We all know that actions speak louder than words and lately I’ve been feeling the brunt of this.
Living my life online is a weird one. I share so much of what our family does with you all and I love doing it, but it’s a very personal thing to do. This is me, the real me. I am not a page on a computer screen, I am a real person behind these words, a real person who feels just as keenly as you do. You may see the best pictures, the ones I want you to see, but I also like to think that I’m very honest and I hope that comes across. There is nothing that you see that is fake, this is me, this is us.
Imagine if as part of your job, everything you did was put online, scrutinised, criticised. It’s nerve wracking. I never know who has read what, who thinks what and who is talking about me behind my back, be that in a positive way or negative. And that’s in the ‘real’ world. With some posts I hesitate for a long time before pressing publish, worrying who will read them, what they will think, and more specifically what they will think of me.
Social media is my job. I know that it’s all a numbers game for bloggers. Instagram is where I feel this the most. People will follow you one day and unfollow you the next, hoping that in the meantime you will have followed them. They aren’t interested in engaging with me, they just want to increase their statistics. On one hand I get this, numbers are a part of the game. But it’s not a game that I want to play. I prefer followers that are interested in me and my content and haven’t just followed me because they were prompted to. This behaviour has been driving me mad for ages, but I know that it’s not personal. It does really upset some people though so be careful if you do this.
It’s when it gets personal that it really hurts. As social media is my job, I keep track of my followers and unfollowers on all my social platforms. Yes, there are apps that will give you all sorts of stats. I just look out of interest every now and again, to see how well I’m doing and what is going down well with my readers. Every now and then I’ll notice that a friend has unfriended me or someone I really like has decided to unfollow. That really hurts. Like a sucker punch to the gut if I’m honest. It’s like your friend in real life telling you that they aren’t interested in you anymore. It’s something that someone wouldn’t really say to your face, but online you can hit the unfriend button so easily.
So for the rest of the week I’m wondering what I did wrong. The usual things, am I not pretty enough, do I not have the right look? Maybe they don’t like my jokes or what I’m writing or perhaps I am just annoying them with my blog links? The thing is I’ll never know. If I bump into them no doubt we’ll make small talk, and there will be no mention of the social media uncoupling we’ve been through. They’ll think that maybe I haven’t noticed and I’ll secretly despise them for abandoning me in such a sly manner. The reality is that relationship is now over forever. From one easy click, a wall is built up and things will never be the same again. Which of course, is maybe exactly what they want anyway.
I know that I could unfollow them back, which is an urge that I have to fight against when this happens. It’s easy on Facebook, once one person severs the ties, that’s it. On Twitter for example, you could retaliate by unfollowing back, but then that would not only show them that you noticed they unfollowed, but that you care. I’d like to keep my dignity intact as far as I can so I won’t do that.
But here and now, just let me say, because I can – you unfollowed me and it hurt. Please mindful how you act online and don’t act in a way that you wouldn’t if you were face to face with someone. Bloggers might share our lives from behind a computer screen but we have feelings too.