I unfollow a lot of people on Twitter in an average week. Sometimes it’s because of something they post. Other times it’s because they use an auto posting service. And sometimes it’s just because I followed them without really looking at who they are.
I do this pruning a lot. On social networks, you aren’t what you say, but who you connect yourself with. No one would listen to Guy Kawasaki if he only followed porn stars.
As a result, something I’ve been seeing a lot lately are tweets from people I’ve unfollowed that look like this:
I believe the idea behind this is to “shame” the three of us who unfollowed Naresh. Services that do these kinds of tweets – fllwrs.com is one, and I think Qwitter is another – actually have a good premise. Their real job is telling their users who unfollowed them, and which post may have sent them packing.
Posting tweets about it is part of their package, however, and it totally works against people like Naresh when they do this.
First, my profile is getting a mention – which is always good. It’s another opportunity to be discovered by other users. Even if it is in the context of, “This jerk unfollowed me! Boo hoo,” I get just that much more growth in my social footprint.
Second, this kind of post would make most people ask, “why did you get unfollowed? Are you a bore? Are all of your posts NSFW? Do you constantly post quotes from the Bible?” Usually, things that are rejected by people aren’t popular with others – on the basis of having been dumped. (“If that guy doesn’t like it, I probably won’t either.”)
Finally, whenever I see one of these posts in my “Mentions” tab, it pisses me off. Frankly, it’s my choice to unfollow you for whatever reason I want to, just as it is your choice to return the favor by unfollowing me. Being childish in public doesn’t help anything, and does not convince me I should change my mind.
Instead, it makes me block you. I can’t trust I won’t hear more about your heartache later, so I make sure I won’t by shutting you off completely. If enough people block a single profile, Twitter may decide the profile is spam and ultimately delete the account.
So while you started with being pissy about my getting rid of you, you could end with Twitter itself getting rid of you.