My name in numbers

I’m sitting in the car, in the driveway, scanning my newly created Twitter feed. I only joined a few days ago and already I’m smitten. Also, I’m feeling left out. It’s another social media circus where the aim feels like you post so that you are followed. When you have many followers you are deemed worthy; worthy enough that even strangers will follow you.

I am slowly learning the rules of Twitter and about re-tweeting. I follow people who are prolific re-tweeters. They are funny tweets, but I am just skimming. I’m not laughing aloud. Once every 15 posts I smile. There should be a limit to how much you can post, or re-tweet, in a day. Much like the time limits I impose on my kids’ computer usage per day, there could be a shut down after you have re-tweeted a daily quota. “Your allowable re-tweets have now reached capacity. Please wait til 5am tomorrow at which time you can tell us more about what someone else said.”

I don’t tweet much and I don’t really re-tweet. Still, I don’t want to be the person who loses followers. I will also not tweet what I ate for breakfast (same thing, every. day.). This seems like more of a Facebook thing. On Facebook and blogging I’ve found that being funny or resonating with a universal emotion is what gets you heard and read. I don’t feel funny, and you certainly can’t fake humour. I have emotions like everyone else. Actually, I probably have some to spare, but I don’t want to re-hash what someone else has felt. I can hear someone reading my post and thinking “That emotions already been taken!”


Humour and wit and the funny are entertaining, but further to that it’s numbers. It’s followers, it’s likes, it’s retweets. It’s my name in numbers. And I am losing sight of who I am because I am looking for numbers.

I have one post that has generated a lot of traffic for me, and by that I mean numbers. It’s about a fairly banal thing (coffee) so anyone who searches in Google likely gets my one post as a hit. People see my post, click on the link, and I’m not sure how much further things go than this.

I removed the post to write for me. It felt more honest this way. I’d rather than an audience of one, and have that someone interact with me and have a conversation. My stats were being falsely elevated and created the idea of interaction that I wasn’t feeling. I want my blog to inspire and be a part of a community. Having a lot of hits isn’t much of a conversation. Nor is it an audience I am interacting with.

I write because it helps me process my day and makes me think about what I think.  As an introvert having this outlet is good for me. I feel supported and inspired when someone comments on a post. Not everyone will agree, nor will everyone care, but it’s those of you who continue to read, to share, to contribute, that make this sometimes challenging process worthwhile. And for that, I keep going.


18 thoughts on “My name in numbers

  1. Loved this post. My favorite line was, “Please wait til 5am tomorrow at which time you can tell us more about what someone else said.” Also how elevated stats can create a false sense of interaction. Your blog is inspiring, and I’m happy to have found you here!

    • RFL,
      Thank you. Your comments are wonderful and I am also glad to have found you.
      Elevated stats mean nothing in terms of real community. I’m more of the few close friends (and lovely comments) thinking than a mass audience where I just scramble to satisfy someone.

  2. I draw the line at Twitter. Facebook and blogs are time consuming enough. The interesting thing is, my grown children rarely go on Facebook and neither one hardly ever reads my blogs. They say they are too busy having fun with their friends face-to-face than to read about what they ate for dinner. How did they get to be so smart and mom so dumb???

    • It’s a fine line. I joined to get more social media interaction on my blog, but then I’m also finding it so time consuming. I like that it’s available, but am not involving myself in it as so much. Blogging takes time, certainly. And FB I tend to skim.
      I think we are adding more and more ways to stay “connected” but (for me) I’m losing the connection.

  3. I write for the same reasons. I also write because I love the sense of community here, and I also like having that moment of, “What? You too?!” It feels very connected and special to have that kinship with someone who is a stranger.

    • Good point about kinship. We do tend to reach out more with blogging strangers and bond over even the littlest things. We can never ‘judge’ who will have the same experience as us but our words brings us closer.

  4. It’s crazy how it’s all about the numbers!!! My students are obsessed with Twitter (Facebook is a thing of the past), and they are all about how many followers they have. One of their favorite hastags is #followback. I tweet sometimes but I find that I have a hard time interacting with people via twitter.

    One thing that bothers me about Twitter is recently I was at a conference and practically every person who was sitting in the audience was on their phone or computer tweeting everything the speaker was saying. And then everybody would go and retweet. It was crazy! I tried to participate for a brief moment but it was information overload. I felt like we were missing everything the speaker was saying for the sake of tweeting. I did not like that at all.

    • I agree that Twitter seems like information overload. It’s like a personal chat between a bunch of people, but everyone is privy to it.
      And I get that people want to also share legitimate information, but at that conference, I bet that the people who were reading the tweets were other conference attendees! Kinda defeats the purpose of going, as you say, and listening in person.

  5. The thing I like about twitter is you can just scan what’s going on in the world without the pressure of saying anything. Sometimes I don’t post for weeks but I’ve been on everyday. (Insert interesting anecdote or funny joke here so you don’t sound like a twitter nerd.) And that’s all I have to say on the matter.

  6. I think I’m at about the same place, I have a twitter account as its a good way to get instant information, but the only things I tweet are my blog posts, mainly so my account doesn’t go dormant. I rarely use Facebook these days either, it’s just how I share photos with family and friends all over the world.

    Stats are designed to feed into our addictive personalities…. Luckily they are quite boring and after the first few weeks of excitement ‘you have 200 likes on your blog’ the thrill has worn off & I’m now much more interested in reading the blogs of people who visit my site than accumulating visitors. Like you I have noticed one particular post has generated a significant jump in ‘hits’ and inspired by what you have said about your ‘coffee’ post, I’m off to delete it

    Happy birthday again, lovely of L’Eric to introduce me to you xxx

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