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Is the 'Unfollow' a New Norm on Twitter?

There are fundamentals to be discussed about Twitter. Not as a social media tool but as a research-based tool among educators.

I am on Twitter since 2009, the Year of the Tweet, if you still remember. During al this time it has taken me great deal of time to build the stream I try to read almost daily. That's why I find hard to unfollow all people on my Twitter account.

Everyone at this point has gained some experience using the social network, based on tools or learning on the way while following others so called 'celebrities'. You still can find some social media snobs, too.

But as Dan Shareski states: "There is no recipe, no rule, no formula for doing it right [on Twitter]. Each approach has affordances, advantages and disadvantages. Be thoughtful, intentional, make mistakes, try stuff, change stuff but ultimately own the space and time and way you use the tool. Then stop apologizing."

This was a comment on a post subcribed by Tony Baldasaro where he explains his own reasons to unfollow all his twitter stream, and then refollow only those who really deserve to "pay any attention to".

I share links most than anything on my Twitter feed. I have two ways to reweet: one is automatically and the other is editing the tweet. I also share very little personal info and engage a few times in conversations out of nothing. I don't go on lengthy conversations, 3-5 replies top my replies. And I do follow anyone who advertise as a teacher, and have at least a tweet which I think is worth reading.

As of now I have 8K followers. And haven't performed the respective clean up which consists of unfollowing all users inactive more than 90 days and over. I do not follow educators exclusively. I have other interests, as well.

I concur to Scott McLeod when he writes: "Social networks are like gardens. They require some nurturing and, yes, some pruning now and then. Sometimes they may even be like prairies, requiring a full burn to nurture new, positive growth." In his article Scott explains how he manages two groups on Twitter.

Even though we haven't answered yet whether Twitter is a communications service for friends and groups, a means of expressing yourself freely, or simply a marketing tool, there are some research showing that Twitter will revolutionize academic research and teaching in the short run.

Do not unfollow the people you've decided to follow in the first place. It has to be a good reason to push the unfollow button. Twitter is strong because it covers the selfishness in each one of us (showing the number of followers, and is a place to know and begin great conversations with individual that it'll be impossible in other ways.

Keep it simple. Use Twitter the way if feels right for you, credited to be said by Chris Lehmann.

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Milton Ramirez

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