Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Clean up your Twitter account.

I reached my limit of being able to follow 2000 people on Twitter the other day and Twitter cut me off. Here is what happens if you don’t know.

How does it work?
This limit actually works on a percentage level (10%), but only when you are almost following 2000 people. As an example, say you have 1900 followers. 10% of 1900 is 190 and adding this to 1900 you will reach a total of 2090. This means that you cannot be following more than 2090. When you reach this limit, Twitter will not let you follow more people, until such a time that your followers plus 10% increases.
Let us take the example above and continue with it.
  • You have now 2090 followers. Add 10% to that and you will get 2299. You can now follow up to 2299.
  • Now you have 2299. Add 10% to that and you will get 230. You can now follow up to 2529.
And it goes on like this. By DiTesco

So I was talking with another blogger friend of mine http://avgjoegeek.net/ about my predicament and he said.

“Dude I go through mine like every day and ditch anyone that doesn’t follow me back.”

He uses a program I told him about called SocialBro. It’s a social media management tool like Hootsuite and others that help you with all your downstream social media stuff if you do that.

Anyway I loaded SocialBro and it gives you an option to see people that don’t follow you back. I had over 300. I get half dozen new followers a day and being maxed cramps my style, so I started unfollowing the 300.

I was surprised by who some of the people were, people I thought of as friends. It kind of hurt a little to see they weren’t reciprocating.

Then being a good co-dependant I began to make excuses for them. They have busy lives, who can keep up with all their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on. It wasn’t personal.

I freed up a lot of room on my Twitter account to follow back people that genuinely follow me. As I removed name after name I noticed two patterns. The first was people that had obviously used a follow as a ruse to get a follow back and then quickly unfollow you.

Probably a way of increasing their numbers and working within the rules. I don’t get the whole notion of having a huge number of friends that are in fact unknown to you. I would rather make new friends and interact with old friends.

The second pattern was people that I know in the real world. People I see around town and engage in conversation with, people I consider a friend.

Then it hit me, they aren’t a friend at all. Like the song by Gotye, they are in fact someone I used to know. Many are leftovers from my firefighting career; others are former classmates from various schools I attended.

Still some are acquaintances that decided to pick sides in my divorce and teamed with my Ex, no big deal really that is a choice they made it has nothing to do with me at this point in my life.

Then I decided in a karmic kind of way to apply my Twitter lesson to my very own life, to my mental condition, bare with me. I realized that in fact mentally I carry around a large number of non-followers, dead relationships that still wash up on the beaches of my mind.

They aren’t real any more; they are a figment of my mind. So I have decided to delete as many as I can. Not in a malicious way, in a healthy way. I have taken some lessons, laughs, tears, and some memory of them with me and now it’s time to retire that. I’m not going to scrapbook it and put it on a shelf in my mind somewhere. No I’m just going to do my very best to unfollow those memories.

This happened a few days ago and the results have already proven themselves beneficial, because as I go through this process I realize how easy it really is, and as I free up mental hard drive space the void is being filled God and prayer.

Because I am not replacing thoughts of others in my mind, I am replacing thoughts of myself in my mind. The truth is these people never think of me, I don’t cross their mind on a daily basis and that is none of business anyway.

This is a process of unfollowing my mistakes, my doubts, my ego, and replacing that with thoughts of others. My beautiful parents, my wonderful children, my big sister and brother, my real and true friends.

My best friends stretch all the way back to grade school, three of them have been with me that long and another dozen from high school, and you know what none of them Twitter.

They follow me in the real world, with conversation, and laughs, and hugs, and love. I am a very rich and blessed man and I need to remember that more and the other much less.

Give it a try, start unfollowing your mind.


Sandra Tyler said...

That's enlightening Tim. Didn't know about this.ci actually don't follow real world friends, I save hat forcFB. I do use twitter to promote my blog posts and Fiberart. But did not know about this percentage thing. Thanks for sharing!

Fireman said...

Thanks Sandra for slugging through such an ugly looking post, couldn't figure out how to fix it.

Jenn said...

Okay so I am at that wall and I didn't understand why I couldn't keep following people. I'm glad you posted this. If I am not following you it is because I haven't been able to. I will try to go clean that up tonight and start following again. Thanks Tim-- a very insightful post!

Cheers, Jenn

Kathy said...

I didn't know about this either. Thanks for the heads up!


Fireman said...

Sure Kathy and Jenn, and I would encourage you to get SocialBro it's free and pretty cool.

November Rain - k~ said...

I loved this post Tim. I have been doing this for years now. I called it clearing the clutter, but it is indeed a way to make room for other things in your mind, heart, and life. It's a great tool! Loved it!!

Fireman said...

Thanks Rain, I guess I'm a little slow, but it really has made some quality space.

Anonymous said...

Tim, this post was great! I wish that you would publish it as a commentary in the Gazette. It's profound. I gained a lot by reading it (and not only from learning about Twitter--I'm on it, and I appreciate its great benefit during disasters and media blackouts, but I've never gotten into it, maaaaybe read from it three times. I have enough beeping from my cell phone.) Keep up the good writing!

BTW, I'll be forwarding my new website to you soon. It's not what you think!

Ken Scofield said...

Thanks for sharing - finding ones inner peace with God's help is worth the effort!

Fireman said...

Thanks Ken and thanks for getting "IT".