This is an article about declaring bankruptcy on Twitter. Not the other kind. Act accordingly.
Five years ago, the maximum number of starred emails I allowed in my Gmail inbox was 100. Over time, that has creeped up.
Now, I regularly work hard to keep the number of unread or starred messages staring at me under 500. Any productivity expert would call it a sad, sad state of affairs.
On Twitter, things aren’t much brighter.
I used to think I needed to follow less than 100 people to truly stay engaged. I want to know what my followers are doing, I said to myself. I simply can’t really know them if I have too many, I reasoned! But then my rationale softened, and my numbers rose along with it. When I realized I was following 700 people a few weeks back, I knew it was time to do something. So, like a normal Twitter user, I tried to edit down my following list. I tried hard. I’d unfollow ten people, twelve people even, and then feel badly about it and follow them back all over again. I clearly needed to do something more drastic.
And so I did.
As a birthday present to myself this week, I declared Twitter bankruptcy. And I think you should to.
What is Twitter Bankruptcy
Like regular bankruptcy, Twitter bankruptcy comes with a resigned feeling of giving up because you feel you have to.
For me, I realized I had to when I started avoiding my main timeline. You know, the one where you Tweet. Contrary to popular belief, I proved once and for all that you can still be a very active Twitter user for a few weeks while almost entirely ignoring your overloaded timeline.
I hid myself in my lists (I have about
50 20, but it feels like 50!) and @reply streams, sleeping as I avoided the panic-inducing influx of everyone writing clever things I wanted to read constantly.
But, as with all “regular” bankruptcies, declaring bankruptcy is also an act of hope. Hope for something better. A clean slate. Square one. I wanted my timeline back, and declaring Twitter bankruptcy offered me the glimmer of hope.
How to Declare Bankruptcy On Twitter
You, too (!), can declare Twitter bankruptcy in 3 simple steps. Ready?
- Stop following everyone. Everyone. Preferably, you make yourself manually unfollow the vast majority of the folks (as I did) so you can remind yourself of all the interesting, smart, witty people you were actually following that you forgot all about.
- As you unfollow, make sure to keep a list of the folks that you will want to hurry up and follow again.
- Get your numbers to zero, and then stop. Breathe. Take an hour, or a day (or two, like I did). Take a screenshot while you’re at it.
Do you need a second look at that?I think I do.
Here’s a preview of the folks I’ll be live-tweeting about tomorrow — my “Top 30″…