Twitter Amnesty Day
by Jonas Polsky
Today is Twitter Amnesty Day, and it’s a celebration. “A celebration of what?”, you may ask. A celebration of your freedom to read and follow whoever you want on twitter.
You’re in charge of your twitter console and you can follow as many, or as few people as you like. In the realm of twitter comedy, quality is not absolute. Sometimes a person will have you in stitches, and later bore you to tears.
Are you obligated to stand by them? Through thick and thin, in sickness and in health? No. You don’t have to do anything, you’re reading free jokes on the internet. You haven’t signed a contract, or exchanged rings. You started reading of your own free will, and you can quit at any time.
In the history of twitter I have unfollowed, and refollowed people several times. In his first days I was stunned at how ingenious Albert Brooks took to tweeting and I couldn’t get enough. A week in he wasn’t being as funny so I got bored and left.
If I had been confronted by Mr. Brooks, I would have made up an excuse to not hurt his feelings, but ultimately there can only be one reason for me to unfollow him. I wasn’t into it anymore. Fortunately it’s my timeline and I get to do whatever I want with it.
I have been confronted by people, even “called out” for unfollowing, and it’s not fun at all. When someone unfollows me, I don’t feel great about it, but I don’t take it personally.
But isn’t it better for them to leave and find something they want to read than to stick around, “trapped” in this unending torture of having to see tweets that they no longer like?
In the service industry the philosophy of many companies is to treat cancellations the same way that they treat new customers. Because you never know, they may have a change of heart, or come back to you later on. If you curse someone out, you’ve lost that customer forever.
So if you don’t want to follow someone anymore, leave. It’s a small world, and you’ll likely see them in a retweet, or a follow recommendation later, and if you want to refollow in the future, you can do that too.
Think of twitter comedy as a grand television where you can switch channels at any time.
Let’s agree to not put each other in emotional bondage, and treat a follow like a lifetime contract. So go back to twitter now and unfollow everyone you’re sick of, and if they throw a fit, show them this post. Let’s all grow up a little and not feel like we’re trapped in a laugh-less marriage.
Best of all, Twitter Amnesty Day isn’t just once a year, it’s every day. It’s whenever you’re reading this, and everyday thereafter.
But don’t unfollow me, cause I’ll cut ya!