This whole “I follow you, you follow me” mentality on Twitter has bothered me for a while. Basically, it goes like this: if someone follows you on Twitter, it’s “rude” not to follow them back. This is nonsense. Why? Here are a few reasons:
- Interest Factor – You should follow someone on Twitter because you’re interested in what they have to say. People should follow you on Twitter because they’re interested in what you have to say. Period.
- Spam Factor – A lot of your new followers are probably spammers just waiting for you to take the bait and follow them back. Then they’ll fill up your DM box with teeth whitening offers and phishing links.
- Fake Ego Boost – If one of your followers is also following 50,000 other people, chances are they aren’t paying attention to anything you say. They might use a program like TweetDeck to filter a small list of tweets they actually do want to see. Who cares if someone follows you if they don’t even read what you have to say?
If someone doesn’t follow you back, don’t take it personally, it’s no big deal. Maybe they don’t check who their latest followers are, maybe you haven’t interacted with them before, maybe they’ve noticed you but your tweets just aren’t that interesting to them. Hopefully people you don’t follow back won’t take it personally either.
If you want to interact with someone, using @replies should suffice. Even if I don’t follow someone, I try to make a solid effort to respond to everyone who replies to me. Obviously this can be difficult if you get a ton of replies, but you can at least try make an effort. This is a much better way to stay “connected” than the superficiality of a straight follow.
Ever heard of Dunbar’s number?