Why I Don't Follow You On Twitter

I tweet incessantly on Twitter. Most of us know this by now.
I also, inexplicably, will hit 1,300 followers probably before the weekend is through. I follow little over 300, quite a few of whom don’t follow me. Whatever.
So why don’t I follow you? Well, it’s not about you, is it? It’s about me getting the most out of the experience for me. It’s about me enjoying my time on there. Not making you happy in Nantucket or whatever. This is my gratuitous fun time, nothing more.
Now, I could go and do what some Shall-Remain-Nameless folks do, which is follow EVERYONE who follows them, but I think that’s disingenuous. Not that THEY are, but I think, for me, it would be disingenuous to do, yes, because it’d just be for appearances ‘cos I won’t be reading Twitter anymore, just my replies. And I’m not that kind of girl, or I at least try not to be.
The reality is, how many people can you REALLY follow? How many conversations and lives can you plug yourself into while still actually getting something out of it, huh?
For me, I passed that number at about 110 people in my tweet stream. I now barely absorb anything on Twitter. And I’m not enjoying it as much. 315 is too many for me, and I won’t be taking any more. I may, in fact, be unfollowing a few.
But I try to reply to most people who message me or @reply me. Unfortunately, the higher my follower count goes, the more the likelihood that my replying follow-through starts to slip because there’s more and more replies.
I don’t ever get to use Twitter at work. I don’t have one of those jobs and I can’t stay current on it there. When I come home, I want it to be fun. If I feel like replying, I will. If not, then it’s just more work, and, frankly, I’m too fucking busy with too many things in life that feel like work. Twitter’s not going to be one of them.
But if you REALLY want to be followed, then earn it. Seriously. Be funny, make me laugh, message me a few times, but most importantly, be patient.
Let’s face it, I’m no Mary Poppins. I say a lot of stuff that’s not exactly everyone’s cup of tea. Many people who follow me will unfollow me in a couple weeks. A lot of people do that initial tweet upon following me to try and suck me into their fold, and I get that, but if they’re only going to follow me in order to have me reciprocate, that’s foolish, especially if they don’t REALLY know what I’m like on a longer term. Since I know my drop rate’s at 20% or so. I could be more polite and appropriate, but that’d just be boring. I’d rather be myself and suffer the consequences.
Why put myself out until I know you’re sticking it out? But if I get @replies from you often, I’ll probably reply quite often, too. Isn’t that at least a great start? I hear you, right? I reply to most, even now.
Don’t get all huffy about it. It’s not personal. I’m tweet-overloaded. But when I see someone I like, I’ll usually try to follow and lose some dead weight. But I also like a lot of folk I follow, so it’s the cyber rock-and-a-hard-place conundrum.
Also, why the fuck should I follow you if you’ve followed me and never said anything to me? I don’t even look at most of my followers’ pages, not because I’m a snobby bitch, but BECAUSE I’M BUSY. My week computes to about 70+ hours a week without factoring in any social life — if I have the energy to have one. Again, Twitter is for relaxation and blowing off steam, not for piling on more obligations on top of my already-obligation-crowded existence.
And, the weirdest reason of the bunch? I had a head injury a few years ago that gets me kind of overloaded easily. Especially on Twitter. My 300+ peeps tweet stream barely gets absorbed EVER anymore. I glance at it, here and there. That’s it. I feel inundated and like I’m out of touch with everyone. Which makes ME feel like a fraud, because I’m not “really” involved in anyone’s output. All of a sudden I see someone’s update and I’m shocked — “When did she get a boyfriend? Is she funnier when getting laid? Wish I knew.”
So, it is what it is. You don’t like it, think every follow deserves a follow back? Have fun in your perfect little unrealistic Twitter world, because it’s not a world I want to be a part of. CHOOSE to follow me, please. Don’t do it as some kneejerk “Right back atcha” bullshit diplomatic move.
Because the people I follow? It’s on purpose. Because I like them. Because they gave me a really good reason. And because I maybe had a hole to fill in my Twitter stream. Maybe, though, more will open, and I’ll have an urge to fill it with you. But I ain’t gonna unless I’ve got a reason, now, am I?
By the way? I have never actively sought to get new followers on Twitter. I post my stream on my blog, but that’s it. So, if folks want to follow, awesome, but I’m not out there actively trying to boost my numbers, ever, I’m just there posting comments, blowing off steam, and enjoying the ride. Let’s keep things simple, let’s keep ’em real, because that’s the only way I fly. Unfollow at will.

12 thoughts on “Why I Don't Follow You On Twitter

  1. [email protected]

    I follow you because you’re funny, smart, and authentic (I hate that word, but you are consistent and intolerant of bullshit). Don’t remember how I found you on Twitter, but I’m glad I did. You’re one of the folks I make sure to look for, and not just because you write great food porn.
    Hope you have a beautiful weekend filled with cooking, bike riding, and glorious snarking…
    Luv ya,
    Gilbert (@CrazyOnYou)

    Reply
  2. Lilly

    I follow around 100 people, and that’s enough for me. I could likely have well over 700 followers by now but because I lock my updates, I can say yes or no to -them- following -me-. Some might think that weird, but I don’t see Twitter the way most do. I don’t give two shits how many followers I have. I don’t want more! If I don’t “know” them, if they’re not a fellow blogger, if they don’t seem to talk regularly to a few that I follow….then no. Sorry. This is my circle.
    Because my updates are locked, I actually follow very few who don’t follow back. If I should ever want to @reply them, they won’t see it if they don’t follow me.
    Also, I HIGHLY recommend Tweetdeck. Seriously. I have a widescreen resolution, some might not, but with the groups on Tweetdeck I can see 30 tweets all at once, filling the screen vertically and horizontally – for some reason that helps my brain not feel overloaded with the tweets. And it fetches automatically every 2 minutes. If I didn’t have Tweetdeck, I would likely follow along less.
    Lilly’s last blog post..Iโ€™m not a feminist but I AM a slut

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  3. Mai

    I share a lot of your point and like the fact that you are who you are and not being afraid of showing it, even spell it out for us. Following people should be a choice yes, but I am afraid that what I use to like on Twitter, which is getting to “know” people who in normal circumstances will have never given you the time of day either consciously, because they were busy or you were on totally separated hemisphere, is changing.
    Whatever we do, we seem to carry our social microcosm with us, then where the site allowed you to speak with writers, designers, actors of all rank and fame, suddenly an elite has been created.The people that were out of reach to the regular Jane like me, were suddenly close and friendly. Now I read about elitism….you should be followed, you it does look “cool” to follow. I tweet, and I like it, about what I like.I like you, and you make me smile and laugh.I am deadly afraid of scooters, but I enjoy reading about yours…weird hey!
    Well this is long, just wanted really to tell you that this post comforted me.Although I foreseen you will have the perverse reverse effect of child psychology….don’t follow will become just follow in people’s mind…such is the social construct.Thank you for being out there and sharing.

    Reply
  4. Tony Letts

    You’re spot on …but – I see you use Web to access Twitter. First off, you need to add in PowerTwitter which improves Web in loads of ways such as showing pics/vids without needing to click. Second, you need Tweetdeck (or Nambu if you’re a Mac user. This lets you group Tweets (I have a bestest group and a nextbestest group). This lets you keep up.
    Hope this helps
    Tony Letts’s last blog post..school leaving report

    Reply
  5. Virginia Mason

    OMG, another head injury sufferer. Sucks, doesn’t it. Gets in the way of too many things. I’ve no doubt that trying to read too many Twitter people is one of those things.

    Reply
  6. Diva

    You like me! You really like me!
    Another great post. I don’t follow everyone who follows me either. If I know the person I will follow back or if they twitter to me but otherwise it is impossible.
    Diva’s last blog post..HNT – Flowers

    Reply
  7. Cynthia K. Dalton

    This “rule” is ridiculous. Are celebrities with ten thousand and more followers supposed to follow all of them? The consensus on another blog was this rule was made up by some marketing person to have a ready source of people to spam. I don’t twitter because I have nothing interesting to say most of the time. I don’t follow people on twiiter because I don’t have time to read all the blogs and web pages I’m interested in already.

    Reply
  8. Loxy

    I am of the same belief despite having way fewer followers. If you show interest in me, then I will likely show interest back – but it’s not a guarantee.
    (Like the random guys who tweet me to say I look hot in my profile pic.)
    I will note that I’m glad I added you (and I think you may follow me back) because it’s the kind of feed I like – personal, random and real.
    @Loxyisme
    Loxy’s last blog post..Planning Portland

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