Follow lying fallow

There’s always someone out there bewailing his meager Twitter following, and you can’t tell them that this is in fact the natural order of things:

[I]f you’ve noticed that you don’t have many Twitter followers of your own, it’s probably just due to the simple fact that you are following the people that everyone else in the world is following. The idea that your friends are (seemingly) more popular than you is known as the friendship paradox — a phenomenon observed by sociologist Scott L. Feld in the early ’90s — which claims that there is a greater chance that someone with more friends will be your friend than someone with fewer friends.

Similarly, the beach isn’t as crowded as you think it is.

A recent study published in the Plos One journal related this concept to social media and specifically Twitter followers, suggesting that the people you follow on Twitter are more likely to have more followers than you. This is because those people who you follow are socially active; their lives full of exciting activities that influence and inspire the general population.

And should you conclude that since you’re socially inactive, your life devoid of exciting activities that influence and inspire the general population — well, how surprised were you to hear that?


[I]t’s the real-life human interactions that truly count. Whether you have five friends or 50 or 500 is of little importance in the grand scheme of life.

And I am quite confident that my position in the 96th percentile of Twitter users is purely a factor of my spending entirely too much time on it.

1 comment

  1. JT »

    30 May 2016 · 11:10 pm

    I have a ridiculous number of Twitter followers, but I figure at least 80% of them are robot programs used to keep people interested in Twitter.

RSS feed for comments on this post