Several months ago, I was first introduced to the unbridled rage that some folks are quick to release on those who unfollow them on twitter. It disgusted me.
In my mind, Twitter is a beautiful forum that allows us to quickly and conveniently communicate with friends all over the world. It’s fun and incredibly easy to use.
But you all already know that.
My real-world, offline friends make fun of me for using Twitter. My online friends get upset at me if I’m not following them. To me, it’s just another way to communicate. If you follow me, great. If not, great. No worries.
I don’t stress over or care about numbers. I ignore, unfollow, or block those who are overtly negative, spammy or who I simply have never connected with. I surround myself with positive people and then I dive in and focus on building genuine friendships. I love every minute of it.
The Ballad of Gibson Goff
When I followed Gibson Goff a few days ago, I had very little idea who he was, but I had been impressed by a few things he had tweeted. However, when he tweeted, “I’m supporting http://who.unfollowed.me, I was taken back.
I immediately thought to myself, “Oh no. Not another one of those people who can’t stand to be unfollowed. I don’t know if I can handle any more unfollow rage…”
Below you’ll find a copy of the exchange I enjoyed with Gibson Goff about our feelings toward being unfollowed.
Nicholas Cardot: @gibgoff Does being unfollowed bother you?
Gibson Goff: @Nicholas_Cardot Nope. It’s all a part of biz, but it is good to watch how your audience reacts to certain input.
Nicholas Cardot: @gibgoff I don’t understand that draw to promote sites that keep you up to the minute on who unfollows. It feels really insecure.
Gibson Goff: @Nicholas_Cardot If you’re writing for a niche, you want to make sure you’re niche followers are the one’s most benefiting. Not leaving.
Nicholas Cardot: @gibgoff I guess I can respect that perspective. Every other use of that site I’ve seen has led people to say things like, “Good riddance!”
The Dangers of an Ill-informed Bias
Before I finished this conversation, I hastily unfollowed Gibson. I assumed, erroneously so, that he was going to be one of those negative people who enjoyed spewing out derogatory statements toward those who dared to unfollow him. When I unfollowed him, he responded simply:
Gibson Goff: @Nicholas_Cardot Thanks for the feedback! And hey, I enjoy your site. Good stuff. Thanks again
I was wrong.
Gibson, I salute you. Your conversation on Twitter is in keeping with the highest standards of conduct. You demonstrated respect and decency and for that I thank you. I apologize for hastily removing you from my friends list based on my bias. I’ve refollowed you and I would be very honored to someday be called your friend. Thank you for what you’ve taught me.
3 Unforgettable Lessons about Social Media
Quite simply, I learned 3 simple lessons from that conversation to which you should sit up and pay attention.
- Let people stand on their own merit. Don’t judge them based on your past experiences with others.
- Don’t lose your faith in people. A bad experience with one person, does not guarantee a bad experience with all people.
- Always be friendly…even when being unfollowed. People will notice…I know I did.
Thanks for these important social media lessons that you’ve taught us, Gibson. I appreciate you and people like you.
I think that we all do.
COMMENT TO WIN $10: Leave a comment on this article for a chance to win $10 on Saturday, December 11, 2010. Contest ends at noon.
UPDATE: The winner selected using Random.org was the 49th comment submitted to the page: Keith Bloemendaal.