Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I've been doing this social media thing for a really long time now, both personally and professionally. I don't claim to be an expert, but at one job they did create a whole separate job function for me (New Media Specialist) since I was the most knowledgeable in the agency and our clients had a ton of questions: "What are these tweakers?" (They meant Twitter.) "I'm a mobile technology that service providers buy & embed in their product offerings; do I need a Facebook page?" (No. Emphatically no.) 

Since the explosion of social media I've done a lot of listening and engaging - with people I know and people I don't. I wrote about this last year (?) in regards to Facebook: the interacting with people I only vaguely knew in passing through work or other avenues was exhausting, and quite frankly, depressing. It's clear that many people look at social media as a numbers game only (hello Klout, I'm looking at you); a means to brag about how special or important they are to the Internets. But really, if you never interact with half (or more) of your followers, how important are they to you really?

I recently took my Twitter account private. In doing so I blocked all those "SEO and marketing gurus" (some called themselves ninjas!), as well as accounts from people who'd never tweeted at me, either in response to something I said or of their own volition. I unfollowed anyone that I'd previously followed for work that I didn't interact with (through my old job I met several reporters and today I keep in touch with less than five) and unfollowed and blocked the people I couldn't remember in any capacity. There was one girl I'd swear I used to work with but a quick search shows we've never actually crossed paths and she'd never said anything to me on Twitter so away she went. 

That might not sound very social, and it's probably mind-boggling to my fellow bloggers that are trying to build their blog brands via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other social platforms, but I simply don't feel like I need to build my own personal brand. I don't aspire to be a big time blogger (as if my random content didn't already subliminally tell you that), and I don't plan to get back in to tech PR where numbers of followers matter and where you can tell a client you have a relationship with someone because they follow you on Twitter. That's not a relationship. That's a transaction. And I don't want that. I want to know the people I follow and I want them to know me. Otherwise, what's the point? A good Klout score? No thanks, I'll pass.


  1. I can relate this post so much Becky, it's uncanny.

    Years ago when I still used Facebook I was always boggled at how the "community" wasn't so much about keeping in touch as it was a popularity contest, or as you aptly said "a numbers game." The only people who contacted me via that social outlet were the same people that still email/call/text me today.

    The thing about social networks is that if you aren't actively seeking to make meaningful connections (or continuing to invest in pre-existing ones) then it is terribly easy to fall into the rabbit hole of "self branding" (which is just another way of saying popularity-seeking), because who are we kidding? (Answer:no one). Deep down we're all a little insecure and narcissistic, but are those numbers really all that fulfilling? Especially when no one could honestly say they had deep, personal relationships with each individual among thousands of people.

    Like you, I find it exhausting to maintain non-existent relationships on virtual social media outlets. However, I find it incredibly enriching to have and maintain a finite number of meaningful connections ("friendships"), and in no way exhausting.

    I've recently taken "a step back" from blogging recently in part because of the undercurrents of popularity and marketing oneself (I'd like to see anyone successfully market me to the masses ha!) as it seems a little disingenuous, and I'm feeling cynical about the internets.

    I regularly cull ghost followers on Instagram, but have been thinking of "cleaning house" on Twitter for a while as well. This has definitely made me think of it more along the lines of tailoring use to need to ensure more enjoyment and better, more lasting connections, rather than simply disconnecting.

  2. jennylou8:59 AM

    I just found out that I can make people on my FL on FB acquaintances. So, if I'm just posting pics, fine, I don't care if you see them, but if I post a rant about something, I can exclude those folks if I want to. They have no idea they're on that list, so there are no hurt feelings.

  3. I only have about 40 friends on FB so if they see me ranting, they've likely already seen me ranting.

  4. I think it's also easy to get burnt out on social media. I used to be so committed to blogging but now I do most of my updating on Instagram and Twitter which are also locked down mediums for me. A lot of the people who I care about knowing what's going on in my life see it there. Obviously it's hard to say it all in 140 characters (even though I often post 5-6 140 character statements).


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