When I first arrived on twitter, like everyone, I had no idea how the place worked. I tentatively followed 1 person & tried to start a conversation. He followed me back & replied. How nice. I slowly got the hang of things and politely followed everyone back.
Twitter was a much different place back then. There was no scroll on following and followers but separate pages for every 20 people. There was no lists or autofill so you just had to try & remember people and the spelling of their usernames. Hashtags were fairly new and there were few of them. There were no trending topics, no ‘similar to you’ list or ‘follow recommendations’. The really big players had 20 000 odd followers and very few celebrity accounts existed. This is pre-blue tick days.
Tweetdeck was the app of choice because it did have trending topics and list-making ability. Furthermore the tweets kept appearing as they were being tweeted. Twitter didn’t do that back then. If you wanted to see new tweets the only way was to reload the page.
Twitters popularity grew quickly and with it came new improved twitter along with legitimate businesses. The next phase, however, almost made me leave twitter. Auto-messaging, accounts that could only tweet about following, followers, non-followers, shoutouts - you get the picture; spammers, hackers, and product pushing. At that stage I’d followed everyone back believing I was being polite. I went from visiting twitter everyday, to every second day, to once a week, to once a fortnight, to ummm…?
Well, obviously, I returned. When I did I abandoned my old ways and started again; targeting my interests. This time I only followed accounts that I was genuinely interested in. No more mlm marketing, ipads, iphone apps, sign up to my ‘free’ newsletter, buy one get one free, this is what I had for breakfast… Yawn.
Twitter, again became, an enjoyable space to be in. I use the odd application like SocialOomph for tweets I wish to repeat at different times of day but for the most part I use it manually - no auto welcome message, auto follow, auto unfollow, auto lists, twitter stats, twitter clout and so forth for the reason that these trends come & go and seem to become near fanatacism at their height without really adding to the experience or making my time more effective.
Following my interests unapologetically and welcoming all those with similar interests while ignoring all else has been better than any application existing today or previously and has made the experience better than following out of a sense of obligation. It’s because of this, I’d love to see the numbers game end. When this happens, more honest communication can occur. For me, not following back isn’t about snubbing the person or thinking I’m better, it’s simply because we don’t share the same interests. If we did, I’d follow them. Simple!
So, if you’re interested in knowing who I follow it’s animal rights, human rights, gender equality, race equality, politics, ecology, environmentalism, physics, metaphysics, inspirational and spiritual philosophy, ideas that may improve our world, organics in the way of gmo labelling and surrounding issues - not product sales, zeitgeist, the odd new age or occult profile and sometimes just because I had a good conversation with someone.
Kia Kaha (Be well)