Guilt

Posted on Jan 24, 2012

So I’ve spent a week concentrating on G+ now and I’ve made a few observations.

It’s much quieter in there than it is in Twitter. I’m not saying that’s a good or bad thing, it’s just quieter. I know that I can dip into G+ whenever I want and see some meaningful, useful (to me) threads of conversation without feeling like I’m going to be swept away by the Twitter Tidal Wave.

Of course, that also has its downside including the fact that the vast majority of my network aren’t using G+, so I’m not able to keep track as to what they are up to and what they are talking about – – but hang on – one of my reasons for moving away from Twitter was that I didn’t feel it was adding value! So why this feeling of abandoning my network, when what I’ve actually insinuated is that ‘they’ weren’t adding value!

But perhaps that feeling is retrospective?

I’ve noticed that since I blogged about reducing my Twitter activity a number of long-time Twitter followers have unfollowed me (I’ve never tracked this before, but thought it might be interesting to do so given this change in the way I’m using Twitter). Now this in itself I don’t find surprising, as why would they follow somebody who has said they aren’t going to use Twitter as much? But I haven’t said that I’m not going to stop blogging, or sharing resources etc, just that I’m going to concentrate on another platform for now.

A part of me assumed that those people would track me down on G+ and follow me in there, but that hasn’t happened. Which has got me wondering why?

Is it the fact that what I’ve been blogging about or the conversations I’ve been having, people have found irrelevant to them or is it the fact that they don’t want or need to be involved in another social media platform? I’d like to think it’s the latter as that excludes me from any perceived ‘fault’, but to be honest I’m suspecting that it’s the former.

Why?

Well for one very good reason really and that’s the reason I guess that I found my Twitter network as a whole to be adding little value – ‘guilt’!

There have been some people in my network that stopped adding the value that ‘I’ needed a long time ago, but I kept them in my network – why? – once again, guilt.

I felt I’d got to know those people on a personal level, either via Twitter, face to face, other channels or in a lot of cases a whole raft of ways. Even though they weren’t adding value to my reasons for using Twitter, I kept them in my network out of a feeling of guilt and awkwardness if I unfollowed them.

Is it wrong of me to think like this?

Can an online network grow into something other than what you originally engaged with it?

How do you then deal with that new ‘relationship’ once it’s non-intended use supersedes its original use?

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One Comment

  1. In the end a social tool is just a tool – twitter, G+ , facebook, LinkedIn essentially do the same job, which is letting people connect and exchange information. Although they have different bells and whistles, what counts is who you find there.
     
    I’m not too surprised that people haven’t followed you to G+ – if people haven’t chosen to be there, they are hardly going to sign away their kidneys (or whatever Google’s new privacy policy requires) to follow one person, however interesting their conversation.  If a whole group decided to move together, it might be a different matter.
     
    The guilt thing is interesting.  I wouldn’t unfollow an individual who was following me, because it might hurt their feelings. Surely that is part of our human wiring, the thing that allows us to be a social animal? It’s not really about whether the individual is directly providing value to me – it’s more about the network as a whole having a value to everyone who is in it. 

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