I signed on to my Twitter account over the weekend to be confronted with this message:
This is not the first time I’ve seen a message that called me out for unfollowing someone. The first time it happened I was immediately ashamed and quickly refollowed the person. The next time I tried to defend myself by pointing out that I had never engaged in a conversation with the person. We then spoke more in 1 minute than we had the entire time I had followed his account. This time, it seems, I have been auto-dissed which must be the Twitter equivalent of breaking up with someone over a post-it note.
I’ve said before that one of the rules you should know before joining Twitter is to not fear the unfollow. It’s really ok, despite what automated responses may say about you. This man and his followers probably think I’m a spambot or some heartless bitch who just follows & unfollows to increase her Klout score. If there wasn’t a lesson here I wouldn’t have bothered to write a post at all.
Before I get to the moral of my story, here are a few facts you should know about my Twitter account.
- I tweet. A lot. I realize that a lot of people find this annoying, but if you ever met me in real life you wouldn’t be surprise. I talk really fast, have a lot of interests and I suffer from insomnia. If I didn’t keep myself to one-cup of coffee I’m sure that I would NEVER shut up.
- I follow people who don’t follow me back. Celebrities, news feeds, social media stars, journalists. I follow these accounts for reasons as varied as why I hang out with acquaintances. This feed is full of great links about my industry, this feed makes me giggle, and this one is a friend of a friend that I want to support.
- I’ll pretty much follow anyone who has a witty bio. If you took the time to write something clever in 140 characters I’m willing to give you a chance.
- I’m quick to follow and slow to unfollow. If a tweet catches my eye it’s not hard to hit follow and add to one of my lists. There’s no set time for an unfollow but I like to give my new follows at least a week. I can get an idea of their feed, follow their conversations and ask the most important question that you need to ask before you click unfollow. Is this feed going to enchance my experience or just make twitter.
- I’m slow to followback. If you’re following me and I haven’t followed back, don’t get insulted. I actually go through my follower accounts individually and I’m usually behind. Also a great way to get rid of spammers who unfollow after a day.
Pop quiz time! Now that you know me, how do you think I would respond to that tweet calling me a quitter?
- A. Cry
B. Swear revenge
C. Not give a shit
D. All of the Above
If you chose D then you know me IRL. My first reaction to most situations tends to be irrationally emotional. After that subsides, however, I chose option C. I don’t give a shit if this guy thinks I’m a quitter. I don’t give a shit if that tweet gets archived on Google and that’s the first impression that people have of my Twitter account. Want to know why? I don’t know who the hell he is or why I followed him in the first place; which is likely the reason I unfollowed him in the first place.
I don’t regret the decision because this is how I use Twitter. It feels natural and I’ve come to find a rhythm that works for me. When I feel there’s a time for a change then that’s when it will happen.
- Don’t engage with someone who takes the low road on Twitter. Engagement is the reward of social media and you don’t want to reward a douchebag.
- Do unfollow users for your own reasons. Maybe there’s too many tweets or too few. Maybe they want to talk all the time and you’re more interested in checking in daily for news. In the end it doesn’t matter what the reason is, all that matters is that you’re using Twitter the way you want to not the way someone has dictated to you.
- Don’t take it personally when you are unfollowed.