Learn More, Tweet Less

Rear view of boy with apple behind his back and front view of teacher sitting at desk (10-11)Some of you may have noticed that my Twitter stream isn’t as robust these days.  There aren’t as many blog posts, news articles and conversations flowing.  To be rather blunt, I simply haven’t felt like tweeting.  I’ve snuck onto the web occasionally and opened the TweetDeck a couple of times, but the ‘new tweet’ alerts haven’t been as alluring.  Some days, I’ve felt self-imposed pressure to tweet, as though I wasn’t living up to expectations.  Other days, I’ve felt like the site of that demonic little black and red alert box blocking the ability to close documents was more than I could take.

While the motives for my lack of tweeting are a bit unclear, even to me, and I really have no clue where I would have found the time to tweet more than I have been, I’ve learned some really important lessons while tweeting less.  Lessons that I will carry with me if/when I decided to start bombarding your Twitter stream again.

The Mystique of the Inner Circle
When I have hopped on Twitter, I’ve been keenly aware that I could not catch-up on days worth of content.  This realization has led me to come to terms with the fact that, while we may follow hundreds or even thousands of tweeps, the inner circle is mighty tiny. We all have our ‘go to’ sources.  And I’ve learned that with fewer tweets, quality is more important than ever.  Consequently, I’ve been looking at less than 2% of the people I follow in my quest to retweet valuable content.  It’s not that I don’t have some level of interest in what the other 98% have to offer, its that you come to learn who you can always rely on for good content.

All Hail the Aggregator
Were it not for PRDaily and PRSA Issues and Trends, I’m not sure I would have tweeted some days.  Getting these emails has been key to producing content in my stream.  While I have still screened the articles myself, I’ve saved the time I normally spend digging through the web to find good content.

Obligation is Out
I want to make something very clear.  Nobody, unless it’s the big boss, is making you produce content.  If you have a day where the thought of tweeting makes you weepy, it’s okay!  You are not going to hemorrhage your follower count from one day without tweeting.  To be truthful, I find the distance to be beneficial.  Sometimes, you just need to step back and gain a fresh perspective.

Relevance, Oh Relevance
Being relevant is by no means a new topic of conversation when it comes to social media.  If people find your content lackluster, sleep inducing, monotonous, annoying or generally inconsequential, you may as well not tweet.  Tweeting for the sake of tweeting is (1) obvious and (2) not the best use of your time.  Absorb someone else’s content if you are uninspired to create your own.  Or, better yet, if your contribution is going to be understood by nobody other than you.

Cleansing is Critical
Sometimes you need to do some spring cleaning.  Scratch that.  Tweet cleaning.  As I’ve skimmed my feed on the web in the interest of time, I’ve found myself wondering who some of the people I follow are.  How did I find them?  Why did I follow them?  Am I sure I logged into the right account?  I don’t recognize half of these people!  While I feel a bit guilty, I also have an overwhelming sense of having misused Twitter.  I’m still sorting that out, but if you take nothing else from this post, take the time to look at who you follow and build some new relationships.  Don’t waste your resources.  Let go of those you don’t need and focus on those that you do.

As someone who used to be glued to her Twitter stream, I’ve found that I have come to appreciate the go-to sources that I rely on more.  I have a new willingness to learn about the people that I don’t recognize in my Twitter stream.  I realize more than I ever why I tweet.  Yet, I still don’t feel the need to do so at a feverish rate.

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