This debate has existed for as long as Twitter has been around and the and there are as many people who say "yes" as there are who say "no". In the end, you'll have to decide for yourself but I'd like to share with you my answer to this question and also the reasons why.
Do I Always Follow Back on Twitter?
In a word, no.
There are thousands of fake accounts on Twitter and some of them will automatically follow you based on the content of your tweets. These accounts are usually bots and they tweet dozens of times an hour, in some cases. I don't want these spam tweets cluttering my feed, and I'm sure you don't either.
Besides this obvious one, there are other factors I take into account when deciding whether or not to follow someone back.
How I Decide Whether or Not To Follow Back
While I appreciate all followers on Twitter, I don't feel obligated to follow back if the majority of the user's tweets are about things I dislike, find offensive, or have no interest in.
Engagement vs Broadcasting
Does the person use their Twitter account as a brodacast channel or do they engage with others?
Rightly or wrongly, I see social media (Twitter in particular) as the digital extension of a real conversation. People who only broadcast over Twitter remind me of people who speak about themselves all the time and never listen to anyone else. So when I get a new follower, I scroll through their feed and look for replies and mentions. If I don't see any, I don't follow back.
To me, retweeting is like having a conversation with someone and commending them for making a good point, or agreeing with something they've said. No matter who we're speaking with, this is something we can and should do in both offline and online conversations. So if I get a new follower who never retweets, they're not likely to get a follow back from me.
It's unreasonable to expect anyone on Twitter to have exactly the same number of followers as people they're following, I obviously don't have this since I don't follow back all of my followers. But when there's a HUGE disparity between following and followers, I think twice before following back.
If the follower count greatly outweighs the following count, I interperate this negatively, rightly or wrongly. For obvious reasons, I don't apply this to celebtities with millions of followers.
On the other hand, if the following count greatly outweighs the follower count, this has spam-bot fake account written all over it.
As I said before, these are just my own reasons for not following back all of my followers. You may have a different opinion, or even the same opinion but for different reasons. It's cool either way, and I'd like to hear about them so please feel free to drop a comment below.
Thanks for reading.
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