I've learned that there are people who will only follow you IF you are following them. I'm sorry, I do not mean offense towards those of you who roll that way, I do not. I find that to be a relationship of forced intentions. Do not make me be your friend, I'll make that decision on my own.
I do get the emails from Twitter saying when someone is following you. I am three weeks behind. At first I was guilting myself for not getting through them fast enough but I learned something. You see I follow @tless, Twitter Less, an application that sends you a weekly email of those who have dropped you. I've found DoesFollow.com, a site in which you enter a user's name, and your name, and it will show if that person is following you or not.
This is my "system":
- When I get my TwitterLess notification, I open that page for "the list". I used to feel bad cause I would look at people's profiles, and possibly start following a couple of profiles- and they would re-follow me. That's when I caught on. That was the game.
- Now, after opening the list, I open DoesFollow, and verify that these people are indeed not following me. If TWO apps says no, I believe it can be accurate.
- I then go to my email, and do a search for that user name. What I have found is that 99% of these people who are dropping me have started following me over the weekend. Since I participate in #followfriday, I realize that it is an opportunity for people to "network". It is also an opportunity for people to play the "I'll follow you if you follow me" game, too. What I realized is when I started following people after they dropped me, that they would happily be my friend again- which makes me doubt whether they actually pay attention to what I tweet in the first place. If they do not, then they really do me no good then, do they? They are just a number in my follower's list, and I do not care about that.
My solution? That "John Doe is following you" email is deleted. So when I DO sit down, and start going through the emails and following new people, I am following people who are more likely following me because they WANT to be following me. If I find their tweets comparable to my interests, then I will follow them back. I do not follow everyone back, and I understand that not everyone who I follow, will want to follow ME back, either.
What liberal leaning "green" mom is going to want to follow a right leaning new political activist who believes in conservation of our resources (and organic freak) but does NOT believe global warming is real? Likely, none. (I realize the hybrid I am!) But depending on the topics of their tweets (organic food 80% of the time, supports @wholefoods despite the stupid boycott, for example), I will follow them. That was a big part in my inspiration in creating a separate account. Us moms can differ on politics and still do our best to be the best parents our children can have, and enjoy foodie and mama talk. Common ground can be found.
If those who have unfollowed me actually have a profile I might enjoy, eventually, I'll run into it. And follow it. and they can follow me back if they choose.