I have to admonish myself for doing similar at times for other reasons, but stop un-following people because everyone else is. It is building into a Tsunami that will wash away the fragile framework that has grown over these last few years. For a time this was us.
edit. And this picture is very appropriate too. Along with all of us riding the wagon, we bring with it a mountain of our personal baggage. And perhaps the load got to be just too much and now we see the wagon bogged down in the dirt from it all.
People would occasionally fall off, but the massive amount of people riding the wagon was enormous. We all shared something in common. Our love of gaming. We all talked out our current favorites, discussed things we thought were wrong, offered help to those that needed it, congratulated people for achievements, in game and in real life, we shared things going on in our lives, good and bad, then perhaps things got a little too personal. Not only did we share things in our personal life, but also shared our political and social views on things happening in the world. When I started following people on Twitter there was one criteria, do they play WoW. It is amazing that not only have I managed to follow 2000 people, but that more than 1500 follow me, I wonder why each day, just as I wonder when people join the guild we have grown. While some may no longer play WoW I still follow them because it is great to hear people talk about other games they are trying and their perceptions on things new, even much older games dusted off. More recently things have become more personal. People are focusing on the person and their views and values in real life over the games they play and part of the blame can be laid at both parties feet, if you choose to discuss controversial subjects expect that others may have differing views to your own. Respect their opinions even if they are different than your own. Remember, you are the one initiating the dicussion, be it by starting yourself, or furthering it on your own timeline. Because of it things have started to escalate in a manner of minutes/hours now, where before if you did not agree with how someone felt about the game(s) you would consider un-following, now we un-follow because of a persons stand on a social position, we un-follow because a person does not support someone else, in effect this is happening. We use the mute feature because we do not wish to be singled out for un-following.
We are un-following because everyone else is doing the same. We are like lemmings jumping off a cliff just because others are, and it is compounded with others un-following others because this person did not un-follow this person that un-followed this person. It has to stop. Things are being said, fingers pointed, wagons are circling, dogs and cats living together, it’s mass hysteria. If you are going to stop following a person because they are offensive to you, they no longer talk about things you find interest in, then yes by all means click that button. There are many that feed off the controversy, if you take away their platform and find new people to listen to then eventually they will learn. Do it because it is your choice, your decision, do not worry about whether others will criticize you for it, you are making a choice because in your mind it is the right one to make, not because the mob is pressuring you to do so.
First off, for any that have let the fact that many follow you because you are a Game Developer, Host of a major Pod-Cast, well respected Blogger, member of a Top Raiding Guild go to your head. Treat the people that follow you with respect. The reason your popularity happened was because of these people. If you treat them, or look down on them, as a source of income to continue your hobby, whether you feel it is a job or not, if you treat people like they are beneath you because they do not do things the same as you, do not be surprised if some day they feel you are out of touch with the masses. You may find yourself talking to a smaller and smaller group of people. If you do things to raise money to continue what you do, be happy with any donation people may make, times are tough, for the vast majority coming up with that $15 a month is a major expense.
Secondly, for all that listen to, comment on, follow, and interact with a person/persons. Try to treat them with the same level of respect you would expect to receive. Be leery if a person is telling you things about someone, it is far too easy to listen to a person, one that you may even respect, tell you things that may or may not be true, or just their perception, and coupled with your own personal views and looking at things with all these influences can at times lead you to similar conclusions. I speak from learned experience there. What we write everyday can always be interpreted in many ways. When we make a decision to express our thoughts in written form, we run a risk that what we say can be interpreted wrong, can be a result of our interpretation being wrong, or it may be a fact.
And that is the reality of things. There will always be a community in some shape or form. If we get to a point we feel the people fighting over who is steering are making our lives miserable, we can just wait for another. I am riding the new band wagon now, one where I am riding along with people that are trying to reclaim what we once had, a community of gamers talking about games, without hatred or derision. Just everyday people that want to leave the outside world where it belongs for a few hours a day. Where we are happy if you announce you’re getting married to a person you love, sad for you if something tragic in your life happens, and there to share with you every day while we talk about past, present, and future internet dragons to kill. Where we do our best to make well thought out comments, either critical, or in favor of changes made in our games, a world of respect and understanding.