A social experiment for the less adventurous

First published July 28th 2010

The Guardian print a selection of Barack Obama’s emails each week. It’s amongst my favourite features and I particularly enjoy his humorous dislike of David Cameron (see this week’s for details), but overall I’m slightly fascinated by the social experiment that is the publication of what would otherwise be very sought-after personal messages from the President, so I thought I’d conduct my own social experiment, which admittedly has no connection to Barack Obama or the Guardian, but is social non-the-less.

I love Twitter, fact. Possibly to a point that’s unhealthy, but if love comes at a price, I’m yet to discover how much it is. Hence the reason for said social experiment. I’ve been on Twitter long enough to have worked out that some people unfollow users when they become boring (understandable) or simply a bit quieter than usual (unfair, sometimes). I’ve lost followers because I haven’t tweeted for a few hours before now, talk about demanding, so how will people react to two and a half weeks of online absence?

Tomorrow I’m going on holiday, actually I’m going in about an hour to get to the airport for a ridiculously early flight, but tomorrow is the start of my lessened ability to tweet, blog and everything else on the social media landscape. How many followers will this cost me? I genuinely have no idea, but whether the results are that my numbers stay the same or decrease (or bizarrely, increase perhaps), it’ll be pretty interesting. To me, of course. I admit this will probably sit alongside watching paint dry for everyone else, but at least I won’t be recording results. If for some reason however, you are interested I suggest you firstly get a hobby, then come back in a couple of weeks to see if I’ve lost all online presence and nobody remembers who on earth @lauramsmith is.


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