Hi, person whom I’m not following on Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr/Skype.
It’s not that I don’t like you. It’s not that we’re not friends. It’s just that I try to cut down my signal to noise ratio a lot. And some of you guys are really chatty and I just don’t feel like listening to it. Sometimes I stop following for a day or three, sometimes forever. Sometimes I only follow you for a day (SouthWest airlines, for example). It’s a fluid and ever changing dynamic, though, and it’s almost never “I don’t like you.” That’s what blocking is for.
Here’s how I decide who to follow:
- Are we related?
- Do I talk to you a lot offline?
- Do we tweet/jabber/post at each other?
- Are you news?
And here’s how I decide to not follow:
- Are we related?
- Do you subtweet about people on Twitter a lot?
- Do you talk a lot about shit I don’t care about?
- Do you talk A LOT (i.e. spam)?
- Do you only talk to me to get free support?
Look, I may work with you, and I may be related to you, and I may be your BFF, but sometimes I just don’t want to follow you. Do you have my phone number and/or email? They haven’t changed since pre-Y2K after all. Okay, good, you can get in touch with me the grownup ways.
By the way, I don’t ‘friend’ a lot of people on Skype because people use it to ask for ‘support.’ 90% of the time, I use skype to talk to my family. 10% it’s WordPress. So no, I don’t do ‘support’ on Skype with one exception: Coordinating between work and another company (i.e. Sucuri, you guys are always allowed to skype me about hacked sites).
But again, not friending you doesn’t mean I’m mad or annoying with you, it just means I’m not using this clicky button thing with you right now. It’s not a big deal to me, and I refuse to make everyone ‘feel better’ by following the entire swath of my friends. Cause damn, you guys are chatty.
There is a level after this, called “You are too random and you reply to me a lot, and it annoys me so I blocked you.” As there’s no mute button on these sites, it’s a hassle to try and shut someone up for a while, so some people do end up blocked because I just don’t want to deal with them for a while. Should you take that personally? Probably. Should you try to get a hold of me and ask why? Not so much.
To turn it around, how much do you like it when a company pesters you about why you left? Right. When you are so needy and persistent that you ask me over and over why I blocked you, I may go to the final level of a full block, on all social media, and email too. Don’t be that guy. No one likes being harassed (and yes, at that point you are harassing), so move on.
After all, this is my life. I get to decide who to deal with for my own sanity, as transient as that may be.