I’ve always been a person who believes in the sanctity of personal relationships. It’s just part of who I am. That’s one reason I was so skittish about the whole social networking idea. I mean, who could really foster true friendships through the internet? That’s where people buy Russian brides, or pervs troll for teens. Yet as I entered the marketing world, I found that real friendships didn’t have to start face to face. I’ve met more great people the past six months, most of whom I found on twitter.
I know, 140 characters. Really? How can you get to know anyone in 140 characters. Yet it seems that having to say what you mean brings authenticity to a voice. Tweets are strengthened with brevity, conversations, which would have taken an hour before, are communicated in mere minutes. It’s a multi-tasker’s dream.
I’ll have to admit, I’m picky on twitter. The only time I blindly follow anyone is when someone I trust shouts them out in a #WW or #FF thread. And so when I follow someone it usually is because they are a teacher, writer, blogger, or basic enthusiast about the publishing industry. I always reach out in a reply tweet to new people. I want to get to know them, I want to take a few moments and just connect.
When I hit the 2,000 mark and found out that I couldn’t follow anymore people until more people followed me, I found Tweet adder. I only used the demo because I’m not into spam, or making artificial tweets to bolster my numbers. It just seems to sleezy to me, like I’m tricking people into thinking I’m there when I’m not. And I’m not in this to get a million followers, I just want to connect. Tweet adder was great because it unfollowed automatically. I didn’t have to see who rejected me, I just felt better when it was done… that is, until they put a cap on my demo. I now had to purchase the whole program for $55.00 or else.
Not to be deterred, I asked my twends what they used to clean up their account and who.unfollowed.me was recommended. This is a site where you could not only find out who unfollowed you, but also look at those that weren’t following you to begin with. The catch–you have to delete them one at a time.
At first, I loved this idea. I mean, I am following some pretty big names that really wouldn’t want to bother with little ole me, right? I don’t want to have to re-follow them. I put the project on the back burner, giving those I had just followed the opportunity to follow me back. I waited until this morning to type in the URL and started unfollowing 189 people.
It honestly surprised me how painful that actually was. Sure, some were easy to unfollow. They had 10,000 followers and only were following 3. Those were to be expected. But then, I clicked on an avatar. A writer popped up. Her bio was familiar, I had chosen to be her friend, but she obviously didn’t feel the same. Unfollow. Next avatar. This one was a blogger. She was following more than were following her. I had tweeted her several times telling her how much I enjoyed her posts. *sigh*. Unfollow. Next Avatar. This one was a teacher, a mom. She only was following 135 people and she had 136 following her. Really? Was I the only one that she didn’t want to follow? What’s wrong with me? I’m a nice person. I’m a teacher. I never tweet anything ugly…
And so it went. Each avatar represented someone that chose NOT to follow me. Someone who, for whatever reason, didn’t even think I was worth the click of a mouse. Even though I have 2900 followers, it still surprised me how much it stung.
I think I’ll be more careful about who I friend from now on. I just can’t take the rejection. It’s strange, but true.
I know rationally that it’s just twitter and I shouldn’t expend one moment of energy contemplating whether someone from Australia wants to be my friend, but I couldn’t see past it this morning, and so I’m asking…am I the only one? Do you get your feelings hurt when people don’t follow you back?