The Great Twitter Nightmare…

John Wylie —  July 6, 2012 — 19 Comments

It seems, lately, that I have been bombarded with replies and mentions on Twitter reminding me of the simple fact that I am not following [said user] back.
Well – I decided to blog about it all and address the issue in one fair swoop – just to save me some time, energy and tears on the receiving end of the tweet.

Yes, this blog may come across as harsh, or mean, or cruel, or just plain funny to some of you who know me.
Again – I am not interested in numbers anymore. Or keeping you, the reader, happy.
I am just doing life, and blogging about it.

The issue of Twitter and how to ‘Do Twitter Right’ has always been an issue since day 1 of the site being invented.
When Twitter was first invented, there were no #Hashtags or @mentions  or anything of the like.
It was simply a way of letting you friends know what you were doing – at any given time.

It has quickly changed in concept to become something that [I don't think] it ever truly meant to be.
A ‘social network’.
*Queue dramatic music here*

You see – I’ve been on Twitter for a little bit over 2.5 years now. Using the Twitter name @ivoryjohn.
I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs.
Following thousands and thousands of people – cleaning house – and doing it again.
Trying to figure out how to properly use this website.

What it has come down to is this:
Following people who I am TRULY interested in, and connected with.
Not random people – in hopes that they retweet my creative tweet, or click my blog, or watch my video…

It is all about being authentic. Not halfhearted ‘I’ll follow you ’cause you followed me…!’ bullcrap.

Being on the road playing music has really shown me how to be authentic with people.
Being able to connect with someone for short amounts of time, make an impact.
But these people? I would never really call them ‘friends’ or ‘long term contacts’

Same thing goes with Twitter – if I get a few follower or three, I try to tell them ‘thank you for the follow’!
We connect for a while, they stick around for as long as they want – and can chose to keep me around on their timeline or not.
If the relationship blooms and blossoms, I will tend to follow them back after a few connections…but usually never after just ONE handshake or hand-clasp-back-pat…you know the kind?

People need to not be scared to unfollow.
Something to remember: Following someone is not an endorsement, and unfollowing someone isn’t a ‘defriend’. It is just keeping a timeline streamlined to what the person wants.
I’ve been unfollowed by many of my closest real life friends – and I have also unfollowed some family, friends, and loved ones.
Simply due to the fact that my timeline was not what I wanted it to be.

My family and friends understand this concept.
There is no possible way that I could authentically connect with thousands of individuals on Twitter.
That would be insane.

All this being said: Twitter is not Facebook.
You do not have to follow back – and, indeed should not follow back – everyone who follows you.
That is just asking for trouble.

The fact that I don’t follow you doesn’t mean that I don’t like you.
It doesn’t mean that you are not an awesome person. And that others won’t enjoy following you.
Just like all those kids and adults I meet in real life.

They all have super deep connections with people – and have friendships that will last a long time.
The fact that [said person] is not MY best friend, or super close connection, doesn’t mean anything.
It doesn’t reflect their character or their likes or interests. It just doesn’t gel with us.
And that should be fine.

All this being said: You do you, and I’ll do me when it comes to Twitter.

Happy Friday, all!

John Wylie

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John Wylie is the man behind the cartoon - a guy who enjoys drumming, hanging out with friends, and traveling. John is currently attending the SevenTen Discipleship Program with Ryan Dalgliesh in Texas - he plans to use this education to preach & teach all over the country (and hopefully, the world). John also feels very awkward typing in third person.
  • opewalker

    I totally agree with you. I must confess that at first, I was more concerned about figures. And then it hit me! I decided to unfollow some people, but one person took it the wrong way, tweeting insane things.
    Keeping my timeline cool with godly humour and tweets has really helped me.

    • John Wylie

      I will do my best! :) Thanks for stopping by. Much love.

  • Terri Neal

    John…..I’m pretty new to Twitter….and I sure don’t get it…don’t thing anyone should take it too seriously for sure!

    • John Wylie

      glad to see you joined! followed you back, too! excited to connect on there as well as Facebook! :D

  • Russ

    I followed you on twitter’s suggestion. lol. I’m a tattooed, drankin, smokin, truck driver that doesn’t go to church because he doesn’t like feeling like he’s buying a used car. I don’t mind the “religious” and feel if I found a church I agreed with I’d probably be heavily involved with it.
    I haven’t unfollowed you if that means anything, and I took the time to read this post, and I agree with it. Dunno if you follow me, I really only check to make sure the XXX things aren’t real people before I block them, and to follow back people that say interesting things.

    People that put a lot of stock in social media contacts / friends need to get outside more often.

    • John Wylie

      Russ! My man – thank you for checking the blog out and commenting!
      What is your Twitter tag? I’d love to check out your page! :D

      I think you have a great system set up in regards to Twitter!
      Honored that you’ve stuck around for a while. Lets connect more over there, cool?

      God bless!

  • Rochelle

    You just said a lot of what I’ve been thinking…plus some excellent reminders of what Twitter can be. I’ve received two of those “What? No Followback Love?” tweets and it was very strange.

    Thanks for posting.
    Rochelle recently posted..A New NormalMy Profile

    • John Wylie

      Glad you enjoyed the post! Thanks for checking it out.
      Yeah – some people don’t ‘get it’ it took me a while.
      Just thought I’d share what I have found Twitter is/should be!

      God bless.

  • Michael Wilkinson

    lol John I know how you feel. I tell you somethings that may help you in private because, well–you’ll understand when I tell you.

    • John Wylie

      I have tried lists and all that – this is just the best way to do it for me I suppose :p

  • Pingback: The Great Twitter Dream… | ivoryjohn

  • Jill

    Amen!!! I most certainly have to Tweet this ;) I am relatively new to Twitter. I only joined because one of my pastors uses it so I decided to give it a go. I’m still finding my way around and trying to figure out hashtags LOL. I am happy to have found your page and this article. It is exactly what I feel as I have already, in the short time I have been tweeting, had to unfollow people and topics that just don’t fit in with what I want to read online. Have a great weekend!


  • Maureen Jepchumba

    Been thinking of this as well. Now I need to rethinking and change my approach. I am a relatively new user in Twitter and I can imagine +100000 following.

    A friend shared this, “The number of your followers or lack thereof has no impact on your significance.”
    Maureen Jepchumba recently posted..Pure Gold CharacterMy Profile

  • Maureen Jepchumba

    Been thinking of this as well. Now I need to rethink and change my approach after reading this post. I am a relatively new in Twitter and I can’t imagine +100000 follow backs!

    A friend shared this, “The number of your followers or lack thereof has no impact on your significance.”
    Maureen Jepchumba recently posted..Pure Gold CharacterMy Profile

  • melissa

    This is an answer to one of my questions in mind ~ do I ‘have to’ follow everyone who’s following me? Oh, thanks God, I don’t.

    I’m pretty new to twitter and wasn’t really up to it but I was encouraged to join because of my good friend Martha. She introduced me to a lot of beautiful people whose words edify my soul.

    I do check out links and the people who follow me. Some just ask me to listen to their music and that’s great. I share what I think would also benefit others.

    That being said ~ I feel lighter. Grazie tanto :)
    melissa recently posted..Snakes and LaddersMy Profile

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  • Sterling Griffin

    Hey man, wow this totally hit the head on the nail..(ouch)

    I’ve been using Twitter for about 1.5 years now and i still haven’t totally got it until i read this post i think. So thanks for putting all the thoughts together and making it clear for the rest of the world that’s a lil’ slow.

    I just saw you Cobus’ retweet of you today so that’s how i found out about you, gotta love tastemakers! And like Cobus, you and I are both Jesus-lover’s and drummers so i had to follow you!

    Also, 100,000 followers at 23? That’s nearly Justin Bieber status, bro. Amazing. Props on the hard work it prolly took to get a great audience like that.

    Tweet ya around!

    • John Wylie

      I love Twitter so much, mate!
      I am doing things a little bit differently than most, to be honest.

      I’m not about numbers, I’m about connecting with folks.
      SO many people just want big numbers; they think it means something.

      Genuine connections out-weigh numbers any day.

      Thank you so much for following me :)
      I am so excited to connect.

      See you over there!

  • Terry J. Stroud

    I’m glad someone has finally made this statement. It drives me crazy. I even go through “blocking sprees” where I have to block people who are following me. It’s insane what crazies (or bots) that will follow you.

    The biggest thing is that I prefer to follow people to see what they’re doing, engage their thoughts, and connect. If they don’t follow me back, I really don’t care. You and I chat on and off and connect. Hence, we follow each other. There are others I follow who don’t follow me back. Sure, I’ll tweet them once in a while, but I’m interested in what they have to say. There are others that follow me (I think?) that see what I tweet. That’s it. It’s not a big deal.

    It’s not personal. If you make a connection, great. If not, then learn from what’s being tweeted (or just chuckle) and move onward!