I often wonder what the rules are about following or unfollowing people on social media sites. I follow people when I think they are interesting on twitter and WordPress. But this rule doesn’t apply to LinkedIn or Facebook.

My “friend” policy on Facebook is simple, they actually have to be a friend. I don’t usually connect with coworkers, acquaintances or clients. I often get invites from unknown people or people I barely know. I never accept them. I think I have over a hundred requests that I are still pending. I just can’t be bothered. Facebook is more of viewing site for me nowadays.

LinkedIn is strictly business, coworkers and clients. I often get requests from people I don’t know, and I probably only accept connection requests from people working in the same field as me or headhunters (these are important people to connect with!!) 🙂

As for twitter and wordpress, I’m more social. I follow people I don’t know and interact with them as well. I think these are platforms where even strangers can safely connect. It’s more about finding the other person interesting.

What’s the rule on following back, then? Do you have to follow everyone who follows you? I used to do that with Twitter. I used to follow everyone who followed me, until I realised people on twitter follow very very randomly. So now I have stricter screening process. I follow back only if I think what the other person has to say is interesting or funny.

What about WordPress? I almost always follow back on WordPress. The simple reason is that blogs are more descriptive of a person. Even if you don’t know a person, you get to view their thoughts. I think anyone who follows me, surely sees something they can relate to. And if they can relate to what I’m saying, I probably can relate to what they’re saying as well.

As for unfollowing, I’ve only ever done that on twitter. Sometimes, I follow someone, only to find out that either they are spammers or not real people. And then there are people who are really stupid and try to send you personal messages, when clearly, you’re not there to find a date. Hello, there are dating websites for that! There are some people I’ve unfollowed, because they’re just idiots who talk trash or just have nasty things to say. I don’t like nasty people. I know I’m cynical and sarcastic at times, but being nasty is just stupid, especially to someone you don’t even know on the internet. So, I’ve unfollowed and blocked people on twitter. Believe me, it was a liberating feeling.