I have been on Twitter since 2007, even though I started using it regularly much later than that. At the time of writing this page, I had 1578 followers and my following count stood at 114 users. Admittedly, it is a very skewed ratio and that is there with a good reason. Even though I love the platform, I also have a tendency to get addicted to such things and my ability to process a lot of information at the same time has decreased steadily through the years. Thus the need to keep my follow numbers at a low level.
I try to keep a few things in mind while using Twitter:
- I don’t follow back everyone who adds me. I just don’t have the bandwidth to handle a lot of information.
- I do try to reply to every tweet, with the very obvious exception of spammers.
- I tend to follow someone based on a variety of factors – interestingness, quality of information, personal connection, volume. The application of the factors are quite arbitrary. I have have not been able to find a pattern there.
- That I follow or not follow someone is not a personal statement. There are many I am close to in real life that I don’t follow and I follow a lot of people I would not know otherwise.
- I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to interact and learn so much from Twitter. Which does not mean I don’t get affected by the mob mentality that often takes over. When it does happen, I tend to sit things out for a while.
- What works best for me in usage patterns is to lurk more (I’ll check in to read tweets regularly) and tweet less (I’ll often tweet or respond to tweets in one go, maybe once a day).