twitter_unfollow

Over the past few weeks I have been asked numerous times how I feel about people unfollowing everyone and starting over. I have also witnessed many people I know actually doing this. I have always held steadfast in my opinion that I feel this is wrong, but there are deeper reasons why I will never do this.

Now before I get chastised for following people that are feeds or spammers, know that I am one of the most active users of the block and report spam button on my tweetdeck. As they direct message me or send me an @reply or even hijack a tweet and add their own link, I consistently zap them so that the twitter team can properly dispose of them.

But how many users should a person follow? Is there a right or wrong answer to this question? Even Ev (CEO of Twitter) chimed in with his two cents when we were discussing the massive spam attacks as twitter accounts were being hacked. His advice to me was to follow only people I trust. That’s funny to me because even people I trust were hacked.

Twitter-Ev-Response

Wow, just think about that. If I only followed people I trusted when I created my twitter account I doubt I would even be using my account. Now of course Ev was not advising me to unfollow everyone, but it’s obvious he thinks I am doing it wrong.

Jack (Creator, Co-founder and Chairman of Twitter) has on numerous occasions stated that Twitter was originally set up as a way for co-workers to communicate. Basically an instant messaging service for a group of people. But how would that make Twitter unique? Even Jack sees that Twitter has evolved well beyond that.

Twitter-Jack-Response

Twitter has allowed me to reach beyond my personal network. It is a social networking site without borders, without restrictions, that allows me to meet interesting and unique people from around the world on a daily basis.

If I unfollowed everyone and started over and only followed back people I was communicating with, it basically puts up a wall between myself and my followers. It would make me unapproachable.

I don’t want to be unapproachable in social media.

Unfollow youI have people following me that rarely interact with anyone. Occasionally I will get a DM from these people saying “thank you” for something I shared.

People have messaged me on other social networks and said that even though they do not like Twitter they still follow all of my tweets. I see new faces replying to me daily, people that have been following me for months and just started using the service or maybe were too shy to speak up before.

I cherish these new interactions and I will never build a wall between people that have chosen to follow me but may not have the courage to say hello yet.

For those that are considering this massive unfollowing, I will say that with the new lists feature and various twitter apps for filtering such as Tweetdeck, Seesmic and the like, I see no reason for this massive unfollowing other than to close yourself off from the many wonderful people you have not yet spoken to.

In my view of social media, everyone counts and I prefer to remain … social.