First let me give you the condensed version of my first impression of Klout, since it hasn’t changed:

Klout is trying to make a cyber-geek’s ultimate dream come true to some extent: to be able to show off cyber power in the flesh. To actually get tangible bling–not just another point on a board or a ding! for the next level–for pouring heart and soul into cyberspace. Something disturbingly like when Neo in The Matrix flexes his arms and the steel in the “matrix” bends around him.

Pull the plugAnd so, not long after the Klout algorithm was reset, I quietly unplugged my account. It was simple (thank you, Mr. Fernandez), and as I’m on my way out–still deleting Klout notifications from my email–I wanted to share a few of my post-Klout social media feelings.

Better. Before I unplugged from Klout, a lot of my feelings about it were shadowed by a kind of helpless hypocrisy: I was outspoken against it, but rather sensitive to it personally, and especially after my Klout score took a dive I waited a while because I didn’t want any doubt in my own mind that I wasn’t doing it because I was a sore sport. That bothered me. Jennifer Devitt of SYDCON felt the same way. Now that I’ve unplugged, that hesitation is gone, and I feel better.

 Satisfaction. I’d never appreciated having Klout impose its gamified, money-making idea of what social media should be on me willy-nilly, and it felt good to escape it.

Blissful unawareness. When you have no Klout score, it can be whatever you want it to be. When I see other users’ Klout, I’m awfully glad I have no number of my own to compare to it. It’s one less thing to check.

Guilt. As my relationships and interactions on social media strengthened, several people I respect and whose opinions I value gave me +K. I thought of them immediately after I’d unplugged, and I don’t want them to feel they wasted their time. To those of my readers who did: Thank you. I’ll always treasure your recognition.

I’m still fascinated by Klout. It has all the morbid magnetism of a train wreck for me. But now I’m not part of it.

Have any of you unplugged from Klout? Tell me what it felt like.

Photo credit: Hembo Pagi, courtesy of Flickr, CC 2.0.

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