Twitter Can Be As Much About Letting Go As It Is About Connecting

Next Monday, March 8th, I’ll have been on Twitter for two years.

I’d love to be able to see my first tweet, lame as it inevitably was, but unfortunately Twitter limits back-searches of your tweets to the last 3,200, so that’s not possible. Still, if the mood takes you, you can see some of my stuff from about a year ago here.

(Check your own early tweets at MyTweet16. If you’ve made less than 3,200 updates, you should be able to see your very first submission.)

Recently I’ve been thinking back to my early days on Twitter, when my network size (follower and following) was less than 150 people. There was a core group of maybe thirty to forty contacts there, and, even beyond how everybody is permanently connected on the network, we were all interlinked, regularly sharing and discussing links, concepts and ideas.

I’m pleased to say that I’m still in close touch with many of these people, and still consider them the core of my network. Predominately, these aren’t business contacts, or clients, or associates. They’re friends, which I think is the critical component of any community. More importantly, they’re friends I’ve made through Twitter.

But there are others – many others, and I’m sure this is true for most of us – who for various reasons I have had to let go (or they have let go of me). Occasionally, I will be reminded of these individuals by a retweet of somebody who is still connected, or perhaps an old screen-capture on this website. For a moment, I’ll reminisce about what once was, or might have been. I’ll remember conversations that took place, and jokes that were shared.

I’ll wonder – who lost touch with whom? Did I stop engaging, or did they?

The thing is – knowing when you should unconnect from somebody on Twitter is as important as actually getting together in the first place. Certainly if you feel like you’re struggling to find a reason as to why you’re still following another person, it’s absolutely necessary for you to part ways. In fact, it’s essential.

There’s no obligation here. Sometimes, the most rewarding and intense relationship experiences can also be quite fleeting. None of us can be everything to everybody all of the time. If you’ve parted company from another individual, most of the time it was the right thing to do. The fact that you’ve done it at all is usually all the proof you’ll ever need.