Is Social Media Entering the Era of Zero Tolerance?

No Entry Sign by Magnus D

Will you deny people entry to your social network?

How much of your time is spent on social networking sites?

If you’re anything like me, you’ll spend a fair chunk of time monitoring and maintaining your presence on various sites. LinkedIn to keep your professional profile up to speed, Facebook to catch up with friends, Twitter to monitor trends and breaking news, and Google+ because you’re sure it’s going to be important very soon.

But with multiple networks to maintain, have you really got time to waste on frivolous or low-quality user accounts?

Users are beginning to answer that with a resounding “no”.

Have You Got The Time?

How much of your day can you afford to devote to social media? Not much.

When I log into LinkedIn, I want to see industry news and business opportunities. When I log into Twitter, I want insightful posts, interesting conversation and perhaps a healthy dash of witty banter.

Most of us don’t have the time to be sidetracked by anything else. So people are beginning to streamline their networks. And that means removing people from feeds, streams and circles.

Who to Unfollow

With so many networks to keep an eye on, I’ve decided that I don’t have the time. So forward-thinking users have started to remove, defriend or unfollow the people that don’t add value to their various streams.

I’m not doing a name and shame (because, really, what’d be the point?) but there are a few things that I’m beginning to stamp down on and remove from my social networks:

Spam: It goes without saying, but if someone’s spamming my network, they’re gone. Especially if they’re not providing any new or interesting content. Someone who plugs their own new pieces three or four times over a day or two is fine, someone who retweets four dull blog posts an hour isn’t.

Celebrities: Ha, remember when social media was young? We could be friends with Stephen Fry! But what was the point? Did we learn anything beyond the fact that footballers love Nandos? Not really. And, let’s be honest, the magic died the first time we saw this retweet: “@Celebrity PLZ RT DIS! Im your biggest fan an its my birthday! #followback”.(Please note, if you send those sorts of messages, please seek medical help).

Not THAT kind of doctor...

Auto-Updaters: I’m guilty of using Buffer to space my Tweets out – otherwise you’d get a flood of RTs at the point of the afternoon when I get round to reading my RSS feeds. But some people take it to the extreme. There’s no point in a real time communications network when everything is a postcard from 12 hours ago. So there’s no point following someone who posts nothing but scheduled updates.

#FollowF***ingFriday: This morning I was seeing a tweet a minute with various people just listing the people that they follow, in alphabetical order, tagged as #FF. This will not be happening next week. Follow Friday is Finished.

Are You Adopting a Zero Tolerance Social Policy?

You might disagree with me. You could very well think that there’s room in your following lists for all sorts of time-wasters and white noise broadcasters.

But ask yourself. Does your time really come that cheaply?

If it doesn’t, then maybe it’s time to thin the ranks.

3 Comments comments for "Is Social Media Entering the Era of Zero Tolerance?"

  1. Bel at 10:17 pm

    I guess for somebody like you who actually makes use of all these social networking sites it makes sense. I tend to forget that Twitter even exists, I miss most posts on Facebook, but I’m glad about Google Reader because I am subscribed to the blogs am interested in. That and h2g2 keep me happy (and google + is quiet enough for me to be able to keep track). 🙂

  2. Alastaire Allday at 12:33 pm

    I’m starting to adopt a zero-tolerance policy to all distractions, including social media, when I’m writing (in fact, I only signed in to read Tom Albrighton’s guest post, and here I am, distracted by the rest of your blog 😉 ). I switch my phone off and switch off my router at the plug — it’s the only way I can get any serious work done! It’s too easy to say “just five more minutes… just one more link…” and before you know it the day is gone.

    Speaking of which, back to work!

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