Thursday, August 27, 2015

What Happened to All My Twitter Peoples? by Dora Hiers

Dora Hiers
Our four-year-old grandson calls his daycare friends "his peoples." His accent is so cute with that North Carolina twang, that I admit to asking him about his "peoples" every time I pick him up from daycare just to hear him say it. :)

Whenever we talk about his "peoples," my mind wanders to my "peoples" or my friends all over the world on social media. In case you didn't know, I'm a big fan of Twitter. I appreciate that Twitter allows follows without the obligatory follow back. Also, the 140 character limit and the list option makes for quick scrolling at different intervals throughout the day. It doesn't gobble huge chunks of my time like Facebook.

Recently, I was using (now to purge followers who immediately unfollow me or folks I follow who choose not to follow back for whatever reason. But, I must confess that I have never cleaned out my "inactive" followers, those people who haven't been active on twitter for three months or more.

Yowza! I probably spent an hour "unfollowing" and I was nowhere near the bottom of the list. Crazy.

Some didn't surprise me. Maybe they just decided that Twitter was one more distraction they didn't need, or they'd only tweeted a few times and Twitter just wasn't for them. But what did surprise me was the number of inactive users who had ten or twenty thousand or more followers.

What happened to all my Twitter peoples? 
Image Courtesy of Pixabay
You know how much time you invest to build relationships on social media. Why would someone abandon a Twitter account with such an impressive platform, especially after working so hard to accumulate thousands of tweets and tens of thousands of followers? I could only conclude that something traumatic happened in their lives, whether it was death, illness, or job loss, and eventually I stumbled onto one whose profile indicated that he'd passed away. This process made me sad, and I found myself praying over the profiles.

I learned a few things that day.

What happened to all my peoples? I care about my online connections, but at some point, it becomes impossible to keep up with all of them. Reach out, pray, and let it go. And that brings me to the next point...

You can't be everywhere. Sure, you can try. But if you're like me, the more social media sites I'm on, the more overwhelmed I am. I really only maintain a bio on Google+ and LinkedIn, but that doesn't stop the notifications from bogging down my inbox. Invites to connect and being added to someone's circles just sets off my internal panic button. I'm rethinking this whole "be everywhere" philosophy. Would I be better off concentrating on just a couple sites? I think so. I may eventually deactivate my accounts.

Keep it clean. You're allowed to follow 2k people before a follower/following ratio kicks in. Once that happens, you won't be able to follow more people until more people follow you. Yes, I know, it's a vicious cycle. But Twitter sets it up to prevent aggressive spammers. Since doing this, I scheduled a few hours each month to update and purge my twitter account to accommodate that ratio.

How do you feel about Twitter?
How often do you purge your inactive followers or have you put that off like me? 
What's your favorite social media hangout?

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Burn survivor Savvy McCord doesn't blame her best friend for running away. She can't even look at her scars without wincing. When Beck's disappearing act spans years, she relinquishes dreams of love and marriage. Unable to face Savvy's expectations of happily-ever-after, Beck Harmon deserts her, far away from the rumors that he's just like his father. When the wanderer returns, dreams of forever blossom in Savvy's heart, but she worries he'll leave again. Can Beck convince Savvy that her true beauty comes from her inner strength and faith? Will his idea to help burn victims regain their self-confidence restore Savvy's trust in him? Will love be what the wanderer needs to find peace for his hurting soul?

Dora Hiers is a multi-published author of Heart Racing, God-Gracing romances. She’s a member of RWA and her local chapter, Carolina Romance Writers. Connect with her on Seriously Write, Fiction Faith & Foodies, TwitterFacebook or Pinterest.


  1. If this is a dumb question, just roll your eyes before you answer. :) How do you find inactive followers? Through the app ('cause I don't use one)?

    From now on, all you online buddies are officially my "peoples." Love that!

    1. Sandy, no worries there! Sometimes, I feel like I'm being swept away by the social media rapids. Especially when I discuss various SM venues with my teen granddaughter. lol

      The only way I knew I had inactive followers was through the app. CrowdFire actually lists your non-followers, inactive, and those who unfollowed you recently. I highly recommend it.

  2. I totally don't understand Twitter. I follow a few folks,mostly editors and have a few followers, but I nevet post. So this was very informative. And you're right, Facebook takes huge chunks of time. I'd like something a little more streamlined.

    1. Terri, if you aren't active, you probably won't pick up too many followers. You might find you like Twitter a bit more after next month's post, TWITTER 101. :)

  3. I like Twitter for all the same reasons you do, Dora. And I use that app and purge fairly often. However, since achieving the secret magic ratio and going over 2000 peoples, I haven't purged for a while. Time to head over there to do it.

    1. Yay, another Twitter lover! :)

      I schedule a monthly twitter cleanup, which takes just a few minutes. Otherwise, it can easily get out of control. Happy twitter cleaning, Melinda. :)

  4. I've avoided Twitter - just for one of the reasons you listed. I can't do it all! I really enjoy Facebook and Pinterest, but they can be time suckers if I'm not careful. I've started to pay more attention to Google+ lately - oh, and then there's Goodreads! I joined a large discussion group there, too, to have some kind of presence. I'm also in Instagram, which I enjoy because I'm into visuals and it doesn't take much time to scroll through a ton of posts. I've also picked up followers I wouldn't have found otherwise.

    1. So right, Dawn! I only pop on and off Facebook during the day. Otherwise, my whole writing time is shot! Pinterest I reserve for evenings. I find Goodreads a bit cumbersome to navigate.


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