Like many people who use Twitter, I strongly believe in the principle of following back everyone who follows me. I primarily use Twitter to promote my freelance writing career and for someone to follow me is the ultimate sign of respect for my ideas and articles. The least I can do is follow back those who follow me. However, should you choose to join the #TeamFollowBack movement, there are some important consequences to consider. Take a closer look at several perils of following back on Twitter.
Most Twitter veterans know that in order to send someone a direct message, both people must be following each other. Although direct messaging is just as safe as any other form of communication on Twitter, it is also the most private, reserved for users who trust each other enough to follow each other. So if you follow back everyone, be prepared for a barrage of direct messages. Also, most people consider it a courtesy to reply to direct messages, so your followers will be expecting a reply or acknowledgment when they direct message you.
Live feed out of control
Before joining the follow back movement on Twitter, I primarily followed athletes and pro wrestlers to stay up-to-date as a sports writer. So my Twitter live feed was reserved for breaking news and interesting comments from the subject matter of my writing. But since I now follow back all 1,458 of my followers, my live feed is out of control. In fact, it is virtually useless in its original purpose. Also, many people post dozens of similar comments all day and I now just keep my Twitter account permanently on the Notifications tab.
The mystery of the unfollowers
Unlike Beatrice who had the decency to tell her guest to her face, “I unfriend you” in the iconic Esurance commercial, former followers never notify you when they unfollow you on Twitter. And I’ll never understand why Twitter doesn’t just tell you who unfollows you. Although there are a number of services on the internet which can give you this information, the price you pay is a daily message on your live feed posting your follow stats. I refuse to do this, so I am forced to spend hours once a month comparing my “Following” and “Followers” lists to return the unfollow favor.
Despite the aforementioned problems, I still believe in the principle of following back on Twitter. But just be aware of these drawbacks should you make the same decision.