Written by Karen D. Swim
The other day I received an email notification that one of my Twitter followers was no longer following me. I clicked through to the follower’s twitter page and the most recent tweet (message) indicated that he was changing his twitter account un-following everyone and only following those who could have a direct impact on his business.
I was not offended by the un-follow but questioned the strategy. Is it possible to know who will impact our business? Human relationships are not linear so it is impossible to predict the trajectory of an interaction with someone you consider “unessential.” One of the benefits of having a broad social network, online or offline is the access to people beyond our immediate circle of influence. A social network like Twitter affords you the opportunity to be visible to a broad, diverse group and all those who follow them. That is both the benefit and the problem.
The interactions suddenly swell to a high level of noise and you look for ways to tone down the volume. Some are like me and simply take the occasional break from online interactions. Others may un-follow or quit networks altogether. Many have chosen to limit the interaction by shutting off their Facebook Wall or Blog Comments. Those who have a true need/desire can simply send a message or email.
With the rise of social networks we ripped the lid from Pandora’s box and unleashed a beast whose tentacles reach far and wide. As we choke on the glut of social interaction, we begin to question our previous adoration of those shiny new tools. Is it too late to tame this social beast?
The reality is we really do need people. We require some level of interaction in our personal and professional lives. Unfortunately, we cannot control how people choose to interact with us, or respond to us when we try to establish boundaries.
My advice is to look carefully before you leap into any social network. The honeymoon period will come to an end and you will be left with a relationship to manage. Is it worth your long term commitment?
Are you among the socially fatigued? How are you managing the balance?
- Pandora’s box
- Shannon Paul – How to Participate in Social Media Without Being That Guy
- Beth Kanter – Tips on Managing Multi-Memberships in Social Networks