For two years I’ve gone back and forth with Twitter. I’ve had the app on my phone. I’ve deleted the app from my phone. I’ve posted multiple times a day (usually when I’ve been bored). I’ve gone months without even thinking about it.
There are so many factors at play here; Facebook having improved their algorithms and having all news and info outlets intertwined with users’ social circles in a very seamless way (I’m not saying there isn’t room for improvement), the use of social media as a marketing tool, individual users naturally coming and going…
I saw too many companies, organizations, or people trying to “speak” to me and failing miserably. I blame that on their lack of understanding about their demographic and/or about the platform. I saw a platform that used to feel like a personal space transform into a scrolling wall of ads and people paid to plug products.
The only people worth following on Twitter, at least for me, are people who sell themselves. Actors/comedians, podcasters, youtube stars, etc. They’re funny. They’re real. They’re not trying to be something they are not. They don’t try to sell anything other than “me”. They simply are, and from their being they have acquired a following.
The point is, folks, I am sick of being another number on a company’s list of impressions made.
But that certainly doesn’t mean I won’t go work for said company and attempt to get you on that same list 🙂