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Social Media Rule of 3

I’m employing the Social Media Rule of 3 this morning — If I’ve tried to chat it up with someone three times on Twitter and they haven’t replied, I’m unfollowing.

It may sound harsh, but let me explain.

Obviously, there are exceptions to this totally arbitrary rule. I don’t expect Jay-Z to take my restaurant recommendation and reply with what he ordered as an appetizer. And some people Tweet such interesting links that it’s worth enduring the cold shoulder. But if someone is (relatively speaking and totally at my discretion) my peer and they engage with others regularly, then I expect (want? need? maybe there is a deeper issue here) them to acknowledge my attempt at conversation. I make an effort to respond to everyone who Tweets me — it’s not that hard and it’s quite rewarding. I can’t even list the friendships forged just by replying to a random Tweet.

I think of it like this — not responding to a Tweet is like not answering the phone. If someone never picks up when I call, why would I keep calling?

Now, don’t go thinking I’m all Bitter Betty on Twitter. I love Twitter! And I don’t get my panties in a bunch when someone unfollows me. Could it mean they think I’m vain and obnoxious? It could. Did I perhaps offend them in some way? Potentially. But most likely, they just aren’t interested in what I have to say. And that’s okay. There’s a lot of people that I really really like in person and read their blog religiously, but I’m just not that into their Tweets. So we don’t follow each other. No big deal.

There’s other, more concrete, reasons why I unfollow people on Twitter (direct messages, Twitter parties, giveaways…), but this one seems the most personal (and has the most exceptions). Do you have any social media rules of your own?

14 thoughts on “Social Media Rule of 3

  1. I hide Facebook posts from people whose politics I disagree with. I know I’m probably narrowing my world view or whatever, but I don’t get on FB to get all riled up. I get on to see who’s getting married and moving and buying houses and to look at cute animal and baby pictures.

  2. I think that’s a great rule, and one I may have to begin employing myself. I ask questions via Twitter all the time and get ignored almost every single time. And it’s not like they’re hard questions to answer. I asked something about the iPhone a few weeks ago and not one person responded. I know people have iPhones.

    1. I hear crickets a lot, too.

      I didn’t see your iPhone question or I would have responded! Even though I’m pretty good about knowing everyone that I follow, it’s just so hard to keep up sometimes.

  3. I don’t expect people on twitter to respond to me necessarily but I do unfollow people who are constantly trying to sell me something, who rant about politics too much, who seem angry, or if they bore me to tears

    it’s just social media, gotta have fun with it

    1. You HAVE to have fun with it, otherwise you’ll drive yourself batty. That’s always been my blogging mantra and it applies to all social media.

  4. *Quickly checks Twitter* Phew! Not me!

    I think it’s a fair rule. Even someone like me that doesn’t check social media probably as much as I should, always sees direct Tweet mentions on my phone and replies. I don’t see how someone could “miss” 3 of them.

    Wow. That was some really poor grammar. Please forgive that. :-p

  5. I think it’s almost like standing right in front of someone and having them ignore you. Especially if you see them tweeting to others and you know they haven’t “stepped away” or whatever.

    1. Yes. That.

      I’m not going to chase someone around Twitter like a puppy dog. Either you want to engage with me, or you don’t.

  6. I totally agree! I have definitely unfollowed people for that. It’s rude. Same with blogs, where the blogger has never replied to a comment or acknowledged that I am a faithful reader (I’m talking 3 months of consistent comments). On twitter, I filter a lot. That way I don’t have to hear political rants, follower rallies, someone live tweeting during their favorite hour long show every two minutes, sports stuff, sponsor begging, even Starbucks. You know, most things people tweet about. Haha!

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