Admit it. After all that pooh-poohing about jobless people loitering on Twitter, you’ve graduated into acknowledging it’s a fun place to hang out. While it is a lot of fun to engage in banter with some of the best minds out there, I’ve come to realize this is one terrific place to observe human behavior and make up for those Anthropology classes you were too cool to take. Just sit back and watch for a while; you’ll be amazed how much – and what – you learn. In the meantime, I present to you to the seven deadly kinds of new followers you may (not) have come across:
THE ANGLERS: They will follow you and give you a day or so to follow them back. When you don’t, they will promptly unfollow you, but their offer hasn’t expired just yet. They will give you time to regret that you didn’t follow back when you had the chance, and will follow you again after a few weeks. This is your chance – follow them back, or they won’t follow you again. Forever, or till the next chance they decide to give you, should you be worthy – whichever they think comes first.
THE HAMMERERS: These are the social media equivalent of corporate climbers. They know exactly who and how many people they want following them within the next 6 months. If you are what people consider The Elite, they’ll follow you, and focus exclusively on you till they have your attention. All their RTs and adulatory mentions will be for you. They’ll reply to almost anything that you say (If you don’t believe me, try tweeting “I had cereal for breakfast this morning” or “Brad Pitt rocks!!” The first one to reply “with whole milk or 2%?” is the Hammerer you’re soon going to succumb to.) They’ll do what it takes, praise you, interrupt converse with you, reply to every tweet, heck even prepare the topics you like, and RT you left and right till you are finally a sucker obligated – or flattered – into following them back.
THE SEDUCERS: Clever lot. They’ll watch you for a long time. They won’t follow you, but they’ll observe who you converse with, and carry on extensive dialogs with them. Occasionally, they’ll throw a casual tweet your way and go back to ignoring you – or start a gradual dialog (but still not follow you yet), until one day you happen to follow them. Rest assured, they’ll follow you “back.” It was all so smooth, you didn’t even realize it.
THE REDUCERS: These are people who want to expand their horizon while narrowing their focus – all while maintaining a high follower to followee ratio. They keep preening their list obsessively time and again to see who they can unfollow every time they follow someone new. If you haven’t been on your toes tweeting to their interest or interacting with them, off with your head!
THE VOYEURS: Oh believe me, these guys admire you. They want to follow you. Why, they even would, had it not been for the fact that they have a whopping 850 followers – as opposed to your paltry 64. Now how will that look on their résumé? But do not be deceived by these Tweeting Poms – they may not follow you, but they will go tippy-toe and peek at your tweets every now and then.
THE MUTUAL NON-FOLLOWERS: Technically, these guys don’t quite need a title to themselves. They’re only a sour-grape version of the Anglers above. They’ll follow, unfollow, follow, unfollow till they finally realize you aren’t really going to follow them unless they start tweeting topics of your interest. They’ll then take this casual approach of “Oh it never really mattered anyway! We don’t follow each other, but we still converse; there’s mutual respect and it’s all good.”
THE CHINESE CHECKERS: These are the guys, who like the hammerers know who what they want. They don’t really care to follow you; your role is only to stay put so they can jump across you and land right under the nose of that coveted celebrity who happens to be your friend. They will find their way in a conversation, @reply to you like it’s you they want to talk to, and sneak in a courtesy @reply to your friend on the side. From there on, it’s just a matter of hammering. Or seducing. They will know exactly which. And now you will too.