How many legs?

The first time someone I enjoyed reading unfollowed me on Twitter, I assumed it was a mistake, and so I publicly asked them why they’d done it. They said it was indeed a mistake, the Twitter ‘unfollow’ bug, and I was back on their Feed again. By the time they’d unfollowed me for a third time, I got the message, and finally learnt an important lesson about Social Media. ‘Friends’ are all well and good right up until the moment you become annoying/disappointing/irritating, when you cross a largely invisible threshold which is utterly unquantifiable to anyone except the person in question. When that happens, one of two things will directly result:

1. Person A will post a subtweet, which explains their ire towards you without actually naming you before you are ejected from their timeline by the virtual bouncers, and life goes on. 

2. You stop seeing them in your feed, realise this, and go get sucked into using an Unfollowers programme so you end up obsessively tracking who’s decided to abandon you, therefore becoming a total slave to the whim of people you never knew properly to begin with and who stopped caring anyway.

On the flip side of the coin, if you choose to Unfollow someone and don’t offer any explanation as to why, either 1 or 2 is equally likely to occur, because there is still this embarrassment in certain circles about asking why someone buggered off without a word. As a rule, if someone leaves and I actually enjoyed their company, I will ask them why, because… well, we’ve covered that previously. I like to know if there’s stuff I can improve, because I am well aware how fallible I am as a human being. Some people however, have never laboured under any such pretensions.

However, if I chose to unfollow you, the rule of thumb is pretty simple. It’s not me, it’s you.

Basics. Learn your place.

I run a pretty large followers list, and unlike many people I do read it all. This is not ‘normal’ social media behaviour and I am aware most people either have very small groups of ‘followers’ or use Twitter’s Lists feature to filter out noise and only concentrate on particular posts. I view my Twitter feed as a large room full of lots of different groups of people, and I try and drift from group to group across a day, taking in news across multiple timezones. It means I get a pretty decent range of opinion and outlook, and I’m actually fairly tolerant ( I hope) of a range of different outlooks. Ironically the most vocal and often toxic elements in my feed are my own sex, and I wonder if that’s because people just don’t bother trying to reason with women any more because if they do it could easily be construed as abuse.

To make me unfollow you, well… let’s see, the last person I unfollowed decided to diss someone else on my feed with such arrogance and dismissiveness it took my breath away, before blocking them and carrying on as if nothing had happened. There was a short holiday period before they realised I’d removed them and then they inevitably returned the favour, and on reflection that’s why I’m sitting here writing this post, because I’ve decided that, as of this line of text right now, if you piss me off enough to invoke my ire I’m going to stop being silent. I think I’m a reasonable woman with a decent level of tolerance but really, I’m not here for the numbers, or for my own sense of self-importance, I use Social Media as a way to learn and grow as well as communicate what I am. So, should you piss me off from this point onwards enough to get the bouncers to forcibly eject you, they’ll hand you a note telling you exactly what it was that caused your untimely departure.

Maybe if more people actually listened on Twitter and stopped just talking at each other, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are to begin with.