When I first declared Twitter bankruptcy last week, I didn’t tell anyone.
And, appropriately, no one noticed.
For two days, it was the best thing I ever did that no one knew I had ever done.
Or something like that.
In fact, it took 48 hours for one of my former 700 Twitter followers to notice I wasn’t following them (or anyone) on Twitter anymore. In semi-illiterate outrage, he shrieked at me via @reply, “WHY u NOT FOLOWING ANYONE no MORE?!?!”
Or at least that’s how I remember it.
If that didn’t make me want to immediately follow him again, I’m not sure anything would.
But then other followers I cared about started noticing, perhaps concerned I had been the victim of a mass unfollowing hack job that left me teary and breathless.
And, I realized I needed to give an explanation.
But then, after I refollowed a bunch of my followers, found some new ones, and told you about my favorite 30 people to follow on Twitter, I still got questions.
Questions like: Why didn’t you re-follow XXX? Why won’t you keep following me? Does not following me you don’t like me?
Since the act of unfollowing someone can cause feelings of anger, hurt, betrayal (insert any post-breakup adjective here), I want to come clean with the top ten reasons that I unfollow people on Twitter.
(And thus the top 10 reasons I may not have refollowed you post Twitter-bankruptcy.)
The Top Ten Reasons I Unfollowed You. (And You.)
10. I never meant to follow you in the first place. (In 200X, I accidentally followed you because I thought you were someone else or I clicked the wrong button. It’s take me years to work up the courage to not feel bad and unfollow you. But now I have. And this is the result.)
9. Your tweets are
ugly not aesthetically pleasing. Your text is less literate prose than adolescent thumb twitches. Plus, you use capital letters like @oprah. RU4REAL, R2D2?
8. You don’t tweet. I do not enjoy following someone on the hope that sometime, maybe-just-maybe, in the next six months they may or may not send a tweet.
7. You tweet too much. (Yes, I said it.) If you tweet once (or thrice) about giving your dog a bath, I will keep following you even if I don’t particularly love dogs and don’t find the particular activity (dog bathing) very interesting. If you tweet the play-by-play of your dog’s shower, I will unfollow you. This does not apply if you are in an interesting place doing (or experiencing) an interesting thing, like @acarvin or @nickkristof, who almost always are in interesting places doing interesting things.
6. You tweetstream is a monologue, not a conversation. You never respond to anyone’s @replies, and as your followers we can’t get a word in edgewise.
5. It’s a mistake. In actuality, I think I’m following you, I mean to be following you, or I don’t realize I’m not following you. For clarity, we can say it’s almost as if I’m not not unfollowing you!
4. Your tweetstream is a unending stream of inside jokes I don’t understand involving people I don’t know. (If these people are famous, it is even more annoying.) As a follower, I need at least some of your content to be for the general public (me) to justify following you.
3. You’re not who I thought you were. Your bio, “fan of organic composting!” does not accurately reflect the fact that you only tweets about 49ers games and cheddar cheese.
2. We no longer have shared interests. I’ve changed. You’ve changed. Like Tom and Nicole, we’re just no longer a good match.
1. It’s not you, it’s me. (No, really).
And those, folks, are the Top Ten Reasons I (or anyone) unfollows you (and others) on Twitter.
In my blog post “How to Declare (Twitter) Bankruptcy“, I explained what I did, why I did it, and why you should do it, too.