Jason’s Rules for Twitter Sanity, Including An Answer To The Question “Why the heck aren’t you following me?”

  • Only follow human beings, never companies or “brands” or relatives you don’t get along with.
  • Turn off retweets for everyone you follow the moment you begin following them.
  • Follow people with interesting profiles who genuinely and frequently interact with other people.
  • Reply to tweets when you have something truly valuable to add.
  • Retweet anything the people you follow would like amplified.
  • Ignore whatever you feel like ignoring.
  • Keep your complaints to a constructive minimum.
  • Take absolutely nothing personally.
  • Unfollow anyone you don’t care to see on Twitter any longer.
  • Use direct messages to express gentle kindnesses.
  • Share about yourself, but only share what you want everyone who has ever existed in the universe and your government to know about.
  • Never use the official Twitter apps.
  • Disappear whenever you wish.
  • Whenever someone announces it’s their birthday, anniversary, or some other memorable occasion, send them a pleasant tweet.
  • Always remember Twitter is simply a tool, and most Twitter users are also tools.

And now to answer the most basic question, “Why aren’t you following me?” I’m not following you because I like the in-person you more than I like the Twitter version of you. Or maybe I just don’t like you. Deep down you probably already know the answer without asking.

Snark aside, my Twitter timeline has always been a personal space where I read messages that build me up in some way. I stop following people whose posts send my mind in the wrong direction. I have nothing against these people, no quarrel. We’re incompatible on this one channel, so I let them go and hope, when appropriate, for other ways to stay connected.