There’s a new trend on twitter right now, mainly popularized by this article from twitip, that consist in “starting over” with your twitter account. It was once very well seen (in fact it still is from my point of view…) to follow back people who were following you, but as the article points out, it’s hard to follow conversations when you follow 10K people. I totally agree with this point (even though it’s still possible with the right tools), but I totally disagree with the way people are “using” this article.
The article mainly says you should follow only the people you find interesting and that there’s nothing wrong with unfollowing people because you don’t care about what they have to say. While I agree, here’s the side effect I find ridiculous.
After this article was published, a lot of people started to “mass unfollow”, just so they could “start over” with their twitter account. The idea is:
I have 20K followers, but only find 100 of them interesting, so let’s unfollow the rest.
The concept I have problems with is not the “follow only people you find interesting” concept, it’s the “Let’s get 20K followers, then realize I don’t give a crap about them, un-follow them and get a killer follow/followers ratio” concept. What most people say after this is that they are “starting over” with their twitter account because they only want to follow “interesting” people.
Starting over mean starting over
That’s not what I consider starting over. Starting over would mean starting a completely new account with 0 followers and then only following people you find interesting. If you don’t want to follow back people, don’t follow them back, that’s fine with me. Would you still reach 20K followers just by doing that? No, because let’s face it, unless you’re Guy Kawasaki, you need to share, interact and follow people to get some of that twitter juice. That’s how it is. So, either you start over and accept the fact you won’t reach 20K or you accept the fact from the start that you are not Barack Obama and won’t attract 500,000 followers unless you share, interact and follow.
It’s the way the followers were acquired
My main problem with the “mass unfollow” to “start over” idea is the way the followers were acquired in the first place. Let’s face it, there are ways to get new followers easily and most people I’ve seen “mass unfollow”, followed me in the first place so I could follow them back and get more followers. That’s a perfectly fine technique, it works and a lot of people do it. Here’s why it doesn’t make sense at all to “start over” in this situation:
- YOU follow someone with the only goal of getting more followers (you already don’t give a crap)
- That person follow you back so both are happy
- Then you realize you can’t follow ALL conversations (what did you expect?)
- Finally, mass un-follow people YOU first followed because you don’t really give a damn about them. (Wait, you didn’t give a damn in the first place, so why did you follow?)
Is it just me or this scenario doesn’t make sense? You’re the judge, but I strongly disagree with this practice.
It’s OK to only follow people you like
Again, don’t get me wrong. It’s OK to only follow people you find interesting, it’s the process of mass following and then mass unfollowing that I think is wrong. What are your thoughts? Let me know.