Thanks, But No Thanks: The Vicious Cycle of Social Media Reciprocation

Are your social media feeds starting to sound like a broken record to you? You’re not alone. Part of the problem with social media is the constant need people feel to reciprocate and thank others for every exchange. It’s not anyone’s fault, really, as our society encourages this reaction from us while growing up. Remember when you were a kid and someone did something nice for you? You better have thanked them or you could expect to catch an earful about proper manners from your mother. But today, all these thank you’s, retweets of appreciation, and calls-to-action for more friends just clog our social media streams and threaten to choke the very system we have to be thankful for. You know what I’m speaking of:

If you like my page, I’ll like yours.
Follow me on Twitter, and I’ll follow you back.
Thanks @DudeICouldCareLessAbout for sharing my new blog post at

It’s as if we’ve gone from a superficial society where we used to measure our worth by the size of our wallets to a society where we measure our worth by the size of our social media following.

what you really sound like on Facebookvia The Oatmeal

We commend Twitter for recently changing its API to ban the practice of automatically following people and seeking to cut out other aggressive following patterns. Now, if someone follows you on Twitter that person is more likely to be a human than a bot, like before. But it’s just not enough yet: the reciprocation nightmare continues. Just remember, you have the power to drive change here. The next time someone favorites your post or retweets you, spare your followers the regurgitated thank you. Your silence now can go a long way toward a clutter-free and meaningful social media future.

follower problemsvia The PC Weenies
And you can go ahead and follow us on Twitter if you please, but by no means should you expect us to follow you back – unless you tweet interesting content, that is. You have to earn your keep around these parts. 🙂



Daniel Zeevi

By Daniel Zeevi

Daniel is a social network architect, web developer, infographic designer, writer, speaker and founder of DashBurst. Full-time futurist and part-time content curator, always on the hunt for disruptive new technology, creative art and web humor.

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