His profile looked so interesting. I thought maybe I'd found a great new person to follow. Then I looked at his timeline. Sssssssss. The air of excitement let out of the room like a bike tire rapidly deflating.
Aside from a few self-promotional + random posts, timeline was littered with this >> Hi,Cheap,easy & secure domain registration/transfer.
So many promising topics. All a foil simply to gain followers. Then I re-read his profile. There it was at the end, the hint of what was to come:
#Ifollowback & Unfollow those who unfollow!
Oh. You're one of those.
Of course there's a hashtag for it. Yes, he is an example of some of the worst of this type of person on Twitter but there are plenty of people who do this, even if their timeline has more valuable information than this one. I'm not a big collector of pet peeves but this whole follow back nonsense is one of them.
Why does follow back bother me so much?
1. It's disingenuous.
This is especially rankling for someone whose mantra is, all you have to be is you. Demanding people to follow you back is like buying followers. In either case, you're not getting engaged followers who will actually help you achieve anything you want: new friendships, clients or customers. This kind of internet fame is meaningless. About the most it can do is make you look cool, which is just so much like high school. I left high school behavior...back in high school.
2. It misses the point of Twitter.
Whereas Facebook is a largely a reciprocal network, Twitter treats relationships as asymmetric, which is one of the best things about Twitter. As a social network, Twitter is organized chaos at best where you as the user, are in charge of creating your world. An asymmetric network gives you more power to curate your experience. Well, new Twitter features may change this but that's a post for another day.
If you want everyone to like you, or follow you back go to a reciprocal social network like Facebook and stop trying change Twitter. And if you do have a follow back policy written on your profile, it's a sure sign that I won't.
I don't write about marketing and social media much these days as I'm more invested in other projects, but this is one topic I can't ignore.
Here's the mini rant from Twitter. Scroll to see all tweets.