Twitter: Your Twitter Personality Could Be Putting Off Your Followers

By Catherine Potts | Oct 15, 2009
More Articles by Catherine


Yesterday, I reached my limit with several people I follow on Twitter. I shall not name names. I shall not point fingers in an obvious direction. Let’s just say, they’re pretty well known but they have no idea who I am (bummer for me I guess!)

I respect the fact that people are allowed to use Twitter (for the most part) however they see fit. As someone mentioned to me (when I was going off on a rant) people have Twitter personalities. That’s great! Live it up! Do whatcha gotta do.

My chosen use for Twitter is definitely not how everyone is “supposed” to use it, that’s for sure. So I’m not trying to impose my personal idea for use on others as much as I just ask that others be more aware about how their use might be affecting those who follow them.

What does this mean? This means that if you desire to have an ongoing conversation about nebulous topics instead of providing your followers (who follow you because you’re an expert in your field) with good information, why not just use instant messenger? I say this because, as I use TweetDeck, when I see alternating avatars of the same people talking back and forth about things of little to no substance, I wonder if they realize that their conversation causes their followers to have to spend time and scroll through their conversation in order to find the valued information they initially followed them (and many others) for.

Additionally, and I say this being someone who is a serial curser, please calm down the language. I am not someone that [those who know me] can claim has less than a sailor’s mouth. So if I’ve got a problem with someone’s cursing, it’s got to be pretty bad. I think colorful expletives at the right time are totally appropriate-in the right venue. No doubt. However, reputation is something we all need to be mindful of.

The reason I chose to unfollow the several heavy hitters in our industry is darned close to why I had a hard time even starting to use Twitter in the first place. I just DO NOT care about the sandwich you just ordered (unless it’s a valid restaurant review with more information provided-say in a link.) This is not meant as a personal attack but I have to say, I find that there is a certain level of disregard for other users’ time when they are forced to scroll past all your 2 person chats about nothing.

I feel that these types of people like it when other people watch and I have coined the term “exhibitionistic instant messaging.” Perhaps they want people to see just how witty they are. Witty on parade! Honestly, not so much. The wit is lost when the follower isn’t privy to other key details and honestly, I’m more prone to respect your wit if it’s not quite so in my face.

As I was reminded, Twitter users have their personalities. This is what these people I’m talking about choose to do. Will they change because I wrote about it? Probably not and I’m not necessarily asking them to. I just wanted to express my frustration with this type of usage as it takes me more time to find what is TRULY useful within my Twitter stream.

It is not a crime. It’s just annoying. I’m not intentionally wanting create any strife. So it is up to me to adjust to how those on Twitter behave. If I don’t like it, I will have to stay away from it.

I just want people to be aware of how their usage could be affecting their followers.

I take these things away from this experience:

· The beauty of Twitter is that I can unfollow.

· You have to know the personality of those you follow.

· Twitter personalities can be chatty and not necessarily as news focused as you’d like.

What is your Twitter threshold? Are you OK with it being used as more of an instant messenger than micro-blogging platform?

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  • http://www.justsay.on.ca/ SEOCopywriter

    I’ve always been conflicted about this.

    I am a very opinionated person. I can’t seem to help it. It’s part of of my neurological wiring I guess. And I know that some things I tweet about turn people off (i know because people tell me). But am I supposed to say what others have me say, and compromise who I am?

    I’ve decided being true to who I am is more important than pretty much anything, including Twitter followers and generating leads.

    Have a great day!