I recently discovered a beautiful thingManage Flitter. It allows you to easily find people you probably do not want to be following on Twitter. For me, a girl who follows several thousand people, this was a godsend.

There were times when I started following people on twitter in a massive wave. Like when I first started The Sweet Life and wanted to get more fitness folks in my communication circle. So it was follow follow follow.

And though I believe in the power and awesomeness of Twitter lists, I still would rather a fairly clean list of follows at the foundational level. So, it’s happening, slowly but surely.

Many people wonder why you stop following them so I figured I’d go ahead and provide some reasoning. I’ll stay fairly liberal in my numbers to keep the community but I’m downsizing and here’s why:

1. You are constantly shilling for one cause. Twitter is multi-faceted — not a one way message machine.

2. You are mean and/or constantly starting arguments about something I (or others) tweet.

3. You tweet spam links or tweet 5-10 things in a row that are not conversational.

4. You do not engage back with people. If I tweet you a genuine question or comment and never get any acknowledgement, you are doing it wrong.

5. You never tweet. If you haven’t tweeted in a couple of weeks or more you are out. I use Twitter on a daily/hourly basis and want to be in conversation with others who do the same.

6.  You are an organization or pet cause that I followed in a mass on accident. I rarely follow organizations or brands (though my favorites, I do) rather than people.

7. You only tweet boring links to your own blog. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers do this and it’s a terrible practice!

8. You spend your time sucking up to “big” tweeters to get their attention or constantly tweet #FF messages to attract followers.

9. You ask me to follow you. Major twitter faux pas!

10. You are a creepy dude that tells me I’m beautiful (or something else creepy!)

Those are some of the basic reasons I choose to unfollow (or never follow) you on Twitter. Twitter isn’t hard but there are some basic rules of social engagement. As in life, being rude or socially unaware doesn’t get you anywhere!

I don’t follow people because they follow me, that’s not my style — and I don’t unfollow people if I don’t like their opinion. I enjoy civil conversation and like to follow those I don’t always agree with. While I’ve seen some unfollows in my world due to dislike of my opinions, I wish more people would consider keeping conversation instead of blocking out dissent.

Do you have any Twitter follow/unfollow rules?
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