Well first off, if I choose to follow anyone, it's because I like reading the things they write. If I gain a follower, I will look into them, read at least a few of their articles, and check out their hubtivity. Maybe just a day's worth.
See, when I got my first follower, I was so ecstatic! The first thing I wanted to do, was see who in the world, would want to follow me. As soon as his profile opened up, I saw the hubtivity. He had gone and chose to follow about 40 people in the two hours prior to me.
"His name", is now following T.Y._Hudson 2 minutes ago.
He also chose to follow two other people, "2 minutes ago" And 3 people, the minute prior to that.
It just kept going on and on. One big list of people he was following. Within a day his follower count jumped from 46, to well over 120. I can't say that it hurt me, but I definitely wasn't feeling ecstatic anymore.
I remember reading someone's hub the day I started, that was directed to gaining a good following and getting a good hubber score. It advised people to interact on forums, answer questions, and leave comments on peoples hubs. It described hubpages as a friendly community, where the members help each other out.
So when I saw what he was doing, I thought that it was just another one of those tactics people used to help each other out. I refused to follow him back, but it was mainly because I wasn't at all interested in the things he wrote.
As of writing this answer, I only have 7 followers. I would love to have a lot more, and I know that I could go "fishing" and probably nail a few down. But in being honest to myself, I want people to follow me because they really want to read the things I write, and not because they feel it's a kind gesture towards someone for following them first. I imagine that most people on here feel the same.
When it comes to me following one of my fans back, I ask myself, "Would I follow this person on my own, without them being my fan?" If the answer is yes, I will follow them back!