Why I unfollowed nearly everyone on Twitter


First, I apologize that this post is off-topic. But some who follow me on Twitter may notice that I unfollowed nearly everyone and might be curious as to why I did it. The following is my explanation.

With the goal of being polite, I had the policy of following back anyone who followed me on Twitter. Exceptions were made for accounts that were overtly pornographic; these I did not follow.

What I am finding is that by following over 46,000 people, my Twitter timeline had become useless to me. It was physically impossible to read all the Tweets that appear in my timeline. I ended up avoiding my timeline because it was overwhelming. It was like drinking from a fire hose (to use the well-worn image).

The second issue is that even though I had some selectivity in who I followed back, Images that I consider pornographic kept popping up in my timeline. I did not do a good job of screening those who I followed back because it takes too much time to do so. I was getting on average 100 new followers a day and I don’t have time to examine each follower closely.

I considered unfollowing select accounts, but to do that I have to view the images in order to unfollow the one who posted them. This is not something that I want to do. It is also a very time-consuming process.

So while running the risk of alienating many or all of my followers, I decided to do a mass unfollow and only follow a small number of accounts that will be helpful for me to get news, information, and encouragement.

The way it is currently configured for me, Twitter has ceased to be a communication tool. The only reason to continue on the trajectory that I am currently on would be to brag about the number of followers I have. Bragging about this number has not been something that I care to do.

I anticipate that many or most of the people that follow me did so because they assumed that I would follow back. If I unfollow them, I am likely to get unfollowed in return.

If you are offended by my unfollow and feel you need to unfollow me back, I understand. I’m OK with that.