As usual, one day last month I was up late last night preparing my notes for the next day when I powered up my laptop and started looking at metrics associated with my Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn activities and I began to feel a little uneasy.

Why? I’m certain that some of the people within my social media sphere of influence accepted my invitation to connect quickly and without much thought because it was really the “polite” thing to do and would cause no harm (at least that’s what I did sometimes.) For that, I say “thank you for not hurting my feelings” but I want to give you an “out.” Let’s call it AMNESTY for Social Networking.

Almost exactly one year ago, I became an informal student, advocate, and passionate user of social media applications and platforms. And while I LOVE my virtual social interactions I took a bit of a break from blogging and tweeting to re-establish my bearings. What was  interesting about my hiatus is that I came across a few people who weren’t able to immediately understand that I’m not really the uploaded photo image in the 2-inch x 2-inch box, and that yes… I still enjoy a good verbal conversation or an occasional exchange of written content that exceeds our 140 character twitter limit. But as I’ve grown and matured around the technology, I was finally able to secure an answer to one of my most nagging social media questions:

How can one individual authentically manage hundreds, if not thousands of  social media relationships? Answer: They don’t. There’s simply not enough time in the day to do it

So, if you’ve got lots of social media connections and only a fraction of your interactions seem relevant,  lighten up, forgive yourself, and give your connections permission to break things off by declaring an informal amnesty. Simply drop a quick note of thanks to the folks who are following you and then invite them to drop you without penalty, hard feelings, or perception of ingratitude if they don’t believe your social relationship is mutually beneficial. Let’s keep it real here shall we? I’d rather be virtually connected to 3 people who actually want to have an exchange of thoughts and share experiences than to be myopically focused on monitoring the numerical growth of hundreds or thousands of followers. I mean, what’s  the point of talking if nobody’s listening?

As I researched the viability of my perspectives, I came across this video interview affirming my perspectives featuring Seth Godin: blogger extraordinaire, author, social media guru and icon. The result? Watch this 2-minute video and tell me what you think?


Chris Bell, III