Chris Brogan Unfollowed Me on Twitter and Now I Hate My Life

by Marcus Sheridan

Sheridan and Brogan

But wait, I thought we were BFFs??!

So here I sit, still staring at my inbox, just waiting for that moment when he changes his mind. But alas, who am I fooling? He’s done with me. Gone. Ciao. Hasta la vista.

Who was I kidding? Just because he shared and commented on a few of my blog posts in the past, and just because we’ve chatted a few times in real life doesn’t mean we’re BFFs, right?

Wrong. Or at least I thought there may be the possibility….

I’m sorry, I’m rambling a bit, aren’t I? It has been a tough few weeks. Here’s the background:

Operation ‘Unfollow’

27 days ago, super successful blogger/author Chris Brogan commenced ‘Operation Unfollow’. Yeah, out of the blue, all of the sudden, he just wiped the slate clean on his Twitter account—all 130,000+ people.

And he didn’t even omit @TheSalesLion when he pushed that button. Unbelievable.

Since that time, Chris has made note of the various reactions, many of which have not been pleasant. Folks are confused, sad, distraught, you name it.

And I’m no different. After all, shouldn’t I be upset?? I have the right, don’t I? I’ve tweeted Chris’ stuff for years, mentioned him in my blog posts, supported him whenever I could. Heck, I even bought his audio book for Pete’s sake!!

But what do I get as payment?

A Big, Fat ‘Unfollow’.

You owe me better than that Chris Brogan!!!

____________________________________________________________________________________

What in the World is Going On Here?

We live in a world of change. And when it comes to social media, nothing seems to be changing faster. Who can possibly keep up? No one, that’s who. We’re all just trying to figure this out.

Chris Brogan unfollowed everyone because Twitter was no longer of use to him. He was getting inundated in junk DMs, his stream was nothing but a blur, and he wasn’t happy with the state of how he was using the medium.

So he changed it. He did what any one of us could/should do when we’re not getting the most out of a product or service.

But wait, Chris can’t simply unfollow all of us, can he?

Excuse me? At what point does a blogger/social media icon lose his/her rights to be normal, experiment, and possibly be wrong on occasion? If ‘John the Farmer’ unfollows 20 people to shake up his stream, does anyone say anything?

Nope, nada. But let an ‘A-lister’ hurt a few feelings and then everyone wants to make a judgement.

The Experiment that is Social Media

And this is where the problem lies for me—Why are we so quick to judge another’s actions when they are just like us? Brogan, as he would happily admit (IMO), is just like the rest of us. In other words, he’s trying to get his arms wrapped around all this ‘stuff’. When it comes to social media, every day is a literal experiment.

So what if he ‘followed back’ 130,000 people? He didn’t sign his life away to those folks, did he? Was it a mistake to follow so many? I don’t know. Heck, Chris might not know either.

Like I said, he’s just trying to figure this all out. (IMO)

The bottom line is this:

Chris Brogan owes me nothing, nothing at all.

The guy gives me free value every stinking morning with his blog. Does he sell stuff? Yeah, sure he does, and he has every right to sell whatever he wants.

So do you.

So do I.

He can also handle every social media channel the way he wants.

So can you.

So can I.

The Problem of Self-Worth

And btw, Chris doesn’t need me to defend him. Nah, he’s doing just fine on his own, but I think the fact that so many people apparently base their feeling of self-worth on whether or not Chris Brogan (or any other person for that matter) follows them is really, really sad.

Is that where self-esteem is derived from in the 21fst century? Do we base whether or not we want to get out of bed in the morning on number of followers, ‘likes’, subscribers, ‘friends’, klout scores, etc?

What??

Frankly, I had no idea Brogan unfollowed me. I would never track a stat like that. I also don’t track those folks that unsubscribe from this blog. Why? Because what the heck good does it do? Sure, I value every relationship and follower I have, but if someone does not feel the desire to ‘friend’, ‘follow’, or ‘circle’ me, that’s OK. I wish them well. The bottom line is if something like a ‘stat’ is going to just distract me from reaching my goals, then I’m simply not going to pay attention. (Note, this is why I don’t watch the news either.)

The Conversation Needs to Change

So am I really upset with Chris Brogan? No, of course not, I just appreciate some good old sarcasm at times. I applaud the guy for doing what he did. I applaud both posts he wrote on the subject. If one looks at them analytically, they are a study on the sad state of self-esteem in our society. And when I read the articles, that’s exactly how I took them, keen observations from a guy that’s not afraid to try out what’s on his mind.

So why aren’t we talking about that? Why aren’t we scratching our heads and saying, “We’ve come to this??”

Self-worth is way more than digits on a screen. I just hope we can all remember this as we continue to travel this interesting journey together.

Your Turn:

Well, if you don’t have an opinion on this one, you’re probably not human…or you’ve stopped breathing, which would be bad. ;-) But I’d love to know your thoughts. Are the rules of social media engagement different from person to person based on their status? Should people allow one person’s ‘follow’ to dictate their feelings of self-worth? Am I an idiot?  Agree or disagree, just say what’s on your mind, that’s what this is all about.

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