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.