Dear Miss Social
I’ve been doing social media for almost three years. A close friend suggested I try it out after the sudden death of our family cat, Dugs. I was only looking for a short-term distraction but have since adopted social media as part of my weekly routine and enjoy it very much. But here’s my issue: some of the people that I am following on Twitter are not following me back. I consider myself to be an outgoing person with a pleasant disposition, and can see no reason for these slights. In one instance I know the offender personally, which is doubly hurtful… should I say something to her? I would hardly know where to start.
Dear Gentle Reader
Miss Social must correct you on a point: one does not “do” social media, one engages in it. Social intercourse of any nature is a participatory activity between two or more consenting parties. Miss Social does not approve of broadcasting into a vacuum.
Your current predicament with Twitter is understandable, but eminently avoidable. Miss Social is reminded of dogs who harbour simple notions of social reciprocity such as ‘you can smell my bottom, and I get to smell yours’ (usually a simultaneous exchange when the breeds are of a similar size). Such a compact, so to speak, does not exist within social media. Twitter is a network – it scarcely matters who is following whom, as long as all participants are able to derive value from the collective. If we all do our very best and concentrate on making Twitter an interesting place to be, the connecting threads of value will form quite naturally. “It all evens out in the wash” as Miss Social’s dear Granny Mayfield was very fond of saying.
As to your non-following acquaintance, Miss social recommends this course: lift your credibility in her eyes by adding her to a public Twitter list called ‘Interesting and Beautiful Individuals’ – few people could stop themselves from taking an enquiring sniff or two of something as intriguing as that.
Yours in Social,