Most of us bloggers have it....the 'Followers' gadget on the side of our blog where people can click the 'Follow' button & then easily access our blog again. Or is that why?
I will admit that I love affirmation. Don't we all? But, some of us seem to need it more than others. I guess I fall into the 'need it more' category. And, that 'Followers' feature definitely feeds into that need for affirmation.
I have watched my 'Followers' slowly grow over the two years I've been blogging. I can still remember the surprise and elation I had the first time I saw I had a follower that I didn't know personally. How did a stranger find me? How exciting! And, they like me. They really like me.
My heart has jumped with joy each time I've seen a new follower has 'joined' my little corner of the blogging world. Eagerly I'd go to their site (if they had one) and usually I'd follow back (if you're reading this, and somehow I missed doing that for you, I'm sorry.)
And, every time I saw that I lost a follower...and oh I noticed!...my heart sank. What did I do wrong? Why don't they like my blog anymore? Am I boring? Too serious? Too fluffy? Not an appealing enough blog design? Not enough pictures? Too many pictures? Too much personal stuff? What?
To make matters worse for this affirmation-junkie I noticed other blogs, that I knew had started around the same time as mine, just explode in the area of followers and commenters. I tried not to let that bother me. I cherished each and every follower and commenter on my blog. AND, I feel like I've formed relationships with some of you. Like I KNOW I'd like you in person as much as I like you in blogland.
Here's the thing. Just last week I had a new follower join who brought my numbers up to 60. She was actually one of 3 who had just recently joined in the last couple months. Before that there had been no activity in that way for a very, very long time. I was so thrilled!
Then early this week, I noticed I was back down to 59. Somebody left? Oh no! Why? It brought me down, but I tried to remember that it really isn't personal. Probably they were just 'cleaning house' of blogs they don't really frequent.
Then today, I noticed the number had dropped, again, to 58. And, I kid you not when I tell you that my heart plummeted. I literally felt a physical pain & as though I was going to cry. I walked away from the computer depressed & unable to focus on what I needed to do in my house.
Writing all this down makes me feel like I'm being quite melodramatic here. But, I guess that's the point of this post. If it bothers me this much then perhaps I should do away with that feature. On the one hand, I enjoy discovering new blogs when I discover new followers. And, it lets me know there are people 'out there' reading what I have to say. But, on the other hand, if envy (of other blogs) & an unhealthy attachment to 'numbers' is going to effect me, then perhaps I should let that feature go.
I enjoy writing. I enjoy blogging. It's been a wonderful outlet for me. And, I enjoy forming friendships with other women who otherwise I'd never meet. And THAT is more important to me than numbers.
So, I leave it in your hands dear readers...what are your thoughts on 'Followers'?