Before the New Year, I unfollowed everyone on Twitter. Everyone. Thousands of voices disappeared. It was a great feeling and I regret nothing. In a world where businesses are actively following others, often to gain followers themselves many have questioned my motives. Why did I unfollow everyone? Because I could, and it was time.
Why I UnFollowed Everyone on Twitter: Putting the Social Back in Social Media
I was an early adopter of Twitter, joining in 2009. Falling in love with the platform didn’t take very long. Back then you could enjoy fabulous conversations, build relationships, follow companies of interest and more. These days it’s become hugely populated and quite spammy. It is most definitely very political. There is, as there is on every platform, a lot of uninformed opinions, abuse and discrimination. Don’t get me wrong, you can still have some decent craic but it’s hard to spot genuine conversation amongst the dropped links and outrageous claims. I still subscribe to the old-fashioned notion that social media is, and should be….. sociable.
From a business point of view, I’ve always followed this way of thinking. If you visit my accounts you will see copywriting tips and tricks but will also see real insights from my world. People connect with people. At least 80% of my work comes from referrals, networking and similar channels where knowing me personally, finding me mildly amusing or knowing someone I’ve worked with has clinched the deal. I firmly believe in a no-BS form of marketing. I am who I am and that is someone who has the same struggles and successes you do but with added skills when it comes to effective copywriting,
I Couldn’t Hear Anyone – Too Much Digital Noise
If you have something interesting to say, I want to hear it. I want to talk to you about your point of view. Sharing a giggle over a shared opinion or experience is something else. I couldn’t see much on my Twitter. Excessive digital noise and social media, in general, is distracting and quite frankly, can be detrimental to your mental health. This is partly why I unfollowed everyone on Twitter. I felt overwhelmed. Even with the majority of my notifications switched off so that I could enjoy deep work time I was feeling bombarded whenever I logged into my Twitter account.
There was just too much noise and very little of it was relevant to me. I didn’t want to interact with these people, or rather these brands. As well as seeing tweets from those I followed I also had everything they shared flying down my Twitter timeline. That’s a lot of content. Too much content. Don’t get me started on in your face marketing.
Why Not Delete Twitter Entirely
Because I don’t want to. I unfollowed everyone on Twitter so that I could start fresh. So I could choose more mindfully whom I followed. I’ll start re-adding people over the next week or so. If Twitter offered me no value personally or professionally, I would delete my account. It’s as simple as that.
Bad For Business
Have I lost followers? Yes. Quite a few. There are tools these days where you can be alerted to people unfollowing you so you can unfollow them back. Clearly, a good number of those I followed used one of these tools. I have mixed feeling about this. I’ve followed many people in niche professions or interest groups because their updates and information were valuable to me. I didn’t expect them to feel the same about me. Do I think unfollowing everyone on Twitter will prove to be bad for business? No. It will give me an opportunity to streamline who I interact with and again, take part in meaningful interactions and build relationships. I’ve already gained more than I lost.
What About My Other Social Media Accounts
Twitter was by far the noisiest social media account I regularly visited. Deleting followers and starting over was the right choice. Once you start minimalising your accounts it’s quite addictive. That feeling of freedom and finally being able to see what’s important and prioritise interactions that are valuable. I’ve reverted my Pinterest account back to a personal one and deleted many pins, boards and more. I’ve removed myself from numerous business and personal Facebook groups, trimmed “friends” and unfollowed a lot of accounts. My Instagram has remained mostly unscathed but then the option to follow hashtags and unfollow hashtags as your interests change makes Instagram easier to manage.
The Result of Unfollowing My Twitter Followers
There are very few pings and notifications these days. I mostly schedule my social media time for work and now spend less time on Twitter (etc) yet find the time to be more productive and worthwhile. My other accounts have become more effective and less time-consuming. Collecting digital noise is the same as collecting stuff, you just end up tripping over clutter. My more minimalist social media style makes me happier, is more useful and means I can see and hear what is important. This exercise was prompted by my 2020 debrief but was a long time coming.
I unfollowed everyone on Twitter and regret nothing. Is this something you’ve considered?