Why I will always be a #follower


In life there are clear leaders and followers and Twitter is no exception. It’s easy to tell who the cool Tweeters are. They’re the people with a gazillion followers who barely follow anyone in return. A kick-ass ratio tells everyone how important you are.

But I’ve decided that ratios be damned, even if I become a super famous author I don’t want to be like that because it’s not who I am. I’m not a snubber. I’m not a rejecter. I’m not a “You can’t come to my party because you aren’t cool enough to be invited.” I’m Jennifer Bardsley, wife, mother, writer, friend, and Christian, and that’s good enough for me. On Facebook I’m The YA Gal and on Twitter I’m @JennBardsley.

Plus, not to go all religious on you, but if I call myself a Christian how can I reject people? The motto of the United Methodist Church is “Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.” To me it seems very clear that my friendship should be open to anyone, except maybe the spammers or the people trying to sell me stuff I don’t want.

An author I really admire who also seems to follow this exact practice is Danielle Paige, the woman behind the thrilling Dorothy Must Die series. Take a look at her Twitter feed and you’ll see that she is not only incredibly generous in her follow-backs, but at the moment she follows more people than follow her:


Danielle doesn’t need to do that to sell books. She’s a NYT best-selling author with connections to the television industry. Plus, she’s a brilliant writer. I’d read her next book even if she wasn’t famous. This is a clear case of grace in action. What does it mean to have an open heart? Look no further than @daniellempaige.

But how can you keep your Twitter feed organized if you follow potentially thousands of people back? The trick is to organize the people you follow into lists. Here’s a great article on how to create a Twitter list, and the link to my own lists as an example:


Also, just because I’ve decided to do follow-backs that doesn’t mean I’m investing my social media attention into anyone. It’s really easy to unfollow people who don’t care about you using a service called ManageFlitter. They organize your account and let you unfollow 100 “unfolowers” a day for free.

So hey there, Tweeters. You’ll see by my ratio that I’m not one of the cool kids. But that’s okay, because I’d much rather be part of the nice crowd instead.

P.S. Looking for a great book? You gotta check out Dorothy Must Die!


  1. What a refreshing perspective. On this same vein, following is giving; so, not following is not giving. (Also, not following someone back is another way of saying, “I can’t learn anything from you, but you can learn from me.”) I will always be a follower because there is always something for me to learn. Thanks for sharing the tip about the list. And thank you for sharing this post.


  2. Jennifer, I love my Twitter lists and that’s how I stay engaged and connected to folks there with so many following/followers. If someone wants to follow me, I am willing to follow them back (if they are a real person!) 🙂 I often won’t follow folks who have a huge following and hardly follow anyone back – a real turn off for me (unless it’s a celebrity or rock star author of course!)


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