You're innocently reading the tweets from those you follow on Twitter. Oh look, Christina Aguilera just said something really interesting! And she mentioned somebody else too.
You look at this person's timeline, see that she also posts interesting stuff, and you decide to follow her too. You click that follow button.
And a few minutes later, you get a notice that she's following you back! Wow, she must have seen that I was following her, come to my timeline and read what I had to say, and decided I was interesting enough to follow as well! Even though she's busy 23 hours a day doing shows and attempting to entertain the masses. I'm so special!!!
Actually, you're not, though it's a nice thought.
Instead, she has something set up that automatically follows whoever is following her. And often sends a "direct message" (a private tweet seen only by the person it was sent to) to each follower.
It's a weird mindset, though there are articles defending the practice.
Many times I get somebody following me who obviously hasn't read my tweets, other than maybe the one that brought me to their attention. They do a Twitter search and find keywords in my profile, such as "conservative" or "xbox" or whatever. They follow me. I read their timeline, decide that while they're probably ok people, their tweets are not something that I want to habitually read.
So I don't follow them. Soon, thanks to a service I signed up for that alerts me when somebody unfollows me, I get a message saying that they dropped me. All because I didn't follow them back.
Thus, many people think that, if they want to keep people following them, they have to follow back anybody who follows them in the first place. Hence, the auto-follow feature.
But today I happened upon a problem with this that I hadn't thought of.
I received a notice that Ms Sancha LPG was following me.
Her profile says "THE SEXIEST Bisexual XXX LATINA RAPPER I LOVE MY MEN AND MY SEXY BITCHES LETS PLAY XOXO"
Ummmmm, ok. I don't know how she found me, but I'm sure she'll drop me soon because I'm not following her back.
However, in the email I received telling me that she was following me, it also told me that "you follow a user who follows" this person.
And who shows up in that section? A semi-prominent (at least on Twitter) conservative pundit.
Now, maybe he has a secret obsession with sexy bisexual Latina rappers. I don't know.
But I doubt it.
Most likely, he has an auto-follow set up that follows anybody who follows him. And for some reason she decided to follow him. Probably for the same reason she followed me.
People can go through the people you follow, unless you hide your tweets. I would think you'd want to know who you follow, to make sure you don't have any "undesirables" in there.
Who you follow says something about you and your tastes. Or at least it should.
And for those of my readers not really interested in Twitter but who read this anyway (or who just look at the pictures), here's your prize.
Also, when I post about Twitter, Evette usually starts using it again, another reason to post this. :) (let's see if she's reading this...)
Finally, it's appropriate that I'm posting this today, because I'm currently (Ok, in a couple of hours) at the Northern Voices social media and blogging conference.
I'm sure I will have lots of fun (ah, the wonders of blog post pre-scheduling! Since I wrote this yesterday). Follow my Twitter feed for updates, as I do plan on tweeting from there.
*Edit* Surprise, surprise. Sancha's Twitter account has been suspended.