My online resolutions…
So a new year is almost upon us. Not only is it a time for reflecting on what has gone before us, but also a time for looking ahead to the year sprawling in front of us. It’s a time for setting our stalls out, for fixing our targets and framing our goals to make us better people, better citizens, better human beings.
Which usually means drunken promises to definitely go to the gym three times a week, stop smoking, and only drink at weekends and special occasions. I did the latter one last January. Hence every Thursday and Friday was a special occasion. Job done.
This year though, my resolve is aimed at the internet, social media and blogging; the one facet of my life which I’ve devoted more of my free time to than any other. You’d think I’d be quite good at it by now, but even me, Mr. Perfect, can see room for improvement. So here are my online resolutions for 2011…
- I will no longer give a flying fuck who unfollows me on Twitter. This is the biggie. The one thing which marked (marred?) my Twitterage in 2010 was my frequent interest (read obsession) with who unfollowed me. I was a regular user of sites such as who.unfollowed.me and friendorfollow.com. Then I would tweet my findings. Like anyone even cared. “Ooh I’ve been unfollowed by 12 people,” I would exclaim. “Hmm, and…?” was the indifferent reply. Or silence. In fact it was quite often silence. Then I would unfollow those who unfollowed me. As though it had an impact. It was in reality like throwing confetti at a battleship. So, no more! Unfollow me if you will. I will probably not realise. If you do it hoping for a reaction, sorry to disappoint.
- I will use Follow Friday as a smart bomb, not a scatter gun. I like Follow Friday on Twitter. It’s nice to big up your favourite follows. But it has its drawbacks. Who to include? Who to suffer when you don’t? I admit in 2010 I became lazy. Again I turned to useful websites to fulfil my deepest darkest needs. No not THOSE needs… I allowed automatic list makers to choose my #FFs. I see now this is impersonal in the extreme. If I really think someone should be followed, then why not have a good reason, rather than be included by default? Just because we conversed in the last 24 hours doesn’t necessarily make you a worthy follow. So I will do #FollowFriday recommendations when I see fit and when there is someone I think is worthy of being followed. Followers of long-standing beware. Which leads me onto…
- I will use Follow Friday to find new follows. I don’t do this. Ever. It kind of illustrates what Follow Friday has become, doesn’t it? It is, for many, just a way of being nice to their followers. That in itself is thoughtful, but why wait til Friday to do it? Anyway, I will take note of who you pimp on Fridays, my friends. I may well follow them if you have a good reason. I won’t follow them if they are just lists upon lists of Twitter names. Like I don’t find friends by sticking a pin in the phone book.
- I will read more blogs. This one really bugs me. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, more gratifying than having visitors to this square yard of internet axminster. Even better when you leave fantastic, funny, meaningful, scathing, critical (or any permutation of those) comments. And what do I do in return? Well, not as much as I’d like actually. For too long, it’s been one way traffic. I have to redress the balance. Swear to my own personal god, there is something almost karmic about giving one’s patronage to other blogs. If one thing has been hammered home in 2010 it is that we are a community, but an isolated one. Our validation comes from feedback. I need it and so do you. I’ve yet to find the magic key to doing this and still having time to eat, sleep, work and the other stuff. But I will do it.
- I will rid myself of Blogger Anxiety. As I write this a Twitter conversation is happening with Kerry-Anne at Life Through a Sippy Cup and Michelle at Mummy from the Heart (with some sage advice from Jay at Mochabeanimummy) about Blogger Anxiety. I think this may be a bona fide medical condition by the way (btw I don’t mean Blogger the platform, I mean blogger the lifestyle choice). In the past year, as my febrile ramblings have gained an audience, I’ve gained a…a…fretfulness. Do you get that too? A day without a new blog post is a day worrying I’ll become invisible forever and my stats will die on their arse. I love the purple patches when ideas come flooding, but I detest the dry patches when I worry where my next idea is coming from. And I know I’m not alone. So in 2011 it will stop. I’ll blog when I have something to say. I’ll leave it fallow when I don’t. The stats will do what they do. Blogger anxiety will be a thing of the past!
- Facebook? Er.. yeah. I won’t be drawn in. Those days are gone!
So there we have it. We say resolutions are meant to be broken, but I’m not subscribing to that this year. We can all be better online communicators, better social media socialites, and still remain rounded humans. Even me. Here’s to 2011 and all it holds.
Happy New Year to you all and may you find health, wealth and happiness.