We can bookmark our favorite user's profiles in our browsers and see their latest answers, questions, or comments. For example, this link is the latest answers from Jon Skeet, sorted by newest first. There is a lot of information about people's activity in their profiles and it can be sorted by newest first, so it's not hard to navigate.
Turning ELL into a social network adds a whole bunch of stuff that is completely irrelevant to the main purpose of Stack Exchange in general and ELL in particular. I appreciate J.R.'s and StoneyB's answers too, but in the end Stack Exchange is about the content and the community, and not individual contributors. Adding a follower system detracts from the content of the site and puts the focus on the people and their relationships instead.
The first section of the tour says "Ask questions, get answers, no distractions" and a follower system that tracks someone's popularity (or lack thereof) is a distraction in my opinion.