The psychology of Twitter: we need to get a grip!


I’m intrigued by the psychology of Twitter. The obsession with having loads of followers (even though most of them aren’t even close to be the type of person they want to connect with). The feelings of rejection when … shock horror … someone unfollows! What is it that makes us obsess over what is, actually, not that important at all?
Does it harp back to those playground days when we were all vying to be the most popular? Is it simply that we want to be accepted and liked in any social group? Are we even aware we’re doing it? Much has been written on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which looks at what motivates people and how these motivations are structured. Indeed in my when reading I came across Whatif’s blog where one of their clever bods applied Maslow’s model to Twitter with their ‘Hierarchy of Tweets’ which explains this rather well (so I won’t rewrite the book, you can read it all there).

But even if this explains the why’s and wherefores I still think we need to get a grip. When it comes to numbers of followers, surely we’ve all learnt by now that it’s about quality not quantity with this type of online networking? I would much rather have 100 people follow me that I know are interested in the areas I work in and will gain something from what I have to say, than 1000 people that couldn’t care less.

And if @joebloggs from the other side of the world has decided to unfollow you because he only wants to read about carp fishing and nothing else, why should it bother you? Let it go. In the grand scheme of things does it really matter?

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