Huh. So you can. I didn't know that.You can also see who's following you and who you're following under the "About" tab of your own profile page.
So I tried it.
On my home forum, using that "about" tab, I now see I'm following two people (I have no memory of doing that - fumblefingers on my part possibly), but if I pull up the list in my account settings, it says I"m not following anyone.
And I've noticed no changes whatsoever in my day-to-day experience on the forum. None.
Which brings it back full circle to the original question. What does following someone actually do, besides putting them on a list of people you're following?