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At the time of this writing, I’ve got 19,997 tweets on my personal account (and 9,445 for MMM’s Twitter account, which was started sooner). I’ve made the commitment to pretty much end my doings on my personal Twitter account once I hit 20K tweets, with the exception of the automated services that I use to populate it and promote my wares and DMs for some folks whom I only connect with in that space. Since making that declaration, I’ve had a little bit of time to think about what I’ll do with the time that I won’t be spending tweeting. So far, the list isn’t as large as one would think.

Twitter has pretty much been the bulk of my social media activity over the past years. I sprinkle in some activity on LinkedIn, and there are a few others, but mostly just Twitter. In looking at life beyond Twitter, I’m thinking about what I’ll do with those other social networks in my stable, and if I’m asking of myself the right questions in moving forward from Twitter.

…Now take a look at your social media activity. If you and your friends are operating a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Flikr or Instagram account you’ll see the story crosses over between the various platforms. The personal/professional narrative is being replicated. These Narrative Fractals are multi-dimensional. Your life expressed as personal Fractal Narrative. Arguably 1 Billion+ lives being expressed as personal Fractal Narratives self contained in a Fractal Narrative we call social media… (Facebook, Twitter, and the Fractal Narrative by Nigel Scott)

One of the things I’ve liked about Nigel and his public through-processing on the topics of the worth/value/necessity of social networks is that he frames thing in such a way that you have to look in the (digital) mirror if you want to continue in the activity. The challenge, is not whether I can make the noise that’s meant to be heard – and trust me, I want to be heard – but that we make a noise, no matter the media or the moment, that’s necessary for life and moment.

I don’t know that I’ve used Twitter as well in that kind of thought. I’m not sure that I’m using social networking technologies/methods as a whole in the best way possible.

I do see me pulling together those writing and posturing spaces even more. In playing with Medium, I’m merely allowing for some of the thoughts that appear here, to also go there (for the time being) while I explore a different interface for inputting my thoughts into this digital ether.

I’ve seen me already be more attentive to keeping my head up, and sharing more with picture/video messages directly the experiences that matter, rather than being so quick to put it online. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got my moments where I think its incredibly valuable to my online narrative to share things online (for example, jumping into the Forum Oxford Friday conversations at LinkedIn make a ton of sense for me socially and professionally). But as a whole, I like the better aspect of using social networking to make sure that I eventually get into real-world networking. I’m not an introvert, and so making that kind of connection makes all kinds of sense to me.

So, for social networking, its going to be all about purposeful interactions. And for blogging/writing, its all about saying the stuff that sticks to your bones. Anything else that happens at this 20K point?

BIking. Contextual computing experiments. Travel. Lived-in-full relationships. That’s enough to live well with. And yea, it might also make some decent sense to tweet/share some of those moments. But, the interaction to life isn’t what happens on social networks, but what happens that made the networking possible, whether or not it included the likes/retweets/mentions or analytics of another.

There’s more to this digital space than the analytics we create, the metadata that’s assumed. I’m willing to step out a bit and figure out what that might look like. Even if I am once again fumbling in the dark.

Some years ago, I minimized the role of email as a primary comms method to me. The reason was that I just got too much junk and it made sense not only for myself, but for those folks who reached out to me. I’m continuing to have a series of inboxes that don’t see more than 20 emails per day (yup, that’s how much noise I don’t get). I think that the behavior of social networking has a design that should be similar. It shouldn’t always be a matter of managing a firehose, but one of taking on the comms that matter, and allowing that to be one of several streams adding color to life. After 20K tweets, I think I can say that I’m understanding that part of the machine, and am ready to join the parts of the world that live successfully without it being so intrusive.

You’ll find me here and other spaces. But, you’ll do better to just cross paths and see what the fuller conversation looks like. Life is more than 140 characters you know.

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