101: Cleansing Twitter Follows

25 Jan

If your follows are A. approaching four digits B. ≥ your followers, it’s time to ask yourself: Is my timeline too crowded?

The answer is probably yes.

Sure, your timeline is your timeline, but if it refreshes faster than you can read it, what’s the point in following anyone? And if that’s case, you need to start deleting and/or listing.

I’ll save lists for another post. Right now, we need to focus on two things: the purpose/value of your timeline, and how to remove people from it.

Your timeline is like your Twitter home page. And to have a home page implies there are other pages: “@ Connect” and “# Discover” tabs, your lists, other peoples lists, hash tag searches, direct messages – the layers inside them are endless.

With all these other information avenues, there’s no point in trying to stuff it all onto your “home page.” You should set high standards for the first place you visit upon signing in.

Why cleanse manually instead of letting a program do it for you? Because programs are computers and you’re a human. You know best.

Here’s how to get started.

Go to your “Following” page and unfollow anyone:

  • …if you can’t remember the last time: you laughed at, retweeted or replied to, any of their tweets, or if you have never clicked one of their links. (And if they never send links, they better be really entertaining.)
  • …who hasn’t tweeted in weeks. Unsure? Click on their profile. If any of the three most recent tweets are more than a month old, why follow? (Malcolm Gladwell is a great writer, but he hasn’t tweeted in more than two years. See below.)
  • …who you only follow because they’re your friend and you’re worried about hurting their feelings. Look, being unfollowed on Twitter isn’t nearly as devastating as being defriended on Facebook. They’re not even in the same league. Unless your friend protects their tweets, just put them on a “friends” list of some sort. I have one for all my college friends here.
  • …anyone whose tweets you just don’t enjoy or feel informed by.
  • …anyone you followed just because they followed you.
  • …anyone you followed just hoping they would follow you back.

If you have a reason to unfollow someone that’s not listed above, by all means, do so. And feel free to share in the comments. Otherwise, go clean your timeline.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: