It's time for a public service announcement.
On Twitter I try to follow back anybody who isn't an obvious spam artist or a bad fit. But some of you make it really hard for me. How, you ask? I'll tell you, I answer.
You immediately DM me, telling me to buy your book, like your Facebook page, or sign up for your newsletter. That's like the guy who proposed to me an hour after meeting me. Too soon, buddy, too soon. Many people I know will automatically unfollow anyone who does that. I'm slightly more tolerant than they are, but you have started out by impressing me with your cluelessness. (For the record, I didn't marry him. I ran really hard and really fast in the other direction. Observe and learn.)
You're nice, too nice. You send out fifty tweets in ten minutes thanking people for following you, retweeting you, whatever. That leaves me picking through my timeline trying to find tweets I'm actually interested in, especially on smartphones, where replies aren't filtered out of the timeline. I end up unfollowing you because you are monopolizing the conversation, apparently unaware of what you are doing. If you must thank people in public, space it out!
You are a retweeting machine. Like Mr. Nice Guy, you are flooding my timeline. And seriously, if I wanted porn on my timeline, I'd follow those erotica writers myself. I have discovered the Turn Off Retweets button and I do use it. But I bet everybody who follows you is doing the same thing, so why bother retweeting at all? I stopped being grateful for your RTs as soon as I saw what you were up to, usually around #2. So you are impressing neither the people you follow, nor the people you retweet. You are just being a pain, a pain everybody is ignoring.
Your Twitter feed is nothing but an infomercial. It's you, you, you, all the time, and usually buy, buy, buy, all the time. This is serious idiocy. The only people following you are the ones who never, ever look at their timeline. What's the point? Twitter is a party, not a TV station. You are supposed to connect with people, not play an endless loop of spam. The people "following" you have all found ways to ignore you. What are you accomplishing besides alienating people?
You "thank" people for following by spamming them on your public feed, individually, in rapid succession, which manages to break almost all the rules above in one fell swoop. That's seriously impressive, but so are train wrecks and chemical spills.
For those of you who are too smart to do any of the above, and who actually tweet interesting, useful, thoughtful, or funny things, I will not only follow you back, but add you to one of my secret lists of the people I pay much closer attention to. Follow me on Twitter and save me from the obliviots!