Here’s the deal

How some react to being unfollowed on Twitter.

The tweet read something like this: “For all you haters who can’t handle me talkin about the Steelers, #UNFOLLOW.”

And when I say “something like this,” I mean that it was chock full of internet speak and misspellings and such, but that was the tweeter’s style, and I kinda let those things go.

But the tweeter had a point. Why argue or be annoyed by what someone is tweeting? You have a choice to follow them or not, so exercise that choice, right? It’s a simple click of the mouse, almost like changing the channel on your TV. Annoyance, gone. Life can go forward unhindered.

So I took the tweeter’s advice, and I unfollowed some people. Probably less than 10, but it also included the tweeter. Why? Because said tweeter and I were/are different people. That person was all RAH RAH Steelers to a point of ultra-obnoxiousness. I mean, I love my team … but I don’t feel the need to scream in your face about it or trash talk the opponent. Nor do I feel the need to bet on it. Nor does my happiness hinge on their winning/losing. That behavior gets boorish. I figured it was probably for the best that I moved on. Click, bam, done.

The next day, said user called me out (and about 4 or 5 other people) for unfollowing, calling us “lame.” And then a few of said tweeter’s fans called us out, too … one being an avatar of a muscular chest that explained, “Maybe they just couldn’t handle THE GREATNESS.”

Yes. Greatness. Couldn’t handle it. That’s it.

The response reassured me that I had made the proper decision. And after that, I unfollowed a few more folks. They weren’t terrible people by any means, but a tweeter can’t live on 4square check-ins and a couple of RTs alone.

Next thing I know, I’m on a list called, “The Unfollowers.” This list claims that the people on it violate the unwritten “follow me, I’ll follow you back” rule … or if they do follow you back, they’ll unfollow you shortly after in some silly attempt to look ultra-popular. Whatever the case, this list says, “We’re watching you.” Whomever “we” are. Twitter secret police, I guess.

At any rate, this kinda pisses me off. First off, I’ve gone from someone who didn’t understand the value of Twitter to being a complete Twitter addict. I’ve met a lot of new folks because of it … and by met, I do mean in person. Craft beer snobs, bikers, hikers, newspaper veterans, photographers, IT folks, chefs … with the circle of friendly folks out there, if I have a question about something, I can ask, and chances are someone has a good answer for me. It’s awesome.

But the whole unfollowing thing? Most of the folks who I have unfollowed are celebrities or pro-atheletes. Out of the local crowd, if you’re spamming contests or constantly (and obnoxiously) promoting your business or site, then chances are I’m going to unfollow. If we’re just different people that can’t find a common ground to communicate on, I’m going to unfollow. And, quite honestly, I’m not going to feel badly about it. You don’t get along with everyone in real life, why would something like Twitter be any different? It’s just on Twitter, it’s much easier to deal with that whole thing. Click, bam, done.

Not all bots are created equally

Secondly, that whole “unwritten rule” is bubkis. You know what I learned? I don’t care if you follow me or not … if you’re providing info about stuff that I’m interested in or that brightens my day, I don’t need you to follow me back. If you do, that’s a bonus. Quite honestly, I don’t even pay attention to who is following me anymore. If you pop up in my “followers” list (not that I look, but the new Twitter shoves that in your face), cool! If not, cool! The amount of spambots that follow my unlocked account have crushed my will to check on that kind of thing. Honestly, out of my 500+ followers, I assume that 50 are real people. That’s probably way off, but that’s about the number of “regulars” that I interact with … so the other 450 have to lurkers, stalkers or bots, right? Right. Bots it is.

But if Twitter’s “Follow me, I’ll follow you” unwritten rule IS important to you, here’s a key ingredient to getting followed … LET ME KNOW YOU’RE A HUMAN. And if you are human, PLEASE HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY. Retweets and links to pictures get really old. I really don’t mind you promoting your business every now and then, but constantly … well, you’re going to make me earn my spot on the Twitter secret police list.


5 Responses to “Here’s the deal”

  1. 1 enophiledude
    March 10, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    and he can write too..i am so proud…

  2. 2 Barb
    March 10, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    I’m a stalking bot, but I think you still follow me. *snicker*

    At first, I didn’t “get” twitter either, but now I’m an addict!

  3. 3 Ian
    March 10, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Well said Three. Why Twitter is popular continues to baffle me. Not that I don’t do it anyway. I just not 100% sure why…

  4. March 10, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Would you like to increase your size and girth to satisfy her bett*CRACK BOOM*

    Damn bots are everywhere.

  5. March 10, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    I bow to your greatness! You managed to get on an Unfollow List, while I only manage to get passive-aggressive emails and @’s wanting to know why I’m mad at so-and-so. Now, a list? That’s MUCH more spiffy!

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