Like all good things, the general rule is that, whatever it is, it should be in moderation. This is no different to the internet. It's an amazing tool but with it comes an incredible amount of garbage.
Specifically, I wield the sword of opinion upon social networking. Even more specifically, Twitter. Ever since I joined Twitter (just over three years ago), I have always been very conscious about who I would and would not follow (I currently follow 192 people). This goes for celebrities, friends and even strangers. I don't follow some of my favourite celebrities nor do I follow some of my closest friends. Why? In short, because I have no interest in what they have to tweet.
Everybody has different Twitter etiquette. Some people will follow everyone back. Some only follow friends. Some only like following strangers. Some only follow celebrities. You catch my drift. The most concise way to describe mine is that I won't follow anybody if I can foresee their tweets eventually irritating me and/or if I don't see their tweets adding to my timeline in any way whatsoever. This has caused me problems in the past: friends getting annoyed at my refusal to follow them, suggestions that I'm some sort of snob (probably true, but that isn't a conclusion one should come to solely from my Twitter etiquette) with an aura of self-importance due to this.
I would say it's nothing personal, but that would be a lie. The way I look at it is that I have friends who's every living breathing thought I honestly do not want to know. It's just not interesting to me and, in some cases, it's highly irritating. If anything, not following someone for these reasons actually shows that I care enough about our friendship enough to not want it to be tarnished by how their tweets could make me feel. I genuinely believe that following people you know on Twitter can lead to you to disliking them, even if you get on so well with them in real life. That is of course a great shame and I have to constantly remind myself, 'don't let it annoy you Abe, you get on with them in real life and that's what matters, right?' But that isn't always possible, as I found last year when I opted to delete a friend of almost a decade from my Facebook because that insight into their mind was more than I could tolerate.
Over the years I've realised that if there's something in your life you dislike, you shouldn't complain. Reason being because there are one of two options that will lie before you:
1) Change it because you have the power to do so.
2) Don't change it because you have the power to do so.
When I see people constantly tweeting about the crap they see on their timelines, I can't help but look on and desire to snare with arrogance. It wouldn't happen if you were like me and weren't so sluttish with your following...
There are things in life we cannot control. Death. Natural disasters. Roman Abramovich's satisfacation. But for the things we can I, for one, will not allow them to continue stressing me!
You, of course, may have very different views on the whole 'following' malark though, so please do feel free to comment below and share your views...
Now watching: Unsafe Sex in the City Episode 4 (BBC)