Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How to Follow People

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I ran across a few people who followed me some weeks (months?) back, and now they don't. This isn't me being super creepy or anything, it's just that some pictures are recognizable, so it was more of an automatic reflex of noticing something was different. I've noticed this happening more and more on Twitter and Google Plus, and I wanted to share that there is a right way and a wrong way of going about it.

This is what we call, padding. People follow others and expect a follow back (courtesy?). They don't find anything about the person interesting, they just was to pad their follower numbers and look important to other people. You'll find this on Facebook with acquaintances to random strangers on Twitter. Also, bots, but let's not take them into part of the equation. 

Padding is stupid, and dumb, and really needy. It takes place on both sides as well. Both parties want their numbers high, so they don't care if the other person is even interested in them. They'll even take bots (Back into the equation)!

The tactic may work on some people, but it doesn't work on or for  me. And the funny thing is, getting me to follow is simple, interact with me. Interactions make the world go round. Social media exists to build interactions with each other. Comment, like, share, mention, all these things work. They work because it shows you're a human being and not a robot telling me to go to some shady site. It creates an actual connection, no matter how tenuous or genuine. And it's not all for the human to human moment.

People use sites for different purposes. Sometimes I just like to read what some individuals are putting out and have no desire to talk with them. I like what they say, what they share, what they put out into the world. I don't expect them to follow me back and find my thoughts as interesting, and that's fine. 

My Twitter is more casual than my Google Plus account; where I like to focus primarily on writing. Either way, if I like someone, I'll follow them. If I like them for more than news updates, I interact. One look on my Twitter reveals retweets, conversations, and mentions. My Google Plus also shares so much from writing communities, but Google tends to hide away some of the other features from a first glance.

So avoid making the mistake of padding, because it doesn't work at best, and you'll be lying to yourself at worst. It isn't complicated, say hello, or something less stupid.  

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