Hotel Social Media

Online Social Etiquette and the price of connectivity

Hello Tweeple!

In this day and age, it’s a rare luxury to be able to switch off completely…no phones, no internet…connectivity (and work-life integration) thrown to the wind! Yet, I had the opportunity to do just that last week…and despite the tons of pending tasks, I flew out, switched off…and had a ball!

Of course, when you get back, you always wonder why you ever left 🙂 The price…800+ emails waiting in multiple inboxes and the mountain of tasks had grown just a little higher since I last saw it. But it was worth it!

Here’s a curious bit of netiquette I stumbled onto upon my return. Now, I’m a huge fan of Twitter and I think its paved the way to a better live / realtime Web. But to be honest, I’m a low to moderate user at most. I love being able to check what people are saying about certain events, brands and products. The plethora of tools and sites that boost Twitter functionality are also fun to experiment with. Plus I’m slowly getting the hang of ‘Twetiquette’.

This message had me stumped though:

(I found this in my @replies…I’ve blurred out the thumbnail and twitter ID of the sender)

Hmm…not sure how to approach this. To be fair, I only follow those people who tweet about stuff that I’m interested in…and being away for a week certainly ruled out a quick check + response. Though I felt a bit offended, I didn’t want to retort with an equally bad comeback. A question to experienced Tweeple out there…would you consider this message as:

(a) Correct Twitter Etiquette?
(b) Arrogance?
(c) Misguided Twitter Etiquette?
(d) A combination of the above?

I thought the whole purpose of ‘following’ people on Twitter was engaging with genuinely interesting people. Are we in such a ‘connectivity’ frenzy that all unanswered calls must be viciously prodded for a response? If this were to be translated to real-world social etiquette, we might as well walk up to authors, celebrities, colleagues or people we barely know and ‘threaten’ them to feign interest in us!

Or do I have this all wrong? What would you do in this situation?

Note: It’s very interesting to watch and learn as the rules of “e”tiquette evolve with the various phases of Internet evolution and acceptance. I’d love to hear from all you experienced Tweetaholics and Twitterati out there! What’s your take on building your networks? What are YOUR rules of engagement?

I have a passion for all things tech, loyalty, marketing and future related. My day job involves leading loyalty and partnerships for an amazing portfolio of play I enjoy blogging, reading, experimenting with technology and learning new things. All published views on are personal - comment and contribute here or connect with me on Twitter @hotelemarketer

6 comments on “Online Social Etiquette and the price of connectivity

  1. I vote c. Following someone just so they follow you back is Twitter Trolling. I only follow people who have truly interesting content. I also unfollow people if their content is boring or they send out too many tweets.


  2. I would vote B.

    It’s pretty easy to “loose our mind” in this kind of platforms where there’s nothing more than a pc screen between 2 persons.

    It is not the right attitude to “advise” someone to follow himself… OTHERWISE… IF NOT…

    A tweet should be followed because of its interesting posts or opinions. Of course we all have examples of following someone just because they follow us. But this should not be the rule. This should be the exception.

    As Daniel wrote above, I try to “update” my following list every week. Unfollow and Block are often used by me.


  3. It is truly a tricky one, I am plagued with guilt at some of the people who have auto followed me, some of them twitterati, for reasons that can only be because I follow them (as if I would have anything of interest to say to the Twitter gods!) and yet I continue to be a twitter snob and only follow people who interest me…but then I remember that one of the BEST things about twitter is that it is not a permission based system.

    Anybody can follow or unfollow whomever they like for whatever reasons. This is one of the true bastions of a social space where we are coming to the table as equals mainly because of the relative anonymity due to lack of the physical interaction. The relationships build certainly, I am very attached to some people I have never ever met nor are likely to, but we are all in this together.

    People who are here for the buzz and interaction would not post such a tweet in my opinion. Sure I get excited to see my twitter follow increase, but not to the point that I would expect to bore the pants off people who are not interested in me. I’m here for the ride not to grow my ego.

    My thoughts? (b) arrogance & (c)misguided. How rude to demand to be followed and to threaten as well!! What do they hope to gain? Poo poo to that and follow whomever interests you and happy reading!

    By the way I am @ARTrox and if you don’t follow me I will post horrid spammy comments to your blogs….you have 1 chance left….


  4. Great comments guys… and thanks Nicky for sharing your lovely thoughts (love your writing style btw…and just for that, I’d be glad to hit that Follow button! ;))


  5. Hello

    I think there’s a distinction to be drawn between two-way befriending (as on Facebook) and one-way following (as on Twitter).

    The two-way system is primarily aimed at people wishing to recreate their real-life social network online. They might be justifiably aggrieved if their friendship request is turned down.

    However, the one-way system is a lot looser. By following someone, you are merely saying “I am interested in what you have to say.” No more, no less.

    In your specific instance, I have to plump for (b) Arrogance. If you search for “I am a travel tweeter” on Twitter you’ll see that you haven’t been singled out. Your correspondent seems to be taking a rather broad-brush approach to people who don’t follow him back!


  6. I vote for B or C. It’s either he has a haughty marketing approach or he’s just plain and simple arrogant. One thing about Twitter, or for any social networking site for that matter, is that it’s like a community in the real world. You approach and speak people in a tone to which everybody would understand.

    Be Genuine and Respectful. That has been my rules of engagement whether online or offline.


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