Twitter Guide For Authors & Illustrators > The Basics > If I unfollow someone, will they notice? What makes YOU stop following someone?
Index of topics: Main Twitter Guide For Writers & Illustrators page. To go back to my blog for kidlit/YA writers and illustrators, see Inkygirl. You can find me on Twitter at @inkyelbows (focus: writing and illustrating children's books) and @DebbieOhi (livetweets, chat, photos, personal ramblings). Also see my list of Other Useful Twitter Guides For Authors And Illustrators and Twitter Lists of: agents who represent kidlit/YA, kidlit/YA editors, children's book art/creative directors and K-12/teen librarians on Twitter.
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Q. If I unfollow someone, will they notice? What makes YOU stop following someone?
Will someone notice if you stop following them? Possibly.
Some people assume that I won't notice if they stop following me, since I follow so many people. And although I probably won't notice right away, I generally do notice eventually, if we've have any interaction in the past and if I'm following you.
Because I'll try to send you a DM but I find I can't, because you've stopped following me.
Because I go to your Twitter feed to catch up on your recent posts and see that you've stopped following me.
Because I have various tools to help me cull my Twitter follower list on a regular basis (stagnant accounts, etc.) that makes it fairly easy to see a list of people I'm following who aren't following back. If someone doesn't follow back, I usually assume they're not interested in connecting with me. They may still be interested in my tweets, however -- using Twitter lists and third-party tweets, it's pretty easy to read someone's tweets even if you're not following them.
What makes me stop following someone:
Unless I know someone personally and want to follow them no matter what, I will sometimes stop following if:
- They haven't tweeted in more than a month.
- They start tweeting regularly about stuff I don't really care about.
- They start tweeting about their follower counts too often.
- I get the feeling that they were just trying to get me to follow them but soon after I did, they stopped following me.
And back to the whole "will someone notice if I stop following them" question:
It's easy to feel hurt if someone stops following you, especially if you've had positive interactions in the past. This just recently happened to me, in fact. Someone I respected joined Twitter, I supported him and his tweets, recommended people follow him, he thanked me, exulted every time he hit a follower number milestone...and then at some point he unfollowed a bunch of people, including me.
The message this conveyed: That he was happy to have my support while he was trying to attract new followers but when he felt he had enough, it wasn't worth connecting with me anymore.
This particular individual's tweets are still useful/interesting enough for me to want to keep following him, but I don't feel quite the same about this person, and am less likely to want to support him on a personal level in the future.
The incident has also made me more aware of when I make the decision to stop following someone myself.
I'm not saying you SHOULDN'T unfollow anyone, for fear of offense. As I mentioned above, I continue to cull my follow list on a regular basis when someone's account goes dormant or I'm not interested in their content.
But never assume that the people you stop following won't notice.
Side Note #1: No matter how hurt you are, do NOT confront people publicly about the fact that they unfollowed you. Or post about how many people unfollowed you each day. That's just tacky.
Side Note #2: I have seen the tactic above (people who are following thousands do a mass unfollow of everyone except a handful) used enough times on Twitter that I'm not nearly as awed when I see people who are apparently followed by thousands of followers but are only following a few dozen. It most cases, the follower:following ratio was achieved without manipulation. But sometimes not.
The overall message: STOP OBSESSING ABOUT HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE FOLLOWING YOU. Focus on content instead.
Last updated on May 20, 2013 by Debbie Ridpath Ohi