Hello dear reader(s)!
I want to let you know that I truly value each and every one of you. I am so happy that the thoughts I put out there have resonated with some people. I love it when I see a comment on something I write and I love reading your blogs. I’ve only been posting semi-consistently for a few months now, and am just thrilled with the response I have gotten. So, I love you, my dear reader(s)! You are truly dear to me.
Do you know who is not dear to me?
All of my followers.
Which is why I am expecting a big drop in that number over the next few days. And I am actually thrilled about that.
“But Josh. The more followers, the more people your posts reach!”
I beg to differ sir/madam. As of this morning, this blog-type-thing has a total of 280 followers. In any given day, the same 70-75 people visit my posts. At these numbers, it is pretty easy to tell who they are. That means I have roughly 210-205 (Oh my God, I just did math!) followers that never view my blog-type-thing. And that’s okay, because I’m not a blogger. Never have been, don’t want to be. Some of the people who follow me, but never visit, post things that are of interest to me and I will continue to follow, regardless of lack of reciprocation. Others however…
I’m not even sure how they found my blog-type-thing in the first place. Perhaps they just browse tags and hit follow on every post they come across in their reader? I am not an automatic re-follower. However, if someone’s posts are interesting enough to me, even if I disagree with their views, I usually follow them after checking out a couple of their posts. And that had been working out well, until…
We have the woman who absolutely hates other women. Her tone has completely changed since I started following. Anger and spite and nothing more. Everyday a couple of posts on the attack, using baseless arguments. Self-hatred projected onto every other woman who believes that women should not be treated as inferior beings. Where as before her arguments were that men and women are different and people should accept that (yes, I can see the point where generally men and women are different), it became men are better than women and women deserve to be treated as less. Then she goes off on people who identify as different genders than they may have physically been born. Nope. Not on my reader. I can tolerate different points of view, but I can’t tolerate intolerance. From Austin Powers, Goldmember: “There are only two things I can’t stand in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures…and the Dutch.” Just kidding Dutch people, it is an obvious joke.
Then we have the multitude of bloggers who, at the point I followed them, apparently hadn’t developed the theme for their blogs and would post on all kinds of topics of interest. Maybe somewhere along the way they became born-again, or maybe, like Creed, they realized if they became Christian bloggers there was a built-in audience. I suspect the latter. Don’t get me wrong, Christians; if you post about your religion here and there I have absolutely no problem continuing to follow you. If you want to post about it all of the time, I wish you the very best…but it is not for me, and you probably aren’t reading the things that I have to say either. If I wanted to read about your religion, all of the time…I’d just read the Bible…again. Especially if you choose to focus on Leviticus in your writing and not the teachings of the person your religion is named for.
The haters. I don’t care what you do to promote new bloggers, that doesn’t make up for your hatred of some of the people who you are helping to build their audience. I’m not offended, so in that you have failed, I just don’t care to read your negativity all of the time. When I first started following some of these people (I bet you thought I was talking about just one blogger, didn’t you? No, because he has spawned clones.) there would be something funny, or thought-provoking, or worthwhile reading, or something of value. But that doesn’t get as many views as the race-baiting, controversy for the sake of traffic type posts, does it?
The whiners. If someone needs to vent, I’m more than happy to listen. If someone wants to be critical…hell, welcome to my happy place. However, if someone posts every single post about how mean WordPress is and how awful their life is, and how they are not even attempting to do anything about it…I’m not interested. There is a big difference between complaining and whining. There is a huge difference between criticism and droning on and on about how terrible you think everything is. We all whine, we all complain. But every single solitary post, with nothing to add? Come on.
So, when and if they notice I am not among their followers, I expect my follower count to plummet. And I couldn’t be happier about that. Because I expect my views and my engagement to stay roughly level. It took me some time to recognize which numbers matter to me. Followers are not one of them. I am not a blogger. If you are, I wish you well. And I know I’ll still end up following a lot of people who don’t stop by, and I’m okay with that. I’m not looking to drop 200 blogs off of my reader.
And so I ask, why do you post? What numbers matter to you? Can you tell who is using you to increase their count, as opposed to who is one of your dear readers? (Notice the lack of parenthesis on the s, in your case.) Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.