There’s an issue that’s been coming up lately. Not only did it come up on a radio show I was doing the other day, but this is turning into the proverbial “if I had a dollar for everyone who asked me this, I’d be writing this from the Bahamas” issue.

Twitter users are fed up with the auto responses they’re being deluged with from people they’ve just met. And, frankly, I am too. And the question I’m being asked is “Why are they doing this?”

So, here’s the skinny on the why: Even though a site like Twitter may be the closest thing to a face-to-face contact on the internet, the interaction still lacks a physical presence. No eye contact. No voice. No body language. For a lot of people, that lack of a body puts a dent in or actually removes their social etiquette. (I didn’t say it was right, this is only an explanation of “why.”)

Add to that the current economy, bad business advice, and the hype from media and sales programs (Make Money While You Sleep! Get Rich Quick!). People who are feeling financially desperate buy into the hype easily. And when you translate that hype and those programs to social media, once again the filter required for social appropriateness disappears. So perfectly nice people turn into perfectly not-so-nice jerks – fast.

It also doesn’t help that: 1) many of these ‘get rich quick’ schemes that target using social media sell the lack of connection via number generators and auto responders as part of the package. 2) many people in the twitterverse who normally do know better are using these practices simply because they believe there’s an opportunity to make money by using them. And 3) people don’t vet the so-called experts they’re learning from and, therefore, are modeling inappropriate behavior.

So, if you’re being annoyed – that’s the basics of why they’re doing it. If you’re reading this and you’re a guilty party – you may want to reconsider doing what you’re doing. And if knowing that you’re annoying people isn’t enough to make you stop, consider this: the very tactics and behaviors that you think you’re using to gain potential clients are actually turning them off – big time!

That’s the why. But I came up with another question: Why are we getting so upset about this? Aren’t the auto responders just another version of junk mail and telemarketing phone calls? You think? They’re not.

In the meantime, anybody up for a “Do Not Spam” registry for twitter or a “Stop The Spam Tuesday”?