“It’s Not You, It’s Me.” – Five Reasons For Our Social Media Breakup

by Mack Collier

It’s Spring, so I’ve been doing some cleaning up of the people and blogs I have been following.  As I’ve admitted to in the past, I am a Social Media Packrat, so I decided to trim down the people and blogs I am following.  I trimmed down the blogs I am subscribed to, as well as the people I am following on Twitter and Plus.  Here’s some of the reasons why I initiated the ‘social media breakup’, maybe you can relate to some of these?

1 – Your blog has become an endless commercial for yourself.  I would never unsubscribe from a blog due to lack of posting.  Kathy hasn’t posted at Creating Passionate Users in 5 years and I am still subbed and check it regularly.  But I noticed with a few of the blogs I was subbed to, the blogger had begun to post very infrequently, and when they did post, it was usually just to update us on where they are speaking, the progress of their book, some list they made, etc.  I get not having time to blog anymore, but I subbed to your blog for your thoughts and ideas, not your self-promotions.

2 – You aren’t as important as you think you are on Twitter.  This was downright comical during SXSW.  Whether it was Klout Score 75 tweeting that she worried that she couldn’t find time for all the people that wanted to meet her today, or Klout Score 83 tweeting that he was at dinner with 3 other A-Listers (and they paid!), it seems more and more ‘power users’ aren’t talking to other people on Twitter anymore, they are talking AT them.  I guess I’m just an old social media fuddy-duddy that’s not narcissistic enough to appreciate this type of behavior.

3 – Your blog is twice as active, but you’re never there.  This instance I try to be understanding about.  Blogger writes good stuff.  Blogger’s blog starts to gain traction and get popular, so blogger starts trying to post more often.  Blogger gets approached about sponsorships cause blog is popular.  So blogger starts bringing on other bloggers to do guest posts.  When the smoke clears, the blogger who I subscribed to is never on their own blog.  Or when they do write a weekly post (versus 2-3 a week before), it’s to promote themselves, similar to #1.  The problem is that the ‘voice’ of the blog has completely changed.  I subbed to your blog for you, not for you and whatever 5 guest bloggers you’ll have there this week.

4 – You over-share.  I’m not talking about sharing too much personal information (although I hate that too), but I’m talking about putting out 100 Plus updates a day.  Photos, thoughts, links, videos, it never stops!  90% of the public updates are your stuff.  I appreciate your passion for sharing, but when you are drowning out everyone else, it’s time to go.

5 – You’re always complaining about something and someone is always doing it wrong.  Look, we all need to hear the contrarian viewpoint every once in a while, it helps keep our ideas centered.  But if every day you are complaining about how someone or company or organization is always wrong, it gets old.  And it gives me the impression that you aren’t just disagreeing, you’re being disagreeable.  There are more productive and far interesting ways to draw attention to yourself.


So as I streamline the people and blogs I am following, those are some of the reasons for our ‘breakup’ from my end.  When you unfollow someone or unsubscribe from a blog, what are some of the reasons why you walk away?

Katia Billeci April 9, 2012 at 9:00 am

Is it anyone else’s belief that those “___ unfollwed me” messages only make the account that got unfollowed look bad?

Mack Collier April 9, 2012 at 9:01 am

Ha! I have thought the same thing, Katia! But I assume the person has those set up so they can see when they get unfollowed?

Lori @ Green Pond Creative April 9, 2012 at 10:33 am

I’m glad there are still people not narcissistic enough to appreciate the kind of social media habits you’ve described! The whole point of social media is to be social, after all. Thanks for the encouragement to keep it that way.

Mack Collier April 10, 2012 at 10:38 am

Lori I agree. Using social media does NOT suddenly make you social 😉

Anneliz Hannan April 9, 2012 at 2:42 pm

I get the biggest kick out of your blogs. I have been treading water trying to figure out how to manage all these SM sites and fine tune what I want to read, follow and participate in. It is becoming overwhelmingly evident that much of the material is just that..banter without any meaning or point. It takes me hours to sift through the sludge. I understand that to find the diamonds I have to dig but in the meantime you always offer me respite.

Dean April 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm


It’s no secret, I unfollow when the message changes. This includes going from thoughtful to commercial; originator to nothing but guest-posters, and when there is a radical shift in subject matter, such as a car blog turning into a racing blog.

I usually sign onto a blog because 1) I like the subject 2) I like the writer’s style and 3) there is a sharp focus. When those start to go, so do I.

Am I unreasonable?

Thanks for the opportunity to ramble, Mack 


Mack Collier April 10, 2012 at 10:40 am

Dean I think we are on the same wavelength. And I think the person we part ways with is changing gradually over time, and perhaps they don’t notice it. But we do.

steve macalpine April 9, 2012 at 6:47 pm

I really liked Mitch Joel’s recent ‘Watching me Blog’ post, where he talks about his approach to blogging.
‘It’s me. Only me. I write, edit, post, moderate, etc… everything’ and then goes on to detail his strategy, tools et al.
He then ‘calls out’ a bevy of high profile bloggers to bare all about their own blogging practices.
I understand the difficulty that these folks have trying to scale and monetize their efforts but…and it’s a big but…whatever happened to the ideals of transparency and community that so many of these very successful bloggers espoused in the beginning?
We can tell when we’re just being sold or the person who we originally followed has ‘left the building.’

Ann Marie van den Hurk April 9, 2012 at 9:18 pm


I think it must be in the air this week. I’ve been feeling the same way. Recently, I took stock of my participation in social media and did some decluttering. And it feels good. I’m refocusing on true connection and interaction.

Debra Murphy April 10, 2012 at 7:51 am

Mack, these are perfect reasons to break up with others on social media. Number 3 seems to be a trend these days and blogs I enjoyed are now not as interesting. Guest posts when you’re on vacation or out for a while is OK, but its the original author I was interested in. If I wanted to read their stuff, I’d subscribe to their blog!

Spring cleaning is always liberating. I’m pruning out a few as well while looking for some new, interesting blogs to read.

Mack Collier April 10, 2012 at 10:41 am

Debra if you are looking for new blogs to read, make sure you check out the blogs from everyone commenting here, that’s one reason why I wanted to use Comment Luv, as a blog-discovery tool 😉

Josh April 10, 2012 at 10:45 am


Fantastic as usual, and you nailed all of my digital pet-peeves. We all understand being stretched for time and not being able to post as frequently or even as thoughtfully as when you have more time. But when it all turns to shameless self promotion it’s no different than when you look at a brand’s profile(s) and it’s nothing but “10% off of blue widgets” and “we have X new products out” type of posts.

Debra Ellis April 12, 2012 at 6:56 am

Hi Mack,
Let’s add one more reason – “You forgot to save the drama for your mama!” Posts designed to create controversy and generate traffic are tiring. Enough already!

Ike April 13, 2012 at 12:10 am

There’s another reason: my tastes have narrowed. I don’t have a strategic need to track news and thought leadership in ______ or ________ anymore, and time is increasingly precious.

That’s what I hate about the Unfollowing obsessions; they drive people into deriving meaning where none is warranted.

Danny Brown April 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Phil Baumann stated it perfectly here:

(Danny I removed the link cause some might consider that post’s image NSFW)

Jeff Jacobs April 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm

I declutter all the time. Strangely enough, I have not felt the need to report my activities once.

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