Recently, I’ve seen a few tweets saying the tweeter is unfollowing various tweeps for not following them back, for unfollowing, for not having interesting tweets, for being too quiet or maybe just having stinky digital socks. Now, I really have no judgements against such tweeters but it always makes me stop and wonder how all of this fits in with what Twitter’s all about.
Who do I follow in the first place? Generally, I follow folks that catch my eye in one of the various hashtags I follow, who were recommended by other tweeps I know and respect or whose blogs or work I admire. I might also follow a celebrity now and then or a tv show (@WalkingDead_AMC anyone?).
Is it really so important they follow me back? Although I deeply appreciate it when someone
takes pity on me finds me interesting and follows me back, I realize that folks might have a good reason for not following me back (even though I am a special snowflake decent tweep). Folks (*whistles innocently*) can get pretty lazy far behind in checking for new followers or might’ve turned off email notifications. Or maybe they’re at one of those mystical following limits, where they can’t follow anyone else until their followers have caught up with the number of folks they follow. Maybe they’re a big time celeb and generally don’t follow any of us “little folk” back. Or maybe they just don’t find me interesting enough…*shrug* everyone’s entitled to their opinion even if it’s wrong.
If a tweep unfollows me, is it right to unfollow them? First of all, I’m way too lazy to check who unfollowed me. Second, Twitter randomly unfollows folks like a dryer randomly eats sock, so maybe they didn’t even intend to unfollow me. Third, I’m way too lazy to check who unfollowed me.
Now, if someone’s rude about unfollowing me, tweeting something like: “I unfollowed @SoniaGMedeiros because her mother was a hamster and her father smelt of elderberries”, I might get a tad offended. And I might unfollow back. Or I might take the high road. You never know.
What would make me unfollow? If somebody spams me (and not because of a hacker) or is consistently rude to me or others (something which I’ve not encountered so far). If somebody keeps hitting on me even though I’ve told them I’m married and/or ignored all their advances (don’t laugh, it’s happened once or twice). Or if the twitter account seems to have gone dormant and I need to space (because of those mystical following limits). That’s pretty much it.
Do I always follow back? Chances are, if you have some sort of bio that isn’t just FREE IPAD or BUY MY TOEJAM and you have a profile picture (if I’m reasonably sure you’re not a spambot, in other words), I’ll follow you back. You don’t have to dazzle me with your wit, flash a brilliant smile or offer me chocolate (though chocolate would be nice…just saying), you just have to be human. If you wanna stop by and say hello along with your follow, I’d like that even better.
What is Twitter all about anyway? It’s about connecting with other folk. Meeting new people. Being introduced to new ideas and finding great movies, books, music, art and blogs. Making each other laugh. Encouraging one another. And giving one another a digital shoulder to cry on. Sure it can be about promoting our wares but that doesn’t matter without the connection. Above all, Twitter is about community.
And community just works better when we’re patient and forgiving with one another.
What are your thoughts on unfollowing tweeps? Any other Twitter etiquette issues got you scratching your head?