Follow for follow is the idea that when someone follows you on a social media platform, you follow them back. Many people believe this helps build communities and grow your account. While I understand the idea behind it, I do not participate in the concept. I am particular about who I follow, often spending time debating if I want to follow them. I only follow people I know and am close with, or people/accounts I find rather interesting. I believe that following someone should be for these reasons, and not with the expectation that they will follow you back. I experience this on my Instagram occasionally, where people I used to know follow me for a few days and unfollow me when I do not follow back. However, on Instagram there is less of an expectation of this because my follower count remains steady. The main platform I see and experience this is on Twitter.
I participate in the Writing Community on Twitter, but I am a small member because I do not follow people back. I have seen “follow for follow” Friday’s where people tweet out accounts they follow so that their follow count can grow. However, when these people follow you they do this with the expectation that you’ll follow back. I don’t see how this is fair. I want people to follow me because they are interested in what I have to say, are curious about my writing or are people I have met. I am not going to follow thousands of people back just because they give me a follow.
On occasion, I participate in large tweet threads where someone I follow poses a question or topic to discuss. This is when I see a spike in my followers. I will gain anywhere between 5-15 followers in a 24 hour period, but as the days pass and I do not follow them back, my numbers dwindle. Now, keep in mind that I am not ignoring these people. I look at every account that follows me and debate if I want to follow back. There are times where I have followed back because the account tweeted things I was interested in or the person was someone I related to. But I cannot justify following a large group of people I do not know simply because they followed me. Following someone is a personal decision, and I believe that it is unfair to the person you follow if they are only being followed because you want more followers.
Do I want my account to grow within the Writing Community? Of course! I want it to grow genuinely, with followers who are interested in my journey and what I have to say. It may take twice as long to grow this way, but it is what I am comfortable with.
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