Thoughts on Rails

Riding the Train of Thought

How I got back my Good Ol’ Twitter

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Old timers on twitter often sigh at the nostalgic thoughts of good ol’ times, when everyone knew everyone and we all cared. We’ve often shared discussions on this topic when we referred to our small group of people from India as ‘Twitter India’. We knew much more about each other’s lives… almost like next door neighbors who also were friends. Then the platform went mainstream and we know the rest of the story.

I complained several times to myself, then on my timeline that twitter has changed for me. It’s not the same anymore. I started to hunt for answers. The recurring theme for all answers was a very simple solution…

Unfollow.

I don’t believe I just said that. I’ve been following a bunch of fantastic people! All good people… I din’t want to unfollow anyone. They all made my timeline, and as a side effect, my life more colorful, more interesting, more amusing.
I had to swallow the red pill at some point. In past few days, I have unfollowed many brilliant people… leaving space only for the people who interact regularly and whose daily tweets are interesting.
I’ve unfollowed nice people who i like to talk to occassionally, but who are fanboys of one or other thing. Life is much more broader than what their constricted vision lets them see. I’ll keep company of people who see the world as it is, or at least let me have my opinion and don’t badger me all the time.

I unfollowed several armchair activists – those who will jump to RT every tweet asking for help or justice, ten thousand times in a day. I understand that social media is the best way to get attention when traditional media won’t listen, but if following someone is giving me free guilt trips five times every day, I’d rather ignore them. I do my bit of charity, and I prefer to keep it undisclosed. I’m a nice guy, but I cannot help everyone. So the guilt trips must go. I also unfollowed some good people who fail to see the bright side and have a dark mood all day and night. I’d like to cheer them up, but the collective effect of their doom and gloom was making me restless instead!
I’ve NOT unfollowed people who criticize me, some yes, but not all. It helps to be shown a contrarian point of view. I can’t always be right, so if somebody is taking the time to correct me, why refuse the free services? The least I can do is thank them if I am convinced!

And finally, I’ve unfollowed anybody who I didn’t remember having a conversation with. Somebody whose tweets seemed funny or witty, but that happened to be one-off case.
Again, there is nothing personal against these people… it’s just that I don’t have the attention-bandwidth to do justice to all of them at this point.

What has it given me? Immense mental peace. When I log on to Twitter now, I know it s going to be an enriching or friendly experience, often both. Suddenly the need to check twitter continuously has vanished… because I know the people I care for can be tracked easily since there’s so few of them. People I unfollowed have will soon be added to lists, some already have been moved there. So I can still keep in touch without making them the center of attention on my timeline.

I’m going the opposite way when some people suggest following everyone who follows you. Twitter isn’t just social… it’s very personal. My attention is not available for free, the more I divide it among the people I follow, the less each person gets… those who matter more deserve more.

That is all.

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Written by hiway

November 5, 2011 at 2:18 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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