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Are You An "Unfollower"?

Updated: Mar 27, 2019

Twitter houses many writers, both published and unpublished. But some are just unable to stay in a committed relationship.

Tweeting: Another form of communication via the Internet

I am not a huge Tweeter. By this, I mean that I have a Twitter account that I generally peruse daily, but I rarely post anything on it. Reasons abound, the big one being that very few people care what I have to say. Or share. Or tweet. And that's all right. Some writers live in a narcissistic bubble where they want to share their ideas, interests, cleverness with the world, but aren't that interested in hearing what other writers have to say. And I agree that not a lot of information being tweeted is relevant to my survival that day. In fact, I could not read a single tweet for a year and I probably would not have missed much. I feel fairly confident most people would say the same, and reading my tweets is probably as interesting as asking a stranger about how their day is going. Because unless something tragic or thrilling has happened to me, I'm not going to receive a whole lot of attention.

Although I don't mind that I receive very few responses to my posts (a toast to @K_Lingus45 who nearly ALWAYS does), I do have a massive pet peeve that I'm happy to share.

People who follow me on Twitter and then unfollow me after I follow them back.

If you've been on Twitter at all, you'll know what I mean. For those who haven't joined Twitter and are using the Google search engine to research the term right now, I will explain. It's a social media site where you can interact with others, but only using 280 characters or less. So very short sentences. People can "follow" you if they are interested in what you have to say. For example, I am interested in other writers, so I follow people, both published and unpublished, for networking purposes, informational resources, or just honest-to-goodness chiming in on issues writers deal with on a near-daily basis. I have a few favorite people I enjoy hearing from, and then there are the "lurkers," like me, who might add to a conversation, but generally read through the posts to see if anything is pertinent to their current or upcoming projects.

The irritating thing some writers (and directors/rap-artists/actors etc.) do is "follow" random people who show up as suggestions on the site (or perhaps they find them on someone else's feed) so that those people will "follow" them back. Most of us make sure the people appear to be legitimate Tweeters (a few of them are "pick-up artists" or "catfish"). And then we hit that "follow" button. It's polite. It's comforting. It's the right thing to do. But here's the rub...those very same people who "followed" first return to their Twitter feed to "unfollow" their newest followers. Very unsavory folk, if you ask me.

So what does this do for them?

It inflates their popularity. Makes them seem as if they have 15,000 followers and that they are so famous, so amazing, so tantalizing that they don't need to follow anyone back. So while the rest of us peons are neck to neck with our "follower" vs. "following" ratio, these people make it seem as if they have such amazing, great things to say that people follow them just to swim in their tears or bask in their rays. And then you end up looking as if you follow everyone and their pet chihuahua. But alas! No one cares what you have to say, you poor, pathetic, desperate follower.

It's like being ignored by the popular clique in middle school. And nobody wants to be that kid.

I understand unfollowing someone if you disagree with their views, they insult you, they waste precious twitter space with fart jokes. But to follow people to gain an audience and then unfollow them? OR have a writer follow you, write you a note thanking you for the follow with a link to purchase their work, and not follow you back? Yeah. Puts a bad taste in my mouth. And it should in yours, too. Because this is a network. It's not a contest to see who is the best Tweet jockey. It's not an ego-booster because your wife doesn't understand your need for time to write or your husband refuses to read your books. It's about community.

So people, my fellow Tweeters, please consider hitting that follow button to add to your community. And step away from the unfollow button! Unless, of course, someone has unfollowed you first so they can appear to be the most popular, yet mysteriously unknown, novelist. Because if you can't commit to me...why should I continue our relationship?

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