Walking on a tightrope with the birds
Recently I passed the completely arbitrary mark of 1000 twitter followers. Yeah! Woohoo! Well done me! (Please note points with exclamation mark are meant to be dripping with sarcasm.)
And around the same time, I unfollowed – shock horror – two folks I had been following for quite some time. Now, I know I’m not the social media guru who can use twitter perfectly with lots of lists, following back people and then analysing where the links in my post have been successful and all that bs. But, I stopped to think about what I was doing, why I was doing it, and whether the same could/should be done to me by the wonderful bunch of
idiots people that follow my twitter handle.
Unfollow 1 – Where is my personal space?
The first person I unfollowed, is great at sharing interesting content, and has some really useful things to say about some stuff that I’m interested in. However, they also have a LOT to say about politics. It might even be a political view that I agree with and sometimes I’ve had fun following some of those links. However, sometimes it went beyond fun and started getting nasty. Now, I strongly support people’s right to have a political viewpoint (I have one) however, if I’m going to include you in my feed of people that I want to listen to, please don’t make me uncomfortable by going all extreme on me, regularly.
Unfollow 2 – Wake me up to smell the coffee!
The second person I unfollowed was the polar opposite. They tweeted some interesting stuff occasionally. But generally their sharing of info was following the company line so intently that I never had the view that the stuff they were sharing was more than their company’s carefully edited press releases. I decided that in balance, press releases disguised as personal viewpoints was just a bit too boring, and I didn’t really want them in my timeline.
Walking a tightrope
Clearly, being too extreme is bad, but being too timid, is just as bad. So where one earth does one go? And this is the tightrope I guess that we walk. I’m certainly not pretending to know the answer and if one analyses the question it’s clear I’ve made some perhaps unsupportable assumptions. Is it really that bad if your audience is tightly aligned your viewpoints? If you’re gaining kudos in the eyes of your employer, is that a bad thing?
From my POV
I think in the end, the tightrope you walk is the one of your own making. It’s the choices that you make to go in the direction you want to go and associate with the people that you want to associate with. So for me, that means being slightly (but hopefully not offensively) irreverent, and keeping a T-shaped focus on the stuff I share. What it also means to me is that some things that I do care quite deeply about, for example climate change and the way that our generation is screwing the planet for my kids, I’m probably a LOT quieter about that I sometimes wish I was. Self censoring is a pain in the butt, however, it might just get me along the tightrope I want to walk. Just grab me after a few beers, and then I’ll tell you what I really think. 🙂