Do You Take Twitter Personally?

Ocassionally, I get notes from people I know only from Twitter. They’re along the lines of: Why are you following me now after so long? Why did you stop following me? Why don’t you follow everyone? And so on.

But my question for them is: Why do you take Twitter so personally?

People can do whatever they please with Twitter. Some people like to follow everyone to form a ‘Twitter mutuality’ and use the system as a multiplex instant message platform. Others like to follow only a few people that really influence them, regardless of how many followers they themselves have. Still others conduct experiments with Twitter, following new people in batches, seeing who may be interesting over the course of a week, and then unfollowing the rest.

Some people are also trying to balance their work and personal lives with their Twitter accounts, whether you know it or not. There may be constraints on who they can follow, or how often they can tweet. Who are you to judge? It’s as silly as looking at someone else’s cell phone minutes.

You can’t possibly keep track of what everyone on Twitter is doing! So don’t try. Focus on yourself and what you want to get out of it. Spending too much time thinking about why someone unfollowed you distracts from what should be much more important – saying interesting things.

Moreover, even if someone isn’t following you on Twitter, direct messaging isn’t your only option. People can be found on LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Plaxo, by email, and at real events. And if you can’t get ahold of them at any of those places, they probably don’t want to be found!

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This post was written by:

Mark Drapeau - who has written 225 posts on Dr. Mark D. Drapeau.


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8 Comments For This Post

  1. Teri Centner Says:

    Well said.

    I don’t think I even know when somebody unfollows me, since Twitter doesn’t send me an email update when that happens. And that’s a good thing. If they do start doing that, I hope there’s an opt-out feature.

  2. Sue Densmore Says:

    Hi, Mark –

    Nice post! I agree with you – people should not take Twitter too personally. it is different things to different people. Now if I could just be more interesting…haha!!

    Peace -

  3. Lewis Shepherd Says:

    “People can be found … at real events.”

    What are those??!

  4. @pdxsays Says:

    You’re bang on it, Mark.

    An http://ReadWriteWeb.com March 25, 2009 article by @marshallk, accurately points out that “Twitter is an incredible professional development tool.”

    Thinking of it in these terms *does* include the small niceties of the day – you care about your co-workers and clients, don’t you? You ask after them and show your human side. So, Twitter is a tool you use with others.

    If you were obsessive or possessive about your co-workers’ or clients’ attention with a tool – as some are with Twitter following – you would become a social pariah in the workplace. Yup, it’s like that. Use the tool where it works.

  5. Mercedes Millberry Says:

    So does this mean I can get over my “Twitguilt” and not feel compelled to follow everyone whose follows me, especially those who disgust or infuriate me? I mean I am all about open sharing of ideas, but some people just want to shove, not share. I think you have released me! Now I only have to follow those people on the work account, because they are the target audience!

  6. Mark Drapeau Says:

    Mercedes – That’s the idea! You need to use it to do whatever works for YOU.

  7. Carla Says:

    For some reason I take facebook more personal than twitter.
    I realize people use twitter in many different ways..
    With facebook, I see my friends uploading pics of them together at things I was never invited to. Guess they aren’t really my friends..

  8. zyxo Says:

    That’s it ! Do not listen to those who think they can tell others how to use twitter.

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Social Media Is Not Customer Service | Cheeky Fresh Says:

    [...] Social media isn’t Customer Service 2.0 for people who are interested in me. Not yet, anyway. If I start selling access to my information and advice, and you’re a customer of mine, then you can start asking for a callback, a tweet response, or a shoutout. Until then, while I’m really happy that people are interested in what I have to say, please stop taking social media so seriously. [...]

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