Looking back at my year-long desire to find order in chaos, here’s where things are today in Month Eight:
I initially thought that I could find order by following everyone. This ultimately failed as people never tweet about one topic all the time. It was very hard to be productive when people tweeted about everything.
By unfollowing everyone and starting fresh, I can focus on the people who matter most to me right now. I follow less than half of one percent of those who follow me.
I also realize I don’t need to follow someone to tweet with them; and people asking me to follow them so they can privately message me I politely ask to email me instead.
You can follow and tweet me here.
Each of my friends is in a list; and aside from close family and close friends, I’m not following anybody. What this means is if we’re friends on the site, either you’re appearing in the news feed or you’re not, depending how strongly you care about me.
If you’re the type of person to call me, email me, or otherwise proactively want to see me off Facebook, then I’m seeing everything you post. But if you’re not that type of person, we’re friends but I’m not following you and I’ll dip into your list from time to time. I maintain three primary lists: people who would be future constituents if I am elected in November, people who live in New England, and people who live elsewhere in the world. I also have a list for family; and another list for people I’m watching for different reasons.
Facebook used to be a place for me to share private things with people I knew well. It gradually turned into a place where privacy doesn’t exist and I now share nearly-every post with the world. To this end, I recently began accepting friend requests from strangers.
You can friend me here.
On LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, wherever…
My rules are gone. I follow some people because they look interesting; or because they sent me a connection request first. I am tossing Thom’s doctrine that I wrote about in January. It doesn’t hold value for me anymore to only connect with someone if I know the person. I don’t know what “knowing a person” means anymore.
Social media is diluting.
When you consider some people share Facebook links on Twitter and others share Twitter links on Pinterest, each site is not its own ecosystem anymore. They ooze into each other.
To some, social media replaces blog commenting. If you have an account on a social account somewhere, why would you take time to write a comment here when you can click a button and share this blog post with your network? You know you prefer that.
I will keep blog comments open for the foreseeable future. But some posts, like this one, will be closed for comments; because I also know my reader and posts like this would rather be shared than commented.