I’ve been using Twitter for almost a year now. At first I only really used it for communicating with friends, but eventually I started following famous people (like @neilhimself), and friends of friends, and so on. I no longer actually know the majority of people following me. Some are genuine Twitter-friends, but not most. Some follow me because they are spammers (or ‘social media experts’), some are business and academic contacts, and some for reasons I have been unable to figure out . This hadn’t really been too much of a problem for me, I just had to keep a closer watch on what I tweeted.
Recently something new happened that’s given me pause. I was followed by a porn star (well, three actually). I have no idea how that happened. If a lot of people start following you out of the blue, you can usually look back at recent tweets and figure out what phrase they were all searching for (protip: do NOT tweet about ‘internet marketing’). That didn’t seem to be the case here (at least I didn’t see any obvious phrases porn stars might be searching for). I checked them out. Two of them seemed to be just using Twitter for marketing (‘vote my boobs the best’, ‘look at my site’, ‘love cocks’, etc.). The third one was different. She seemed to actually be using Twitter for communication, not just marketing. I was intrigued, and almost followed back, but an errant thought stayed my hand. People other than my friends (who, like me, don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with porn/pornstars) will be looking at my Twitter page. What would it look like to someone thinking about hiring me, or giving me a scholarship, or any other case where someone might be looking at me on Twitter to help them make a judgement about me. So I didn’t follow, and now, a week or so later, all three have unfollowed me (not sure what happened there). I don’t really know how I should feel about it. A part of me feels like I copped out, like I should have said ‘to hell with what they think!’ What do you think? Did I lame out? What would you have done?