Historically I’ve pretty much exclusively used Twitter to follow other Mac and iOS developers and to keep abreast of what’s going on in the world of my work. Obviously not all my tweets or the tweets of those I follow are about work and a whole range of subjects are brought up and discussed.
However over time I’ve found myself having conflicting views with several of the people I follow. Usually these are nothing to do with development-related topics but rather are ideological or just lifestyle things. I tend not to publicly highlight them (although I’ve been less restrained in the last few weeks and months) and most of the time they are silly irrational things that are just annoyances rather than something particularly tangible. I’m an irritable old git at times so it doesn’t take much to annoy me and when you’re irritated by the content of your Twitter stream you start to enjoy using it less.
Unfortunately, as with presumably Facebook and countless other social networking sites, there is an odd compulsion not to unfollow people. I suppose that it is because we are all generally decent people and don’t want to upset others by unfollowing them but then I decided that the people I wanted to unfollow probably wouldn’t even notice.
Two remarkable things happened. The first was that, unsurprisingly, none of the people I unfollowed noticed or if they did none of them mentioned it or made a fuss. The second is that Twitter is a much happier place for me now and I enjoy reading my stream much more.
One concern I’d had was that I’d start to miss things but then I decided that if someone said anything particularly important or useful then it was bound to be re-tweeted and I should trust the people I still follow to effectively pass on the useful stuff. So far that has held true.
So my advice is this. If you’re following someone whose tweets start to bug you, bore you or are just pointless and tedious just unfollow them. Believe me, it makes Twitter a much more relaxing place to be.