I’m far from an expert on Twitter. In fact, I only gave it a try after hearing a real expert go on and on about it for probably the tenth time. What I’d classify myself as would be a borderline addict. I’m more a voyeur than anything else. Don’t let the 10500+ tweets fool you. I read more than I tweet. Also, I’ve been exchanging comments on twitter for a little over a year and for a time the majority of my tweets this past year were about ABC’s LOST <==R.I.P. I’ve noticed questions/issues raised about those a person follows versus followers. It’s almost childishly comes off as I’ll follow you if you follow me and it made me wonder why people follow others and how they choose whom to follow.
In my case I tend to follow users that seem intriguing, engaging, or offer a service of interest. As for the reverse, well I offer no service so my first guess would be that oddly enough they find me intriguing and/or engaging enough to follow.
Alas, that guess isn’t always correct. I learned that back when I protected my tweets. Not going to get into why because that’s not all that important. What is is while I was protecting my tweets I’d get follow requests almost daily (yeah, I was suprised too) and in searching for some means of validating the requests searched for a tool to help. What I needed back then was a means of building a picture regarding the requester. Short of reading their tweets, I wanted to quickly see if we had anything in common. In the world of twitter that commonality would be in the people we followed or those that followed us. After getting several recommendations via the HiveMind I settled on one and gained better control. In the process I came to learn of tools that completely managed your follow/followers for you.
It happened when I stopped following someone then months later they asked if I was still out there because they hadn’t seen a tweet form me. Of course I’m not normally a rude person so I responded directly to them. Turns out, according to them when I unfollowed them they instantly, via 3rd party utility, unfollowed me. Now I’m not in anyway offended but left wondering why they followed me in the first place?
In truth, I didn’t give the exchange another thought until some pointed out that it’s a common tactic of those who seek only to inflate their numbers to follow people hoping for the follow back. Sort of a mutual stroking, if you will. And once they get the follow of that person they then unfollow. Now in the instances that this tactic has been mentioned the people sharing all seemed miffed. Upset at being duped into following that person who no longer followed them. (Confused yet?) I have to ask why get upset at all? So what if that person only followed you to get you to follow them and hence build up their follower numbers? Unless you too are using some automated app to manage your followers then you chose to follow them, right? So now what? Unfollow back.
See how it’s pretty childish?
Now I don’t give a hoot who you’ve followed or how you’re cleaning your follow list and getting rid of accounts that have stopped following you. But for people who feel the need to announce this too all please take it a bit further and ask yourself why you followed them in the first place. If it’s purely because they followed you then you’re no better then those often referred to as SMD’s (Social Media Douches). Maybe, just maybe, it was a change in their tastes, interests, or needs that resulted in the unfollow. Even so, it’s still your business again whether or not you’re going to continue following them.
In the end follow or unfollow — I need not know. Just do me a favor and grow up about it.
Oh, and it would be so cool if I had 500+ followers. Yes, I’m being a little snarky. Key word “little” :-)
Thoughts? Why do you follow people on Twitter?