Do I follow you? Do you follow me? What if I follow you and you don’t reciprocate? What if you follow me and I don’t reciprocate? Does it matter? If your favorite Twitterer start following you tomorrow, how would that change you? Will you change the way you tweet — the contents of your tweets?
If you follow me and I don’t follow people that you expect me to follow, does that change your opinion of who I am? If you follow me and I unfollow someone for a stupid reason — will that change your perception of me?
That’s a lot of questions, but they have all been bouncing around my head since 5/4/11 — the day I unfollowed quite a few people — that I consider friends — when I was fed up of hearing lame Star Wars jokes. I received a lot of commentary from people about why I should keep following and how it isn’t “cool” that I am unfollowing people for this reason.
Many suggested that I get a Twitter app to filter the tweets.
I do have a filter in Twitter for Mac and it is called following/unfollowing. I don’t want to hear only what I want to hear from people I follow — I want to hear everything they say, whether I like it or not, if that starts to become annoying then I find myself asking the tough question:
Why am I still following this person?
While writing this post I stopped and did the tedious task of pruning my list of people that I follow, I went from 276 to 199 (probably even less by the time you read this). If I unfollowed you, I am sorry, but it shouldn’t matter to you. This has nothing to do with whether I like you, or deem you “worthy” — it has everything to do with what interests me. I like people that tweet certain things, you just may not fit that group.
Who follows you, how many people follow, and who people you follow are following shouldn’t matter — because no matter what, when you click follow you see that persons tweets — regardless of what opinion they have of you.1 If I unfollow you, don’t fret because you can still follow me. The reverse is also true.
Twitter is not Facebook. We are not friends because we both pushed a button confirming so — we just are interested in what other people say. Think of Twitter more like RSS feed subscriptions and less like a network of friends and you won’t get so worked up over all this follower nonsense.
Of course this does not account for protected feeds. ↩