I unfollowed you

I didn’t unfollow you because of you. I unfollowed you because I don’t want to spend my time checking for notifications anymore.

Twitter’s business model is founded on your checking for notifications. If you keep checking for notifications Twitter can keep selling your attention to advertisers. You are not Twitter’s customer; you are Twitter’s product. Twitter sells its product (you) to its customers (advertisers).

The last thing Twitter wants you to do is take your attention away from it, because that destroys its business model, and so unfollowing someone is supposed to feel like a slap in the face. It isn’t. It’s just bits moving around in the cloud.

Twitter is not a “good way to connect” or a “good way to stay informed.” I’m not sure Twitter is very good at either of those. A good way to connect is to talk to someone. A good way to stay informed is to read the newspaper.

I won’t be offended if you unfollow me in return. Indeed, I won’t even know about it, and so I’ll consider our relationship safe.

[To be fair, Twitter’s intentions aren’t evil. It’s that they’re under tremendous pressure to make their stock price go up, so they make daily decisions they’re not proud of. Facebook’s current crisis is a great example of this.]

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