I want to follow you back. I really do.
But the last thing I need in my Twitter stream is another collection of what is essentially ads, so I've become picky. I never did follow back absolutely everyone, but I used to be less particular (Persnickety. Fussy. Punctilious! Damn that Thesaurus). Back then, Twitter was full of back-and-forth conversations, and late night could feel like hanging out with friends (or at least friendly acquaintances) in a cool coffeehouse.
Now, it's buy my book! Buy my friend's book! Buy some etsy jewelry! Look — cute kitties! Most of it is RTs, and I do like that people are generous and helpful toward others. But for some, that's all there is.
To them, I say here, don't you ever feel like talking? With (or to) someone? A real, living (if in digital form) person? Even if you're shy, or a newbie who's not sure how to get started conversation-wise, there are places you could hop in. Cute kitty photo? Then why not at least say, Love the cute kitty!, and add a smiley face? Or if someone tweets, “I finally finished my book and typed THE END! Wheeeee!,” even if you don't know them, couldn't you just tweet, Congrats!? If someone tweets that they just came back from the ER with a cast on their arm, couldn't you say, So sorry to hear that. I hope you heal quickly?
It is, after all, called SOCIAL media.
It's not always easy. I know. I get it. Sometimes I feel invisible, too (especially recently, after being offline for a long while with DSL problems). Or I'm in a mood too dark to foist on others. Or my brain just can't seem to force any coherent thoughts through my fingers and into the keyboard. Or worse, sometimes I'm just freakin' boring. I do that sometimes. Tweet too much. I know. I ramble on (and on) at times. Especially early in the morning or late at night. So, yes indeedy, I have my own Twitter flaws (lots of them).
But even if I had a book to sell rather than just my freebie short stories on my website, I'd still want to do more than just try to grab buyers/readers.
I see Twitter as a place to hang out with people I enjoy. I love the (often, snarky) humor. I feel compassion for tweeps who are having a rough time. I'm excited when someone I know (even if only vaguely) has a book about to be published, or just signed with an agent, or went to ComicCon, or just baked an utterly cool and awesome birthday cake for their kid.
More often than not, I'm in awe that these cool people let me hang out with them.
You have your flaws, I have my flaws, we're all full of frakkin' flaws. Nobody's perfect.
Therefore, when you follow me, I not only check out your Twitter page, but if necessary, I scroll wayyyyyy down. Because, even if it's entirely full of RTs or famous-people-quotes or tons of #FF and #WW (very cool of you!) or a zillion photos of the Northern Lights, I don't judge anyone by their mood or actions on one day.
But if day after day that's all there is, and you never talk with anyone, or even talk “out loud” to yourself (and God knows I do that a lot), then it's not likely that I'll follow you back.
Oh, I do make exceptions sometimes. If you're very into something I'm very into, I'll say what the hell, and follow. Such as, if you're a Walking Dead fanatic (I am), a sci-fi or horror writer (I am), a science nerd (well, I'm probably not smart enough to truly be one, but I'm fascinated by science, technology, space exploration), an animal lover, a fan of Scooby Doo (well, who the hell isn't?), etc.
But mainly I hope you like to talk, at least a little bit. Now and then. If I don't follow right away, I may check back a few days later. Maybe you got chatty. ;-}
And yes, if you unfollow me and then follow me again, as if you reeeeally want me to follow you, I'll give you a second look, because, well, it's nice to be liked. LOL
So, for me to follow you, all you need to do is be a little social. Here on social media. Once in a while.