9 February 2011

6 reasons I might stop following you on Twitter

Some time ago I read a post ‘10 reasons I won’t follow you on Twitter’. It intrigued me and all the points the author listed I could have marked as mine own. I even felt a little embarrassed when some of them might have been referring to someone like me. After all, I’m a person who enjoys her offline life; and I have to admit, I might not check my Twitter on everyday basis.

To the contrary to some arguments the writer of the post mentions, such as not believing in following someone back if they follow you, I find it difficult to not return the gesture of someone who made an effort and followed me first. I must say, it makes me feel privileged, especially when I see I’m being befriended by a person who has more followers than those he/she follows.

It doesn’t mean that I would follow back anyone who follows me. I check profiles of every single person who makes me a friend and I only follow back if I think this person is genuine, not a spammer, and has something interesting to share. And to be honest, most profiles which I came across seemed like that. They outnumbered those few dull and selfish twitterers, who have nothing to offer but a sexy avatar and a dodgy link, or just talk about themselves (I have this impression that there are people who don’t see the difference between Twitter and Facebook). The fact that I usually follow someone back lies in the idea that if someone genuine made an effort I think it’s fair to return the gesture. And I believe that if you follow someone and they don’t, it’s also fair to stop befriending that person. That, however, is not the only reason why someone might stop following you:
image taken from:
1. As I said above, one of the reasons why someone stops following you might be the fact that you don’t follow them back. Yeah, I agree that there are people who start following others hoping that this will bring them new followers. But what the heck. You don’t know that for sure. And honestly, if I see that someone has thousands of followers and they only follow a few, I don’t even bother. Unless they are a well-known news provider (Like BBC or Times), they make all the bad impressions (egocentric, selfish, arrogant. I could go on).

  1. When I said I check profiles of my new followers, I meant I read their info, look at their latest tweets; also see how many people follow them and how many they follow. If a person has something interesting to offer (it doesn’t have to be a great content, they might have interesting and inspiring thoughts they like to share with others) they are worth the follow back. However, I came across a few people who made an impression of being genuine and then they spammed my Twitter web with seller-tweets. It’s really annoying. It makes it impossible to read what others have to say. Such people, although followed back, will certainly be unfollowed very quickly.
  1. When I see someone interesting on twitter I usually add them to my ‘friends’. Although, I have to say, I’m not one of those persons who sit in front of they computer looking for people to follow. If by a chance of luck I come across someone, who shares my interests and who I can learn something from this gives me a good reason to follow them. I’m not waiting for follow back (though of course that would be nice), but when such person then creates an avalanche of tweets about their work, their day, their nagging thoughts and you seem to see no one else but them on Twitter, it’s just sooo annoying. Good the unfollow button works instantly.
  1. I came across a follower - an interesting person, with lots of musical news, mainly about his performances, I thought: ‘an artist trying to create a little bit more visibility for himself’, so I followed back. To my surprise, a few months later I see he disappeared from my followers and when I checked his profile again, he grew his followers to several thousand and he unfollowed all but 3 people. Well, he got what he wanted. He also became one of these Twitter users making all bad impressions – so it was very easy to unfollow him.
  1. It might seem very personal (but hey, my personal Twitter account says it all – it’s me and mine after all) but it’s not nice to talk to someone who completely ignores you. So if you are one of these people who is numb to tweets and messages directed specifically to you, or who is blind to someone’s re-tweets or mentions (simple ‘@... Thank You’ would be great. It makes people feel that you appreciate them), you can expect to be unfollowed at some point.
  1. Have you ever followed someone who seemed to have great content to share and then whenever you clicked on their link the website didn’t work? I’m not talking here about the dodgy websites people sometimes promote on Twitter (my advice though would be: don’t follow them at all). I followed a technology news provider who posted links with constant errors. When I pointed that out to him/her and the provider didn’t respond, I didn’t see any reason in following him/her any further.
I think that is all. I can’t think of any other reasons why someone might stop following you. If something else comes in to your mind, let me know.

To some of you it may seem silly that someone unfollows you only because you don’t follow them back. On the other hand, I guess, Twitter might work similarly to the real world. How would you feel if you said ‘hello’ to someone who you considered interesting and they completely ignored you? I think your new followers deserve to at least have their profiles viewed and not be dismissed straight away only because you decided you have enough followers and you can’t be bothered any more.

Damn, it’s a lot of followed/following/followers used in one post.


Mike Morrison said...

Great piece, thanks for sharing.
The only thing i would say is be careful of the difference between following and actually saying "hello" via an @ message.

Following is like "stalking" - and @ messaging is like saying hello. If someone says hello & the other person does not respond then sure - unfollow.

But just because one person "stalks" or follows another does not mean you have to reciprocate!


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