Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Breaking Free of the Charm Bracelet

The days of running to your computer to check your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ pages is over my friends. Of course it’s mostly over because we all can do that from our cell phones these days, and the computer is really just there for when we have too much to type on the little phone keyboards. Like anyone else I post things so that people will like them, or like me, or like something about me, or else I wouldn't bother to post anything to social media at all. Believe it or not, I actually use social media to read the news, and keep up on things. Those that actually know me can tell exactly when I am eating lunch at work or sitting and drinking my coffee in the morning because I blow through all of my feeds, and like and +1 an awful lot of things along the way. Those that don’t know me will never know me, and that’s ok too.

My cell phone alerts were going absolutely berserk yesterday because a pack of wild bloggers were all following my Tumblr page, and Tumblr is one of those sites that I follow everyone back that follows me, and then spread hearts around in my spare time. Now of course when I say “pack of wild bloggers” I mean one or two people with about 20 accounts each that follow and unfollow people to get idiots to follow them back and hopefully forget to unfollow them. As we probably all know these are the worst people to follow because not only do you not exist to them, but they babble really really bad, and if they are blocking you from seeing “actual” friends posts then they get neglected.

Fortunately for the Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram world (all of which suffer from “packs” or other follow unfollow jerks) there is a great website called “Friend or Follow” which will effortlessly scan your profile and tell you exactly who isn't following you back. You can even unfollow these people right from the page. No muss, no fuss. I immediately was able to get rid of the 35 (yes thirty five) pack profiles that followed and unfollowed me in one day, and while I was at it get rid of all the Instagram lookie loos while I was at it. I had already been using it for Twitter for years, so that was relatively clean already.

I was impressed by this cleaning effort, since there were other social media sites I found myself wasting far too much time on people who not only wouldn't notice me alive or dead, but in a lot of cases would go out of their way to not show me anything. If you are a frequent comment poster, or someone like me that usually logs in every morning with coffee to make sure you wish all the birthday people a happy birthday, you probably know what I mean here. The people who treat you like a stalker, or have a history of liking all comments but yours. I found a Chrome add on called “Circloscope” which would pretty much do the same thing for Google+ which eliminated all those extra birthday wishes I was sending out every day.

For sites like LinkedIN, there really is no need to figure out these demographics, because in all reality, I never found any need to get “likes” or anything like that. My friends and I just promote each other’s skills and what not, and I really keep the page for business contacts. The one that really had no easy solution was Facebook. I am one of those people that “likes” a lot of things because I hate seeing things people post go completely unappreciated. The other day, I had a couple of hours to spare, and went through everything my friends posted, and noticed something. They all were extremely active, just not with me. My jaw just hit the floor really, and I went about my day.

As I said before I like anyone else post things to find common interests, or at least something in common with people. My wife laughed at my revelation and said “You don’t like being a charm on someone else’s bracelet?” This actually made a lot of sense because the one trend I noticed with a lot of the people I comment on, liked etc, who never did any of those things back, were that they all had between 2000 and 5000 friends, and they only interacted with people who had more friends than they did. I deleted all of those, because I wanted to have more interaction with people that interact, and not be a charm on someone’s bracelet. I’d still love to find a program that will tell you which one of your Facebook friend’s doesn't “follow” you, but there is always a few tricks up my sleeve. Stay tuned!