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Are You Choosing Your Twitter Followers Carefully?

January 2, 2010

As the New Year starts, it is hardly surprising that we are still working out what is socially appropriate and what isn’t in net etiquette.  Society is still developing their net etiquette skills and it became increasingly obvious in December of 2009, when  hundreds of Social Media Blogs were writing about the  “Etiquette Rules of Social Media.”  In 2010 we have more and more technology in our lives,  much of it is in our pockets, handbags, briefcases, and backpacks  as well as our homes, offices and cars.  My Mother taught me that sharing was good and yours probably taught you the same thing.  However in todays tech world of Social Media  it turns out Mother wasn’t always right!

On Twitter, anyone may follow anyone.  “By carefully curating the people you follow, Twitter becomes an always-on data stream from really bright people in their respective fields, whose tweets are often full of links to incredibly vital, timely information,” states David Carr of The New York Times. Sign up for TweetDeck and watch what millions of people say on Twitter.  A total strangers information become public.  Twitter is fun, a valuable marketing tool for business, however put a Twitter account into a Teens hands and it become dangerous.  As millions world-wide start twitter accounts,  in the hands of uneducated Twitter user tweets becomes socially dangerous.  Similar to the Facebook housewives of 2009,  you know the ones who did not understand the wall on Facebook.  Tweets become dangerous when in the hands of the not so smart.   A Twitter messages that you are meeting friends for dinner becomes International public information.  Sure, you may only have a few followers but your message can be retweeted by your followers.  Do you trust all your followers?  Do you know each one of them personally?   A locked twitter account assures the twitter account owner that their tweets are private and only to their followers.

As Michael Krigsman Ceo of  Asuret, Inc. states, “Twitter isn’t going away, and like all tool  it can be used for both good and evil.  Balancing Twitter’s dangers and benefits may not be easy, but you’d better start thinking about it today.” Corporate America can send out the wrong signals to millions when one twitter is analyzed by thousands in a matter of seconds. A tweet has the power to turn groups of bystanders into instant analysts.  Tweets can easily cause unintended, highly negative, consequences.  When it comes to Twitter, check your followers profile and what they are about.  Is it a legitimate website you are interested in?  Many Twitter accounts have no profile.  Ask yourself, what do I know about this person who wants to follow me or my business?  How many Twitter followers one has became a popularity contest, but like all popularity contest they are only great when you’re a silly teen.  As an Adult you better be armed with a full-time Public Relations person, if your tweet goes wrong.  This is the valuable lesson and Net Etiquette that corporate American is learning.

Like mother always taught you choose your friend wisely. Unless you know the follower personally research the people who follow you or you’re risking your information being shared.  Blocking and unfollowing followers is smart Net Etiquette.  Can you risk putting your personal thoughts out into the World?  Only if they are well thought, mannered,  polite, and informative.

Photo Credit: KiloBox Communique

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2010 9:05 pm

    Hm, I don’t know about this. I suppose this is easily managed when you don’t have very many followers, but if you’re gaining many followers a day this would be very difficult to do. If you’re concerned about your privacy, you should make your account private in the first place, really. Otherwise, tweet smart. Don’t give your location, etc.

  2. January 2, 2010 6:37 pm

    I must say this is a great article i enjoyed reading it keep the good work 🙂

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