Oct 05, 2012, 03:12AM

Twitter Unfollow Etiquette

Social media: vengeful middle school girl style.

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Since the dawn of social media, I’ve had a terrible sense of followers and following and how to function on Twitter. I apparently break all the “social media guru” advice. I follow everyone who follows me. That is apparently a really loser thing to do. It hurts my Tweet Karma or Klout score or whatever.

And you know what?

I don’t care.

First, I’m not that popular on Twitter. 11,300 followers don’t elevate me to the status of oxymoronic Internet celebrity. The “big bloggers” (many of whom got “big” because they had the great fortune of being listed by the Gods of Twitter as a recommended person to follow in one of the categories… I’m not bitter!) have hundreds of thousands minimum.

Apparently, there is conventional Twisdom that says if you are someone with a lot of followers, you should be someone who doesn’t follow anyone back. Miley Ray Cyrus has 9.8 million Twitter followers, and she’s following 126 people. Kathy Griffin has 1.6 million followers, and she’s following 0 people. Ashton Kutcher has 12.5 million followers, and he is following 707 people.

Celebrities do not listen to people. They are talking on Twitter. They don’t give a shit what you ate for lunch, what lame Instagram picture you just sent of your cute kid, or that you are re-tweeting Mitt Romney quotes like it’s your goddamn job. I’m just a normal person, so I think it is a courtesy to follow back those who follow you. No one is more important than anyone, whether it’s on Twitter or IRL (blogspeak: in real life).

Famous/large following tweeters are there to “build their brand” which is a phrase that perpetually makes me want to vomit. I just returned from a blogging conference, and whenever someone talks about “building their brand” it makes me want to punch them in the throat. It’s not that there is necessarily something wrong with doing it, but talking about it makes you sound like a douchebag.

So, unless someone is porny (in a tacky way), spammy or overly Team Jesus, I generally follow them back. Honestly, anyone whose bio says “Christ follower” or the like normally unfollows me as soon as I use the phrase “Cuntasaurus Rex.”

My social media downfall is my embarrassing obsession with people who don’t follow me back. Out of my 11,300 followers, I follow 8500 (the difference are dead/spammy accounts) and there are exactly 38 of them who do not follow me. Those are generally news outlets and the likes of Jon Stewart, John Cusack, Justin Timberlake, Jason Ellis (my random Australian XM radio crush), or a Philadelphia sports team.

If I could choose one of the 38 of my unfollowers to follow me back (not that you asked), it would be a tie between @EricaJong, and @katiecouric because they’ve been major life inspirations.

So do I go to friendorfollow.com about once a month to find out who is not following me back so that I can unfollow them? Hell yes. Twitter makes me turn into a middle school girl, apparently, and I love unfollowing someone who has unfollowed me (usually after a tweet with a cussword or sex in it) more than I should. Pouring a glass of Single Barrel Jack Daniels and popping popcorn to fire up my laptop and laugh maniacally while unfollowing people? May be a bit over the top.

But if I can’t be a narcissistic vengeful fame and attention whore blogger on Twitter… where else can I be?

—Mary McCarthy (@marymac on Twitter) blogs at Pajamas and Coffee.


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