6.21.2012

To Unfollow And Unfriend

Button by Farmgirl Paints

There I am popping onto the Internet, coffee cup sitting just to my right, on the desk. I am unsuspecting, and looking forward to checking in on my blog, my Google Friend Connect Reader for fresh posts on  blogs I follow and of course peeking in on  friends on Facebook. 

When I least expect it, I see the number staring back at me. It's down one. My stomach feels sick. 
I think to myself, it shouldn't bother you. It doesn't matter.

Yet, 
I feel rejected.

Distracted by a number.

My mind races as I consider the number of followers on other blogs.
I hate myself for thinking it.

It brings me right back to Junior High. 
I'm standing in the bathroom, brushing my hair...
hating the reflection staring back at me.
A fellow student walks up and says "You're hair is so pretty"
I feel sick and respond "Not really."
 I  explain how ugly it is, as if she has not seen clearly,
and she smiles leaving me standing alone with my own self-loathing.

It's silly, right?

I am an adult.
I have a life.
I've grown beyond this.
Haven't I?

One number makes me feel like I was sucker punched.

It's why I moved that GFC follow button to the bottom of my blog.
So that every time I looked at my blog I did not seek that
number to affirm me...
who has the ultimate affirmation in His Holiness.
Who has met His grace and believes in His believing in me.


Why do we seek our value in meaningless numbers?
The scale, a salary...followers? 


When He Himself has said..."I will never leave you or forsake you."
Who has also said, "be content with such things as you have."
Be content with what you have. Whatever it is.
Be content.
If we have Him, why would we seek other validation?
We are defined by His grace.
Beautiful. Lovely.
Set apart for His pleasure.
Followed, friend-ed.
Pursued by the one who approves us full well.
Who longs to be our friend,
even while we were unlovely, desperate, needy.
One who will never reject us,
Un-follow or un-friend us.
Because He is faithful.

I have come across a blogger and artist who has removed that badge 
of Approval Seeking madness, and invited others to do the same. 
Her name is Becky and her blog is called Farmgirl Paints.
She is "Follower Free".

So, how about you?

Do you have a love - hate relationship with the number of followers you have?
Do you struggle with Approval Addiction?


Could you be Follower free?

Why or why not?

I have been toying with this for awhile...
humor me.
Offer me some input!

Just sharing Becky's button since it is a beautiful place to visit:

Farmgirl Paints


Linking up with with Katie and Stacy, with this post today because
 it truly is what's on my heart- for better or worse! 

Write it girl



Linking up also with Emily who originally sent me
over to Becky and got me to pondering:





30 comments:

  1. This was a topic of discussion at a blogging conference I went to last Fall. I admit I don't really use the followers gadget...I never ever look at the feed of the blogs I have followed. If I like a blog, I just bookmark it. As for my visitors...I know quite a few of my commentors aren't followers. It's the daily visitor lists that could get me if I let them, but I probably won't delete them...I'm too nosey and like to see where people are popping in from. I don't really care about the numbers that much.

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    Replies
    1. Hmmm, appreciate your comment as always Stacy.
      I like the gadget that tells me the different places people visit from- that's a whole other thing. But whether Facebook, twitter, pinterest, instagram- or anyway we find ourselves falling into the comparison trap. I think there is a subtle potential or tendency to look at numbers and correlate it to something ...else.

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  2. I have yet to lose blog followers but I know all too well becoming a follower does not mean engagement or even viewership.

    I lost someone on my FB that I know got frustrated with my stances on issues she holds dear. That was tragic to me.

    G+ & Twitter people come and go. I do not worry about it because I add and delete freely as well.

    Maybe the lack of intense engagement lessons the blow. If someone I was really focused on suddenly disappeared that might be sad.

    Numbers fluctuating by themselves seem more like wind and wave.

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    Replies
    1. Good point...nice analogy: wind and wave! lol.

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  3. I think losing people on social media just happens. I used to take it personally but I don't anymore. I used to stalk my numbers but I don't anymore. I think people come and go, and sometimes, they even come back.

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    Replies
    1. Melissa, you are right of course. I know this. Thanks for your input!

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  4. Dawn, I love this post! I used to think this way and sometimes I still struggle with FB numbers. I don't pay attention to Twitter and I don't think I've ever lost GFC, but somehow those FB #'s always bothered me. I had to realize that most of what I was writing was for me and people come and go. It's not personal. People will often "like" something for a giveaway and then "unlike" later. Now, I realize that I have so much more going on than my Klout score or FB numbers :) It took time though and I have to admit that it would be better if I could somehow hide the numbers (including the number of hits to the posts each day). Thanks for sharing!!

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  5. You know, I've thought about posting about this topic, for I've struggled with it too. I always wonder when I lose a follower. Did I offend? Am I not sharing good content? It's gotten better, but it still nags at me a bit. I always mentally review why I don't reciprocate for some followers - it's in another language and even with translation it doesn't make sense, I can't embrace the message, etc. Thank you for your encouragement. :)

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  6. Taking those numbers as gospel that say how important we are is so tempting, but such a bad idea. Thanks for the reminder of how important it is to focus on what truly matters.

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  7. I have struggles with this off and on. I have only been b
    Offing for about 6 months and from what. I have read, it is pretty normal. We put our hearts out there and then hope to be 'liked'. I have found that keeping my focus on my purpose in blogging - to encourage women and give glory to God - that I can let the outward appearances of my blog go. Give it all to Him and let Him provide the increase. Blessings to you today!

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  8. Sorry my comment is posted as my husband! My name is Marianne and I blog over at Abundant Life. Http://abundant-life.me. Having a lot of trouble commenting today for some reason!

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  9. Awesome post, Dawn! So funny you should write on this topic - I've had a similar post floating about my mind. A little bit different scenario. Same conclusion - I'm an approval addict.

    Look forward to your next post. God bless!

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  10. LOVE THIS SO MUCH, Dawn! I can SO relate, it's not even funny. I've had the same experience, here in cyberspace. Worse in high school AND grammar school. Ugh. I will even publically admit that once, after finding I was down 4 'friends' on facebook, I frantically scrolled through THE ENTIRE LIST, trying to figure out the WHO and the WHY. Why would they unfriend me? Did I offend someone? Still too nerdy, positive and/or perky for some folks? Wondering why I'm wasting my time seeking validation from meaningless numbers, hoping for a plethora of happy, clappy comments on a facebook post, waiting for my minutia of blog followers to grow. Approval addiction. People pleasing. Those are signs I could hold up to describe me at times. Thanks for this post, Dawn. Lots to mull over and decide here.

    I love you!
    Pam

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  11. I am a new blogger and have to DAILY remind myself that it's not about followers! However, knowing that some of the goals I want to accomplish require followers, I find myself thinking about it. I don't have a follower counter on my blog (more because I'm embarrassed by the small number than to be follower free!) so I have to intentionally go check it. Which I limit to once a day. And sometimes I forget.

    Mary Beth
    newlifesteward.com

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  12. Oh how I love your heart....
    When I first started blogging (Last November)I had told God this would be an issue with me. That I didn't want to blog because I could easily get wrapped up in the numbers. I felt Him asking me to pick a number to strive for. Just one. And He promised to meet it. I of course picked a small number due to my lack of faith. He met it within the first two weeks. And I've had no excuse to look at the number anymore. God's shown me He loves me! I just need to work on my faith ;)

    That being said. I'm on wordpress, so we don't have the GFC option anymore. But I don't post my email follower count like I could. I don't even look at it. I wish I could find a way to not post Facebook count, but I haven't figured it out yet!

    Whatever you decide, Dawn, I'm proud of you. For looking to Him to place value. For writing for Him...

    (and I can't believe my blogger prayer project is over! I'm going through a mourning period I think! I plan on continuing it on some level...haven't figured out what yet.)

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  13. I wouldn't take it personally if I were you. Some people just can't keep up with everything and have to cut corners somewhere...I find that many of my "followers" really don't follow at all, and God is bringing new people into my blog life every day that seemed to be truly interested, more than the ones I thought "should be" or "could be"! The important thing is...keep writing what is on your heart. God will bring the people to you who need the encouragement you offer. I have been blessed by your open spirit and words cheering me on when I feel a little weak!!! Keep on smiling and blogging! We all love you!!

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    1. http://pamelasopenwindow.blogspot.com/2010/08/friends-are-friends-forever.html I wrote this post back in 2010 when I had been "de-friended" by a facebook friend for the first time...we just have to keep things in perspective...and count the true friends as real treasures!

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    2. Great post , Pam- thanks for sharing...yes- the facebook thing hurts especially when it is fellow Christians/church members! I expect it from those who do not agree with me BUT actually I have found them to have more tolerance at times.

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  14. Loved it. I read some good guidance on what should (and shouldn't be) on your blog, and as a result, I removed my page count. It was a challenge for me, but I appreciate your perspective. When my numbers change (and they do), I try to take myself back to the reasons I write...to work out my relationship with My Creator, my family, understanding my place in the Universe, my purpose, and then, once again, I am clear.
    Great post. Thank you for sharing. So glad I linked up with WriteItGirl.
    Peace and good to you.

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  15. Dawn, I feel exactly the same way. I tell myself all of the right things, but deep down inside it still gets to me. I'm just going to keep telling myself His truth, and trust that the Lord will put my feelings in the right place as well. Thanks for this. It blessed me.

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  16. The numbers do not really bother me either way. I had a blog before this one that was way bigger than RCL is now and it makes little difference in how or what I write.
    At the same time, I love knowing how many are reading me, good motivation to keep going even though only about a dozen ever comment.

    You could eliminate the comment app also, that's what Ann Voskamp does. But I know you well enough to know that you totally love feedback and the interconnection of blogging.

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  17. Dawn, this is such an important post to remember especially in the blogging world. I go back and forth with being concerned about the numbers. Right now I'm doing o.k. with it, but it is something I have to be intentional about. I'm visiting from #WriteItGirl. :-)

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  18. Nice article, Dawn. Excellent points. I have the widget from my blog's Facebook fan page on my blog, but I don't have a blog followers gadget. Maybe I'll bypass getting one. We'll see... :-)

    I think I tend to take it more personally if I notice that someone has dropped me as a Facebook friend, vs. not following my blog or fan page.

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  19. Oh, I just love Becky. She has a beautiful site - and you do, too! I've toyed with the idea of going follower-free myself. I just haven't because I don't go into Google Reader enough to notice the numbers. It's not that I don't feel sucker punched when they go down; I do. I just avoid looking, I suppose. You've given me something good to think about here. So glad I visited.

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  20. i get this. i notice and can care. we write in the forums to get our words out there even just a tiny bit, so it can be hard for me when i feel someone is making the active choice to no longer hear mine... i love that you opened up this conversation. good for you for following your heart.

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  21. great post and I struggle with the same thing... it's so easy to fall into the comparison trap. thanks for your honesty!

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  22. This is so good...it brings up some challenges we all face. The want for an audience, the need for community and the human desire for approval. I blogged about this as well: http://strawberryroan.blogspot.ca/2012/02/audience-of-one.html

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  23. i struggle with numbers too. this is why i too am follower free. i wish i could get rid of all numbers, but then again, i don't want to live in fear of them either. sigh. it's such a fine line. i derived so much encouragement from this piece tonight, friend. thank you.

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  24. oh girl i STILL struggle with this even though it's not on my page anymore. hate that blogger has numbers anywhere...even numbering comments. grrrrr. it's so silly to feel bad but i think we all struggle with it. just know you are not alone. thanks so much for the shout out:)

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  25. I've not had counters on my blog for awhile ... but NOW that I would like to join Book Sneeze ... They want to see if one has at least 30 followers.

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walk along the shore with me and leave your footprints in the sand-
I'm listening, friend...in November I will not be replying so often, but instead slip quietly over to your place for a visit. ;)