My Twitter Unfollow Rules

I follow about half as many people on Twitter as follow me. Given the extremely small numbers in both categories, that's not a declaration that merits any significant reaction. Frankly, I'm not too interested in increasing either number, and I've occasionally taken steps to decrease one of those number by unfollowing people.

Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I view following someone as extending an invitation for that person to step through the doorway and into my home - and I have certain standards of behavior I expect for any guest in my home, just as I would expect to conform to a host's standards when I visit him or her.

So, here are my "rules" (OK, they're actually guidelines, but I do enforce them pretty rigorously) for deciding when to unfollow someone, in 140 characters or less.

  1. If you're uninteresting, I'm not interested. If I haven't click on one of your links in 3 months, or you haven't made me laugh/think, adios.

  2. If you routinely use profanity, you obviously aren't a good steward of your 140 characters. Buy a thesaurus, then try again.

  3. I have a few hot buttons. You can push 1 with impunity, but hit more than that & you're history. What are they? You don't need to know*.

  4. This doesn't happen often, but I unfollowed someone for using a vulgarity to refer to a woman. It's all about respect & they lost mine.

  5. People who routinely ignore the 140 character rule & write until they use up their space & expect me to go looking for the rest. Buh-bye.

  6. If I haven't subscribed to your blog's RSS feed, why do you think I'm interested in reading your tweets advertising posts? Hint: I'm not.
OK, I think those cover the most egregious violations of my personal guidelines. If I once followed you but I'm not any longer, it's because you crossed one or more of these lines. Doesn't make you a bad person, just not someone to whom I want to dedicate a portion of my monitor's real estate.

*I'm not trying to be obnoxious. You shouldn't be altering your natural style or personal beliefs to conform to mine. I wouldn't do that for you.


Good rules...I like them very much. I need to reduce the number of people I follow bigtime.

I had to go check and *phew* you haven't unfollowed me yet. Of course, I hardly ever tweet these days (and when I tried from the hospital via my mobile, they never showed up so..that kind of annoyed me.) I just unfollowed two people because of item #3 recently. And one of them I still read their blog RSS, but they're much less hot-button-y on the blog than in their tweets for whatever reason.

Anyway, I like your rules.

Apropos of nothing, but did you know that this same content, when entered via the domain, is missing all its header images and other decorative accents?

Good post, good points. As the Chief Twit (a title of my own creation) for my employer's Twiiter page, I employ some of the criteria you employ ... plus others that are necessary for a 'corporate' rather than 'personal' presence on Twitter.

I've sort of lost interest in Twitter. It's like jumping into the middle of several different conversations when I log in. I've gone back to reading people's blogs. Maybe someday I'll even go back to reading books! ;)

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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on October 9, 2009 9:26 PM.

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