Why, Twitter, Why?

My Twitter following is, shall we say, exclusive. Select. It’s not huge, is what I’m saying. Every now and then I’ll gain a new follower, and the reason can be anything from mystifying to plain puzzling. The other day I posted this:

18 hours later, the account @NYhuman followed me. The bio of this “Sara O” describes her as “Executive Director of @nyhumanities; mom; FiDi denizen. NYC in Great State of New York · nyhumanities.org“. Okay, so I mention “humanities” in a tweet and the head of a program two states away is my newest fan? Was it an auto-follow? Is she a Star Trek fan? No idea, since her activity is mostly retweets boosting the concept of humanities in general, but, hey, thanks!

Keywords often play into follows, and it’s tough to know when one will trigger someone to act.

It took a few days, but @Anon_D_Mouse (“Expect Us. We Are Everywhere”) decided to follow me. Also mostly entirely retweets as far as I can tell, @Anon_D_Mouse has a little less focus – there’s a good deal of content one might expect from sympathizers to the loosely-knit hacker/protester/V for Vendetta fangroup Anonymous, but also the occasional Star Wars quote and link to a song. There’s been no activity since May 21. I hope they’re okay, since I apparently care a lot about mice?

A show of support for a writer friend prompted another follow:

This time it was @mlmjr, whose Twitter account doesn’t seem to exist anymore. His Tumblr and Facebook pages were last updated nine months ago, but his own site has some fairly fresh posts. I won’t lie, I was getting a tiny bit worried for him for a minute there.

Finally there’s this one, tweeted a day after the previous example but with a much quicker follow:

The follower? @PosterRev. They sell posters.

What prompts you to follow (or unfollow) someone on social media?

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