The Auto-DM

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As most of you know, I suffered from a Twitter virus, and just recently took the big step to abandon all my followers, and start a new account.  Over a year of developing a name for myself on Twitter, and getting over 500 followers was a great achievement, so it was a huge step for me to start a new account. (If you thought you followed me @ctmichaels, check again, and follow @ctmichaels again) So when I started my new account, I just went into my old follower list and went through and started “re-following” people that I actually knew/enjoyed talking to.  Figuring people would be like, “Oh CTMichaels is following me, I need to follow again…” I just started going down the list. To my dismay, instead of followers, I was bombarded with private DMs.

I guess I never realized it when I was only following people once in a while and would get a private message.  I actually would feel special, like they really took the time to say to me “Thanks for the follow, looking forward to your tweets.” I’d always respond to them too! Gee, if you took the time out to DM me, I’ll take the time to DM you back!  I guess that I was a bit off, and am kind of embarrassed now. I even followed a reporter once and got an auto-DM, but didn’t know it was auto at the time. I was so excited, but it was all for nothing. Regardless, are we really that lazy that we need to auto message everyone?

On my first day of mass following, I got over 40 DMs, ranging from “Check out my blog” to “nice to tweet ya!” to “Thanks so much for the follow! Your (sic) going to love me!” It just got to be annoying at one point. Seeing the messages from the people I talked to almost every day on Twitter, didn’t really make me feel special.  Even someone who was an old colleague of mine, who I’ve been out to drinks with, auto-DM’d me.

Out of everyone I have talked to, I don’t think I have found anyone that supports the Auto-DM, so why do people do it?  The self promotion of some is annoying, but personally I feel that if you DM me it should be about a topic that shouldn’t be discussed out in the open. Like sex life, job interviews, flirting, etc.  The auto-DM’s interfere with my personal conversations.  If you can’t take the time to send me an actual message then why would I care to ever engage with you?

My reaction to ’em? Unfollow.

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  • jeffespo

    CT –
    Knowing your plight, it sucks that you got all of those Auto-DMs. To be honest when I get those, I immediately unfollow the person for two reasons. The first is that they don't care enough about making the connection. Your line hits the nail on the head and isn't over the top. The second reason I will unfollow folks with the auto-DM is that they are just looking to drive traffic to their site or make you laugh with something that they see as witty.

    Think about it this way you follow Chris Brogan, Jason Falls or C.C. Chapman, and none of them send out auto DMs. So why should you?

    So does this mean that by removing folks your tripl digit tally

  • I see right through those generic messages. I don't unfollow someone, though I do give their first few tweets the stinky eye.

    Does unfollowing people who use the auto-DM make a difference to them? Do they notice? And do they recognize that people are unfollowing them because of the auto-DM? I don't think so, otherwise it would not be occuring so much.

    What surprises me is that I get them from the most unsuspecting people – twitterers who I see engage in conversation about PR and social media. Those you would think know the rules. Baffling.