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.