Chris Brogan Isn’t Following You, But It’s Okay

Chris Brogan is a popular dude in certain circles. Ergo, he’s also a popular target for SPAM.

To rid his Twitter feed of the unwanted appeals and outright trash, Brogan unfollowed everyone he was following– some 131,000 people.

His observations about the unfollowing are worth noting:

Many people wrote me fairly passionate statements as to why they hope I’d reconsider and follow them back. Many people also said they weren’t sure what they did to upset me, but that they were sorry. Some wrote me goodbyes as if they were losing a long time friend. Remember, I didn’t set out to do this to test whether people would feel sad if I unfollowed them, mind you. I was cleaning up a spam problem, but this observation was interesting and bears consideration, I think. And some of the people I’m talking about are big name types, too. Insecurity comes at all levels (and before you think I’m throwing stones, I can be very insecure).

Brogan is now slowly building up a Twitter following of people that he knows and wants to hear from. “When you follow 131,000 people, you don’t see any tweets,” he writes. Brogan also mentions that certain people “see me following them as some kind of endorsement.”

I’m saddened by this observation because it reveals how self-absorbed our culture has become. There are many meaningful ways to feel good about yourself, but who chooses to follow you on Twitter isn’t one of them. Twitter is mostly noise with very little signal mixed in. It can train the eye to scan, but what’s it doing for hearts, minds and bodies?

I think our time is better spent on real things, like planting a garden, teaching someone to read or going for a walk.

UPDATE: What is this crap?



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.