Dear Internet Popularity,
Pre facebook, twitter and blog stats etc, there wasn’t really a quantifiable way to measure your popularity. I mean sure you could have conducted surveys amongst your friends, and spent hours analysing the results but we both know that would have ultimately caused your
popularity stock to fall, (and you be written off as some kind of desperately needy weirdo!) but now thanks to the Internet we have endless ways to measure how popular we are- I think there is even something called Klout which measures your Internet clout rating. Seriously!?
I suspect dear Internet popularity you are like a drug, a hit of an RT, a decent blogpost stat, someone #ff’s you and you get such a buzz that you crave more and more.
Certainly found that this week with this blog getting named Mumsnet Blog Of The Week, a letter of mine getting some major RT’s and being read by over a thousand people and suddenly people are reading my rambling letters and enjoying them, and I’m starting to feel that buzz of addiction. To be quite honest this scares me.
I have several blog and twitter accounts, some professional some
personal which I have messed about with alot in the past year. Until recently I had a locked account where I blocked 90% of my followers to leave me with a happy safe bunch of trusted follower friends, but annoyingly twitter won’t let you interact with other people outside
your locked account and this can get frustrating when interesting things are being discussed, so I now have another public account which I am mostly rambling from now as well as starting this blog.
But already I’m worrying a bit about how it makes me feel- it sometimes can seem so calculating, I don’t want to be writing outrageous things just to boost my blog stats or follower numbers, I just want to write down the rambly stuff in my head and have a giggle and maybe save my sanity while doing it (my twitter feed is mostly rambling about the lack of sleep or how Omble is a boobmonster! – I even bore myself.)
I didn’t have this sense of trepidation about my locked twitter account- that was genuinely fun and friendship even if you did have to miss out on some
of the cool discussions. Didn’t feel like this about my old personal blog as it was a niche issue and a journey of healing for me, so I couldn’t give a fuck who read it but I was really pleased when it seemed to help some people who had gone through similar, likewise my professional blog is pretty niche but that has really helped me get work (and I adore my work so blogging there is a none issue) but for some reason this blog and my unlocked twitter is different.
I don’t want it to be different. I started this blog because I genuinely love writing letters to people and I recently lost someone I wrote to an awful lot so this was kinda started to fill that void, but already I can feel myself getting a bit antsy about my Internet popularity now I have re-emerged with a public account (popularity currently marginally above a recently appeared spambot )
I love writing but I don’t think I am particularly good at it, there are far far more talented writers out there writing far superior blogs about things that really matter. I write the way I think and speak so it’s usually a stream of consciousness drivel, but the thing is some people are enjoying what I write (thankyou!) and it’s such a lovely self esteem confidence boost that I am already starting to feel a bit addicted to that buzz.
And that really scares me, after all if you start to measure your sense of self worth and “popularity” via your (lovely) twitter followers and blog stats instead of your real world life, then what does that say about you? It worries me how easily the Internet can become your “real world” and then what happens to your actual real world life?
But then I’m a stuck at home mum of two (thanks to chicken pox), who is bored out of my brain
a lot of the time (only so much cbeebies a woman can take) and the Internet offers an escape, a chance to connect with people going through similar, a chance to engage with brilliant funny adults without getting dressed or brushing your hair.
So I don’t know what to do for the best?
A) Make more effort with the real world and step back from the net?
B) Continue with my rambly nonsense letters but make sure I write them
for me not my “Klout”, or
C) just go hell for leather with the self promotion shit but ultimately end up feeling shit and rejected that I am still only marginally more popular than a spambot who happens to have a picture of their breasts or arse as an avatar?
I think A or B are the best options but I have a horrible feeling the addiction to the buzz of Internet popularity means C maybe a route I end up falling down when I really really don’t want to be that person.
What do you advise I do for the best?
*steps away from the Internet
for about 5 minutes til I get sucked back in while I consider my options*
P.S and now I have the dilemma of whether to publish this blasted letter via twitter or not! (never Facebook- as if I want my RL friends to know my innermost thoughts!? that’s a privilege solely reserved for strangers from the interweb )