Authentic or Not? Part 2: Automatically Following Back
As the social networking scene becomes more crowded, busy, and chaotic, more people are experimenting with automating or outsourcing social media tasks. But does this violate the spirit of authenticity which is so highly valued within social media?
Last week we kicked off this series called Authentic or Not? by discussing Part 1: Ghost Tweeting, Facebooking, & Blogging
Today we look at…
2) Automatically following back
There are several Twitter tools that with the click of a button will automatically follow back every person who is following you. There are also scripts available that will automatically accept all Facebook friend requests as well.
I’ve come across three common motives for automatically following back everyone who follows/friends a person:
- The person doesn’t want to upset anyone by not reciprocating. The fear of offending someone by not accepting their friend request or not following back causes some people a lot of angst. They’re rather avoid that by just following/friending everyone.
- The person wants a lot of friends/fans so they feel or appear more popular. Some people feel better about themselves or think they’ll look more important to others if they have more fans/friends, so they follow/friend everyone including spammers and people they have no interest in.
- It saves time. Some people get dozens or even hundreds of new followers/friend requests every day and simply don’t want to take the time to sort through all of those people and decide who to follow/friend. It’s faster just to follow/accept everyone.
Some critics say automatically following/friending everyone who follows/friends you is disingenuous because following/friending someone implies that you’re interested in that person and want to listen to them. Automatically following/friending everyone amounts to faking interest in someone because 1) you don’t want to offend them, 2) you want to appear popular, 3) you don’t have time for them.
Personally, I don’t have a problem with it. If you can save the time of manually reviewing and following/friending people and in the process avoid offending people and have a higher follower/friend count, why not?
What do you think about a person automatically following/friending everyone who follows/friends them?
Authentic or not?
[image by alasam]