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Why Some People (Like Me) Might Be Hesitant To Follow You On Twitter

Posted by on Jul 10, 2011

Yes, I had to mention Twitter one more time. I could lie and say I’m mentioning it so that it’ll be the 200th time I’ve mentioned it in a post in almost 1,100 posts, though it’s actually true, but if that were the reason I was doing it then it would be a pretty shallow reason.

Why am I talking about this again? Because the speed at which I seem to have people suddenly following me has been picking up lately. Now, I believe a lot of these people that end up following me are only doing it hoping I’ll follow them so they can drop me and think I don’t know about it. Silly rabbits; don’t they know I know about Friend or Follow, which lets me see who’s not following me that I’m following? For that matter, don’t some of the rest of them realize I also know about Twit Cleaner as well?

I like to think I’m a much better judge of the types of folks I follow on Twitter these days. I’m certainly not a snob, but I have my criteria for how I determine who I’m going to follow that suits me fairly well. Of course, everyone should have their own rules, and I’m not going to supplant those rules with my own. Still, I know that some of my rules some folks should look at and say “hey, that makes sense”, while others will say “I can’t believe he said that.”

Who me? Y’all know me better than that. Of course I’m going to say it. Hopefully, I’ll say it in a manner that doesn’t sound like I’m slapping anyone in the face, but I can’t guarantee that. After all, I’ve noticed how few people that have popups on their blogs comment here anymore; can’t be concerned with it because those folks needed to know how irritating they are to the rest of us, and many of you have said the same thing in your comments. Truth hurts sometimes, but if it’s working for you then why should you care what I have to say about it? It’s making you sales, or getting you subscribers; good for you. I just won’t be there.

Anyway, what types of people am I hesitant to follow on Twitter? Or rather, what could those folks be doing that makes me hesitant, which means most of the time I’m probably not going to follow them whether they’re following me or not? And are there reasons why I don’t follow those things across the board? Have I intrigued you a little bit?

One final thing before I get going. Our buddy Val has named me as a recipient of an award she just came up with called the No Rules Blog Award. Some of you are on this list, so I hope you go to check it out. In particular she said she doesn’t always agree with what I have to say but I know my own mind; love that, and how much truer could it be? So, thanking Val for this award, let’s put those words to use and see how prophetic they might be today.

First thing; is that a tiny url that you have as your website or blog site in your profile? I immediately think you’re trying to trick me into going to a site to pop malware or a virus onto my computer. Let me get this straight; you have a blog or website, you want people to visit it, yet you cloak the link? Nope, ain’t happening, and if that’s the case then I’m not following you. I do that because if I follow you anyway and then you put a link out to something that might intrigue me, I’m not as sure of you and your motives, and I’d rather not even entertain the thought; sorry.

Second thing; did you mention in your profile that you’re a Christian, or Muslim, or any other religion? Do you also have a religious quote in your profile? Unless I met you elsewhere I’m probably not following you. I have nothing against people’s religions, but I do have a problem with people throwing it in my face, being an ultimate non-believer. If you feel your religion is that important then it probably means you’re going to be proselytizing, and frankly, I’m not the one you really want to deal with; trust me on that one. If it comes my way I’m going to be out to destroy your feelings; I hate being pushed that much. Therefore, I’d rather avoid the possibility as much as possible. Oh yeah, I’ve looked through many of your previous posts as well, so I’ve probably found your pattern if it’s there.

And, while I’m at it, I may not follow you if you feel it’s important enough to put a political affiliation in your profile as well. I’m definitely not following you if your stated opinion is against mine; that’s not even up for debate. But it’s possible I might not follow you even if you agree with me in general. I hate getting caught up in debates about things, and I’m really not overly radical for the most part. I support cleaning up the environment but I don’t support getting rid of cars, only growing organic, and saving every animal on the planet, no matter the reason, over humans; sorry about that. As with the religion thing, I’ve looked through some of your posts; if it looks like you want to pick fights with the other side, and you have those cursed hashtags that I avoid like the plague in your missives, I’m probably not following, just for my peace of mind.

Third thing; is every other word out of your mouth a curse word? I’m not a prude; I have a couple of folks I follow who throw out some fairly bad language every once in awhile. But it’s not a consistent thing, thank goodness, because it’s unnecessary. I don’t want all that in my stream, where other people following me might see that sort of nonsense. I don’t want to start talking to you and then have a lot of that coming back my way as your response, whether we’re in agreement or not. So, if I don’t follow you, I don’t have to worry about it.

Fourth thing; that picture! At least you don’t have the egg anymore, but what the hey?!?!? If your image is freaking me out every time I see it in my stream you’ve got to go. This has more to do than dealing with pictures of bugs (I hate bugs!). I keep wondering how some people have decided to select the images that represent them. Sure, if it’s your personal account and you only want to talk to your friends then fine. But if you want to talk to the masses, or have the masses see what you have to say and really care about it, pick an adult picture. Heck, even if it’s a picture of your kids, at least it says that you might be someone worth following.

We needed something
nice here

Fifth thing; I’m going in a different direction here. I didn’t want to repeat myself from some of the previous things I’ve written talking about Twitter folks that I’m hesitant to deal with or things I don’t like all that much, so instead of writing a fifth thing I’m just going to link to those posts instead. Cheap way out; heck, we’re already over 1,100 words! Here we go:

Why I Donโ€™t Want To Follow Some Twitter Folks

10 Things Not To Do On Twitter

Youโ€™re Not A Social Media Expert If On Twitter Youโ€ฆ

This last one I’m sharing not because it highlights any gripes I have, but because Sire loved the first video and I like keeping him happy when I can: How Do You Twitter?

Yeah, I’m done; as the velociraptor on The Critic once said: “Perhaps I’ve said too much.” Nah; said what I felt needed to be said. Still, I’m betting I could have gone further; what makes you hesitant to follow certain people on Twitter?

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I love the way you’ve bunged the bit about my post in the middle of your Twitter-whinge! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank you.

Well, I speak as a non-twitterer, but I’m with you on so much of this anyway, and in fact if I see most of these things in people’s gravatars I freak out! (But…er… what’s with the egg?)

Me, I’m not so bad with bugs but I freak out when people’s pics are of skeletons or skulls or gravestones, stuff like that.

Oh yes, and the Tiny URLS (and on, shortcodes)… how I loathe those. For instance if someone includes one as a link in my blog, if it’s someone I know, I’ll go along to their blog, find the post and change the it to the proper link. If it’s someone I don’t know, their comment gets deleted.

What I should have mentioned in my awards post is that once I get into your blog, Mitch, I get stuck here! ๐Ÿ™‚

Mmm… should I maybe, also, have mentioned your Muppets addiction?

July 10th, 2011 | 10:31 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Val, the eggs are because Twitter has a bird as its main image, and when you join as a new user it’s like it’s laid an egg. lol

I knew I’d figure out a way to work that award into things; glad you enjoyed seeing it. And I don’t have a Muppet addiction… infatuation would be closer to the truth. ๐Ÿ˜‰

July 10th, 2011 | 4:53 PM


A year or so ago, I wrote a week long series of posts on why you shouldn’t follow me on Twitter. If it looks like all you’re trying to do is sell me something, I won’t follow you back. If your picture is risque, FORGET IT! If you rarely send “live” tweets, I will de-friend you.

I do engage with others online when I’m there and I expect that same courtesy.

July 10th, 2011 | 11:26 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

That’s always my thing Bev; you see me & know I like some kind of engagement from time to time. I love the information one can glean from Twitter, as so many people find great stuff, but if you respond to them you hope that every once in awhile at least that they’ll acknowledge you.

July 10th, 2011 | 4:55 PM

Hi Mitch. I believe that we had a little bit of a debate about this a year or two ago. Since then, I’ve seen little positive feedback from the way that I use Twitter, so I’m wondering if maybe you had the right idea all along.

My argument was that Twitter is only a tool, and like many tools, can be used differently depending on the person using it, and for what reason. I still have that opinion to some extent, but now that I’ve seen Twitter evolve into what it is now, I have to say that I’m a lot more in agreement with you than I used to be.

Case in point, the social aspect. Twitter is a SOCIAL networking tool, so if you’re not being SOCIAL with it, then you’re not using it properly. You say that celebrities with 30,000 followers get a pass for not being social, but there are plenty of celebrities out there who “get it”, and actually interact with their fans, while a bunch of wannabes on Twitter with a fraction of the followers act like it’s a one way medium, such as TV or Radio.

I’ve been guilty of this in the past too, so I’m trying to get back into Twitter again, gradually, with a new mindstate. I’m making my goal to focus more on people, as opposed to the tools that we use to reach them. Hopefully, this turns out to be a noble pursuit.

July 10th, 2011 | 1:37 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Trey, I don’t give all those celebrities a pass; probably very few of them. If I see a celeb with hundreds of thousands of people following them and they’re only following 2 or 3, I’m not playing the game. I’m not celebrity obsessed; the only person I’m following that’s kind of like that is Matt Cutts, and that’s because I want to keep up with Google changes if I can; I still seem to miss them, though. It just doesn’t work in my favor to follow just any and every one that’s supposedly following me; I’m not sure it works in anyone’s favor. I’m glad we’re in some agreement on this one now, not that you or I are the harbingers of what’s necessarily perfect use of Twitter. ๐Ÿ™‚

July 10th, 2011 | 4:58 PM

Hi Mitch,

Another dose of truth-telling. Gotta love it! Yep, I agree with everything you said because every one of them sits at the top of my list. Funny thing, I have nothing against Christians (or other faiths) but that mention in their profile (unless they are a bona fide minister) is usually a flag that they will annoy the bejesus out of you!

I thought I was the only one who would not follow someone because of their Gravatar! Death, mayhem, guns, bare chests … goodbye!

Congrats on your award! (Great idea Val!)

July 10th, 2011 | 1:46 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks Vernessa. It’s possible that it’s a generational thing with us and the gravatars, but that’s not my problem I figure. Those things represent the people using them, and I can’t see myself really having a lot of common with folks using some of the most outrageous ones.

July 10th, 2011 | 5:00 PM

Hi Mitch,

I was expecting to find controversy in your post when I followed Val’s link to your blog, but I didn’t find anything like that at all. Maybe I read too much into her introduction. I’ve recently written a Twitter post; I suppose that most blogger have. There are so many behaviors that can get under a person’s skin over there. How could we avoid writing about it? I haven’t visited the links to your prior Twitter posts, but as for this one, I agree with every point. (This is very rare for me.)


July 10th, 2011 | 4:13 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Hi Ray, and welcome. I don’t write controversial things just to do so. I talk about regular stuff, at least regular to me, but I will take a position on something here and there that others don’t necessarily agree with. I could see someone not liking the thing I said about religion in one’s bio, but I tell it like it is for me. Glad we agree, and you know I now have to check your blog out. lol

July 10th, 2011 | 5:01 PM

Excellent post, Mitch! It made me laugh to hear your reasons regarding Twitter followers, as I also share your opinion completely. Some things you wrote seem as if they were said by me. In addition to it, I must be one of the rear persons not using twitter-call me oldfashioned, but I generally don’t like much of the social networks. What is it all about…bragging that someone has thousands of followers and friends…Impossible…and what good can it bring if you are not a big company that can take advantage of it and promote products. I like keeping it simple, and if making fiends, having just ten of them (but true, live friends) instead of building a big network, and still feel lonely. I also do not like when someone puts religious things in the profile, because as an ultimate unbeliever (as you aslo reffer to yourself),I feel as if I am being criticized. I wish people mind their own business sometimes, instead of putting their nose where it does not belong to. Oh, and don’t worry, you didn’t say too much in the post-on the contrary, it was a pleasure reading it. And write as much as you want…after all, you are just sharing…
Best wishes!

July 10th, 2011 | 7:54 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks Kristina. You know, Twitter isn’t so bad if used properly, as every person gets to decide how they want to use it or be on it. But it can take up a lot of time, which is why I set certain rules for myself.

July 10th, 2011 | 10:06 PM

Mitch: Just dropping by for the first time and I like what you have going on here. A lot of great information in this post about Twitter. I agree with what you said about making certain you are following the right types of people.

July 10th, 2011 | 11:44 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks Sibyl and welcome. I love Twitter, but parts of it seems to have lost its mind. lol

July 11th, 2011 | 9:04 AM

One thing I LOVE about your style Mitch is that you keep it so very real. I really respect you for that. It’s pretty often online that we find people who are not willing to tell it like it is. So when I find those rarities – I immediately take a liking.

I definitely have a filtering process when it comes to following folks on Twitter. For me, I just have to have a feel that it’s not some spam Twitter person. I’ll do a quick once over on their tweets, glance at their website (if they have one) and peek at their followers and who else they are following. If for any reason I get the vibe that they just follow any and everyone – I don’t want to be a part of that party. But if they seem to have their own methodology then I’m a little more interested because that means that have a greater potential of not being a spammy Twitter profile.

Great stuff here! Thanks putting your thoughts into words and helping us all build a better system in picking who we do and don’t follow.

Have a good week!

July 10th, 2011 | 11:59 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks JK. I think more people should be checking out who’s following them, but those folks with tens of thousands probably aren’t doing any of that. I do it because I like going back from time to time & seeing what someone else shared, and therefore I really don’t want to see a lot of garbage and nonsense if I can help it. Some folks think I’m up 24/7 because I’ll respond to posts from hours earlier; that’s the idea, to give me an opportunity to catch up at my leisure if I so choose. And thanks for the keeping it real part as well; doing what I can. ๐Ÿ˜‰

July 11th, 2011 | 9:07 AM

Mitch, my little butterfly thanks you for not crushing it under your heel. (uh-oh, I just drew attention to that fact, didn’t I?)

Val is such a cool, delightful person. I think it’s nice that she hooked you up with that lovely award.

I don’t have a solid follow/don’t follow policy, although I have a handy solution to all the noise – in HootSuite, the Home Feed (main twitter stream) is EIGHT columns to the right!



July 11th, 2011 | 6:38 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Mitch, my TweetDeck has 6 columns, and that largest column is to the far right as well. And mine isn’t a totally defined policy as much as it is a process for how I handle things. As to your butterfly, if that wasn’t a cartoon we’d be having issues. lol The theme I use for two of my blogs initially comes with a butterfly image; you know that sucker was immediately dismissed!

July 11th, 2011 | 9:11 AM

I know that’s right!

By the way, thanks for the TwitCleaner link. The report was humbling. LOL (58% of the people I follow, well, the report uses the term “dodgy”.)



July 11th, 2011 | 9:19 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Glad you enjoyed it; I use that sucker often, but I also don’t take its word all the time because sometimes it says certain people don’t talk to others, yet I check and I see some conversation.

July 11th, 2011 | 9:53 AM

In the last 2 weeks, I saw some very important movement in Linkedin groups, where people working in the same niche sending request for following exchange to each other. Similar to local business group but global, kind a like it.

July 11th, 2011 | 8:57 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

I’ve noticed that as well Carl, but a part that’s irked me is these people sending requests saying they’re my friend, and I have no idea who they are. Immediately makes me suspect, so some of them I’ve ignored.

July 11th, 2011 | 9:13 AM

Yeah, I guess you are right, however it may be useful, you know that right now I am developing social network for webmasters and every possibility and new member are more than welcome. Generally I don’t share my contact information, but only when it is asked for Facebook page, website or micro blogging platform.

July 11th, 2011 | 10:46 PM
Ajaypratap Sidhu:

Hi Mitch
Absolute truth-telling.loved it! Have to agree on everything you said.I thought I was the only one who would not follow someone on TWITTER!!

July 11th, 2011 | 11:12 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Ajay, I think more people probably don’t follow everyone than does, and luckily we each have our own rules for it.

July 11th, 2011 | 2:26 PM

Hey Mitch,

And he speaks again! I definitely love it Mitch! Just tell us like it is…

I also agree with everything on this list. I’m the same way. I don’t have anything against religion I just completely stay always from the topics of politics or religion. Let’s just say it’s in my best interests.

If you are a real live person behind your account then put your picture up. It’s really just that easy. I have to go back through my account from time to time and unfollow a bunch who have changed theirs. I haven’t figured out why I find that so annoying. Oh well.

Congrats on your award!


July 13th, 2011 | 5:31 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks Adrienne. I actually am kind of political, but not by party affiliation. I just know there are things I have to share that I support and I’m not afraid to show it. It’s rare that I do it on the blog, though. As to the rest, we all have our Twitter standards, I hope, and I’m glad you share mine.

July 13th, 2011 | 11:06 PM

Hi Mitch. Nice sharing here. I usually too don’t just follow someone. If I know that person, than I might follow him/her back. But if I don’t, I won’t waste my time for it.

July 28th, 2011 | 12:05 AM