I’m finding myself mildly amused by the game of social media. I like to have a place to share my writing (and random thoughts like this one) as much as the next person, but I’m not interested in wasting hours and days obsessing over the expansion of my online ‘presence’ i.e., number of followers. I’d rather spend that time writing, or doing one of a million other things.
Now, I’m still a newbie writer with all the insecurities and want of reinforcement that entails. I won’t pretend I don’t get a little spark of happy in my brain whenever I get a new follower on twitter or wordpress. If I didn’t, the game never would have come to my attention.
Every once in a while, I’ll get a new follower on twitter. Fine, great, yay! Most of the time, if I notice I have a new follower (and I’ll admit I usually do), I will check out their profile (and website if there’s a link). If they catch my interest, I’ll follow them too. If they don’t, I won’t. And I wouldn’t expect someone to be interested in my work just because I’m interested in theirs either.
From time to time, I’ve noticed my new follower (often a fledgling writer like me) quickly vanishes. Occasionally, I’ll follow someone for a while then lose interest or change my mind and unfollow. It happens. What I find funny is when this new follower disappears after a day or two–when I haven’t followed them in return.
I’ve even seen the same follower come and go more than once. Like, ‘maybe she just didn’t notice me last time, and this time she’ll follow me back.’
I probably did notice last time. If I didn’t follow then, odds are, I won’t now. I’m not being mean, just honest.
At the time I’m writing this, I have 78 followers on twitter (yesterday it was 79…) and 120 on wordpress. Of course, I would love it if there were a couple of extra zeros on the ends of those numbers. But only if people are truly interested in me/my writing. Otherwise, what’s the point? I really don’t get it. I’ve actually had new followers send PMs like ‘hey if you follow me, I can get you more followers’ (can you say ‘spam’?). What for? So it’ll look like I have an audience when I don’t?
Why have 10 000 followers if only 100 of them ever read what I post? Fat lot of good that’ll do me when I (hopefully, maybe, someday) publish a book I want people to go out and by.
And here’s the thing. My main interest in social media–wordpress and twitter in particular–aside from sharing my own work, is the ability to follow people and subjects (many of which have nothing to do with writing) that interest me. And I’ve learned that to get the most out of this I can’t just follow anything and everything. If I do, the posts and tweets I really want to see will disappear in the noise.
Sorry if that goes against someone’s tit-for-tat philosophy. On the other hand, if the only reason you’re following me is to get more followers yourself. Don’t bother.
Of course, I hope you really are interested. In which case follow away 😉