Five Reasons I Stopped Following Your Twitter Feed

Homicide of P. Barton Key by Daniel E. Sickles
Homicide of P. Barton Key by Daniel E. Sickles
Hey, it could be worse.

I was a fairly late Twitter adopter, only joining a few years ago. It’s been a fun and sometimes enlightening experience so far, but it’s come with some annoyances too. And so once in a great while I’m forced to take the drastic and life-altering step of unfollowing a feed. I know, harsh, right?

So if you are one of the unfortunate souls whose tweets will no longer be reaching my eyes — or if you want to avoid that awful fate — here’s five things to reflect upon.

  1. You’re not funny and/or interesting. I post my share of banal crap, but I at least try to keep things entertaining for the most part. Not saying I succeed, but I try. Regular updates about what you’re eating or wearing (especially Foursquare tweets about becoming the Mayor of some shitty bar) are no more interesting on Twitter than they are on Facebook, even if they are shorter. Sometimes it’s better to just write nothing at all.
  2. Way too many “Good night/good morning!” tweets. No one gives a shit that you’re going to bed, I promise you. Likewise, although I’m a fairly positive person the last thing I want to read on Monday morning is the Twitter equivalent of that brain-dead, annoyingly chipper coworker who can’t wait to tell me what a great morning it is. Fuck off. Seriously.
  3. You actually care when people unfollow you. Bitching about people who stop following your feed is the quickest way to ensure that I will be next. This behavior reminds me of those hyper-needy high school classmates who begged people to sign their yearbooks, as if it conferred some sort of importance on them. I usually know when someone unfollows me only because I have so few followers to begin with, but the last thing I think to do is to find out who they are and bitch about it publicly.
  4. Too many vague tweets with shortened links. There are only a few people I follow who could tweet stuff like, “Wow! Amazing read! –” and get away with it for long. I’m not in the mood for a surprise, and I have a full day of surfing porn articles on foreign policy to get through. Just tell me what’s so awesome about the link you’re posting and dispense with the vague hype.
  5. You are an excessive self-promoter. Sure, some Twitter accounts I expect this from. I’d be shocked if The Economist started tweeting stuff like, “Newsweek sucks, amiright?!” to be honest. And I certainly don’t expect you to just sit on your hands and hope people will just stumble across your awesome new blog post / album / book / macrame oven mitts. But seriously, take it down a notch, OK? One or two tweets a day will do. After that, I start hovering over the Unfollow button.