Why I Am Not Following You?

Recently I have reflected on who to follow on Twitter and what blogs to keep in my reader. I came up with following criteria and in no way mean to offend anyone. I was starting to feel overwhelmed with information overload and wanted to be more selective and therefore more productive. Here are some criteria that determine who I follow and what I read.

• I don’t like blog posts that are too long. This may seem negative and possibly lazy, but I prefer posts that are short on elaboration and get right to a topic or issue. For me personally, simplicity is key! I call this the American Idol theory…don’t take two hours to tell me a five second result.

• I will not follow people on Twitter if they ask me to. I find educators to follow based on conversations I have through chats or side conversations. I was actually at a conference where someone was repeatedly tweeting that they wanted to get to a certain number of tweets. For me this is not a popularity contest but a learning contest. Numbers are irrelevant to me but rather I focus on the quality of my connections.

• I don’t have time to follow any more or read any more. I love my wife and spending time with my sons. Little league will always trump reading more blog posts. What I like about Twitter and my Google Reader is that I control how much I read and take in. Everyone has different personal circumstances that dictate what they have time for. I know what works for me may not work for others and that’s ok.

• My brain is full. I constantly change who I follow and do unfollow people from time to time. I follow people and read blogs that I connect with on a professional and personal level. I also follow and read people that I disagree with to always challenge my thinking. I am looking for a wider perspective but not too wide…my brain can only handle so much.

• I will not follow you just because you follow me. This is not meant to be rude, but I choose who I follow based on who contributes to conversations I am involved in and who I learn with. While I appreciate followers, for me that is not what Twitter and blog following is about. This is not a homecoming court voting but a place for me to learn and grow as an educator. If I can do that following ten people then I will follow ten people.
I know there are great educators out there that I am not following and blogs I am not reading. With that being said, I have to draw that line somewhere. I am sure my PLN will grow, but for now I am being selective not as a way to be rude but as a way to not overwhelm myself and make the best of my connected learning.
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