Follow

When I hit follow, I mean it.

Many WordPress users follow blogs simply to get a follow back. To boost their numbers. I understand this. Because it happens to me so infrequently, getting a follower is like a small hit of crack. A rush.

Topping a milestone, 100, 200, etc, is something more. But I don’t really know what because it’s only happened to me once. A few months ago, I bypassed one hundred followers. And I’m now one away from two hundred.

I won’t trade for follows. I don’t want my reader filled with unreadable content. For the most part, I don’t want to read about travel or makeup or restaurants in a city I’m not planning to visit. I don’t want to read about books I’ll never read. Or movies I’m not going to watch.

I want to read about people. I want to read about goals, dreams, fears, foibles and achievements. I want to read about you. I want to read about real people blossoming and withering. Growing and shriveling. Experiencing life… and death.

I want to read dissent, opinion and point of view. But I don’t want to read about hate. Hate is for Facebook.

Today I unfollowed my first blog. A post offended me. It left me feeling dirty, stained, and wondering why—why would I voluntarily read something that is counter to my beliefs. It didn’t leave me feeling educated. It wasn’t challenging, just mean.

I’m not afraid of ugly. Many of the poets I follow paint a picture of the world that is black and red. Not beautiful, but a slap in the face. Screaming wake up. In their posts there is no hate, just truth.

Hate is for Facebook.

380 thoughts on “Follow

      • Lizzy parked by the roadside, opposite her daughter school. She switched off her phone so that Rob wouldn’t call her. Rob was the principal of her daughter’s school (Hunter junior high). He had seen her once as he entered his car, about and was taking a call, when he saw this yellow Chevrolet car drove pass him, and parked in front. She went over to her daughter who sat on a long seat, waiting for her mum. Rob saw her snap at the girl, and watched the girl grudgingly enter the car.  Rob came down from his car to talk to her, but she didn’t respond. Instead she strapped her daughter on the seat belt. He kept calling the lady, but she didn’t respond, instead she entered her car. As Rob came by her window, she Zoomed off with speed.

        Rob got her number from her daughter. The first time he called her, she sounded polite. So Rob now believed that she must have really had a bad day the day before, when he first met her, but as soon as he described himself, reminding her about the guy she was rude to when she came to pick her daughter, she ended the call on him and never picked his call again. He kept trying her line for weeks. It’d ring when he called the first time, but she won’t pick his call, and if he call again, she would busy his call till he gave up calling her.

        Lizzy kept looking out, hiding her face so that Rob wouldn’t see her. She didn’t remember the guy’s face, but the guy had been a pain in the butt. He did call everyday, giving her 20 missed call, and sending her numerous text messages which she never replied.

        She had reported the guy to the cops, and had given them his number and his name. She thought that it was all over, till he called her later that evening. Lizzy for the first time had a conversation with him and when she asked him if he had been visited by the cops and he replied no, she gnashed her teeth in disgust, and ended the call on him straightaway. He called back few more times, but she didn’t pick.

        Lizzy was angry as people kept bumping into her. First it was a boy probably 9 years old who was running and bumped into her, and had in the process, stained her white pants. The stain was brownish. He didn’t stop by, but kept on running and this angered Lizzy. She knew he didn’t know what he had done, yet she felt he did it did it deliberately. 

        Also as she walked upstairs, people kept bumping into her. The crowd on the stairs was quite large. Someone had spat out a chewed gum, and it landed on Lizzy’s shirt. She was very upset, and felt like beating the crap out of everyone. 

        She finally came out from the stairs, turning right, she headed towards her daughter’s class. She passed the principal’s office, and a man who was talking to a lady was starring at her. His eyes followed her, till she she turned left. Lizzy didn’t notice him. All she wanted was to get the hell out of the school.

        As she stood by the window of her daughter’s class, she saw Ibrahim, a Moslem boy, sitting very close to her daughter. Her daughter was by the window, while he sat next to her. On seeing the boy, she gnashed her teeth. Lizzy did all she could to stop her daughter from seeing the Ibrahim. She’d ground her, and even openly warned her against seeing the boy, but Mia, her daughter wouldn’t listen. Even if Lizzy grounds her, Mia would sneak out of the house through the window, and Lizzy never knew about this as her daughter would sneak back inside the house at a certain time when she knew her mum would be back home.

        Lizzy looked as Ibrahim stood up to answer a question. On seeing him, she got furious. Who was he to be talking ?? Didn’t he know that he doesn’t belong here? How could they let him in ?? A boy whose father had shot down an American  Air-plane that was heading to London.

        A tear trickled down Lizzy’s eyes as she remembered the plane which was shot down. Her husband was on that plane. He had gone to London to visit his sick mother. He wanted her and Mia to come with him, but Mia was still in school, and Lizzy had to stay back to look after their daughter. Lizzy always fret when she remember how  she and her daughter were close to death.

        Lizzy got to know about the shoot down of the plane while watching CNN that day, and few weeks later , she saw on news that the shooter had been killed in a gun fight with the police. On seeing the name of the shooter, she found out that it was Ibrahim’s father. She knew him because he lived on the same street as them. Ever since then, she resolved killing Ibrahim and his mother and any other Moslem she could find, but Ibrahim and his mother had moved out of the house, and she didn’t see them since then.

        Lizzy drew out the gun that was in her bag. Lizzy resolved in her heart that Moslem weren’t worth being alive. They needed to be eliminated at their early stage before they grew up to be terrorist, breeding destruction on others.

        Lizzy pointed the gun towards Ibrahim’s direction as she bent down. She took in a deep breath, before she shot the gun. It happened so fast. Lizzy couldn’t tell what happened next, but by the time she  recovered herself, she saw Ibrahim  still standing  at the same spot , looking at a corpse. Lizzy knew it was her daughter. She’d heard her daughter’s name, people kept calling her name in despair.

        Lizzy saw the class teacher peep from the class room door. Lizzy could hear the cops coming by, and Lizzy looked at the class teacher who saw her turn the gun on herself.

        Liked by 3 people

  1. Again, well said. I follow a lot of blogs I don’t read bc one or two posts interested me — the personal ones, like you said. But then I realize the majority of other posts is impersonal stuff, still interesting to someone of course, but it’s much more enjoyable to get to know real people. Also, I’ve been in a blogging rut for a few months now but your use of the prompts is inspiring. Going to have to follow your lead!

    Liked by 13 people

    • I think it would be hard to blog through all the changes you’re making. Part of me says “oh, so much material”, but then the realist says “wow, she’s got a lot going on”. My guess isn’t so much a rut, but looking for your new normal.

      Liked by 7 people

  2. I follow bloggers in the same way. I rarely unfollow because I go through multiple posts of theirs before deciding I want them on my reader. The only unfollow I’ve had to use was a gentleman who changed his blog from introspective and interesting to asking for money MULTIPLE times per day. It was outrageous.

    Liked by 13 people

    • I’m new to this blogging thing. I’m in love with it though. The interaction and sometimes collaboration that comes from it feed my soul. I genuinely love it. Thanks for sharing. Following to me is like anything else. I’ll try it on for size. If it fits and I’m touched somehow by the “feel” of it, then I’ll stick around. I don’t see anything wrong if you don’t want to follow someone any longer. We’re all here for different reasons. Sharing it seems to me is the core of it all.

      Anyway… Thanks for this. I’m following because I like your train of thought. Don’t follow me unless you really want to. I’m full of fiction in my head. Not everyone likes that fluff. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      • I like fiction. After the dust settles from this Discover thing, I’ll spend some time on your blog looking around. The few tries I’ve made at fiction have been fairly sophmoric.

        Like

  3. I really enjoy to read you, explaining this point of vieux, regarding followers, my understanding is also to know more about people … With blogging you can reach or catch people all around the world, this is amazing even when you only share recipes you like, coffee cups or more other findings of the net. Followers can become relationship too.

    Liked by 8 people

  4. Yeah, many a people mention in their blogs follow for follow, its quite disgusting, this is not how it works, you need to write so good that people check out your blog because they like reading you, honesty this is a bold and honest post, I really liked it I put myself down if I do a follow for follow mess, in my case I read random unknown blogs and I comment too but I follow only if I find it worth it. Great post!👍👏

    Liked by 11 people

  5. If I get a follow I will check out that blog but most of the time do not follow unless I really like the content and would like to be reading more of it everyday. Since my blog is aimed at a niche market ( horse riders/owners/ lovers) I am amused when I’m followed by a heavy goods transport company from inner Mongolia! I enjoyed your post and could definitely relate!

    Liked by 8 people

  6. You said it! I started a blog to connect with other people. Living in a small town in the middle of nowhere you don’t find many relatable people or people who are just fascinating and inspiring.

    Liked by 7 people

    • I, too, live in a small town in the middle of nowhere… that’s why I need to write about following instead of real stuff. I Love connecting with people from all over the world. I now have people I consider friends on several continents.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I just started my blog two days ago I really enjoyed this post. I to would want people to follow me because I entertained them or could shine light and help them. Mass followers that mean nothing to me seem like attention or getting lost on why you started it.

    Liked by 8 people

  8. “For the most part, I don’t want to read about travel or makeup or restaurants in a city I’m not planning to visit. I don’t want to read about books I’ll never read. Or movies I’m not going to watch.” How very true.
    I agree with you 100%. I don’t have hoards of followers, but I do follow back. I un-followed someone who quoted NASA and Apple in the same post because that is a bit too much lying corporate nonsense for me.
    I write about things that I’m passionate about or that really turns the gears in my brain. I won’t ever write about my daily goings on- I know it works well for some but that’s not why I started blogging. I like reading blogs that make me go, oh my god – I never thought of that/think exactly that/I’m going to research that.
    So needless to say, I’m following.

    Liked by 10 people

  9. Very truly said, I also believe in that, following just to increase your number is not fair for that you have other well known , popular social sites. WordPress is to share your opinions, ideas, life and have worthy discussions with genuine people out there. I am too interested in doing what you have so vividly mentioned in your post. A honest and genuine post, love it. 👍👍

    Liked by 10 people

  10. I would follow a WordPress blogger who shares my interest(s) such as dating, women, culture, traveling, or self-improvement.

    For my blog, I am a follower of it. I love what I discuss. I cannot wait to write and read my own blog posts in the future.

    Liked by 9 people

  11. I agree; my journey began yesterday, for blogging and for healing. If I focused on wanting more followers then my material might not be as raw and authentic. I am here to be brave and face my demons to ultimately show others that a little bit of hope and faith in the light can completely change a life.

    Liked by 10 people

  12. My basic principle with any form of social media is to only follow if I am interested in the person/blog/cause etc. If for example, someone follows me on Twitter and I see that they are following tens of thousands of people I know that they’re not interested in me at all. It’s impossible to respond to so many posts. The same is true with blogs. Select a few that you are interested in and know you will have time to interact with them.

    I will also use search in WordPress Reader and find topics that I like which might result in me following the blog but certainly where I can I will leave a comment.

    An excellent post.

    Liked by 8 people

  13. Excellent post! I wrote a post about supercial likes today. I was going to mention follows too, but I wanted the article to be about one thing.
    I follow a lot of people though. I think this is because I enjoy reading about anything and everything. Travel to make up to food to life. My favourite things to read about are realistic and inspiring stuff. I’ve noticed a lot of people just follow me and then they just disappear. However, I just swat it away and think. Oh well! Atleast my posts appear in their reader incase they want to read it. I don’t complain because the more people my posts go out to, the more people who tend to notice and stick by. I’m assuming that makes sense. Cheers!

    Liked by 7 people

  14. I follow to read not to gain followers, in my situation I also hate people sending message from my contact page in my website that says “please follow back” it is so irritating because I thought I recieved an important email but no it’s just a nonsense mail from user that needs many followers. It’s a great post i love it

    Liked by 6 people

  15. This is so accurate. I just started my blog a few days back and like any other beginner i was following back every one who followed me or paid the slightest bit of attention. Haha, yes you’re right for most part, but this is something most beginner’s have to do to be noticeable.

    Liked by 6 people

  16. I feel the same way! I’m not looking for followers or arguments. Right now I’m in a unique situation and I want to share my story because well it’s unique! Thanks for keeping it real!

    Liked by 7 people

  17. I very much agree with you, and sometimes, you see your notifications flooded with likes on your post and you know there’s no possible way they read all so fast, then they follow you. I’ve noticed in the while I’ve been blogging. When they do that, you check their content and it’s not something that interests you so you don’t follow, in a few hours, they unfollow you, and you know they did all that for a follow back.

    Liked by 7 people

  18. I understand what you mean. I have between 100-200 followers the last time I looked. I spend time each day visiting the links and reading stories and such. But it has lead me to wonder how people with 1000’s of followers maintain their site? Or once they get up to an unmanageable number they simply let it go to grown on its own? I dunno. But I try to keep my web posting stories fairly short so the people who visit me will have the time to read at least one.

    Liked by 6 people

    • This is an interesting comment. When I heard I was going to be featured on Discover, my 2nd thought was: Oh no, is this going to wreck my blog? We’ll see. I do know that responding to 50 – 60 comments is pretty time consuming.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Hi!
    Nice post! I’m making posts about scientific explanations behinde everyday appearance, so if you have time and will please go and check it out! If you like it please follow me, I follow you.
    Thank you! 😀

    Liked by 7 people

  20. I may need a neck brace. Too much vigorous nodding as I read your post. I blog to make genuine connections. I blog to inspire, entertain, and occasionally educate.

    And it’s a thrill to meet another blogger with similar passions. *follow button clicked*

    Liked by 8 people

  21. I love your truth, hun, very heartfelt and oh so raw, but all the same, very very true. There is rather a very fine line between “hateful” and simply “challenging with the truth”. It’s actually kind of funny to think how certain words, ideas or concepts are the ones catching our interest, though! I will pretty much only follow if content is relevant to me, and can catch my surprise and interest with each new email or post, which I guess is a prerequisite for most of us, simply because of ho-hum email in-boxes and busy lives.

    I, too, want to read about people’s hearts, minds, souls, motivations, dreams, even nightmares, and everything else they are willing to share otherwise, that is steeped in their own personal truth and may just resonate with mine. But you are right, hun. Never hate. Hate is for fools, not those trying to stay wise.

    Liked by 6 people

    • You might want to check out my blog at yournaturalstate.nl. It’s a personal blog about my journey to get closer to my natural state of being (whatever that may turn out to be) and all the challenges, fun and other emotions in between….

      Liked by 2 people

  22. I liked your post because of the line “hate is for facebook”. But I’ll hit the follow button because I like the direct approach in your opinion.

    I “like” after I like something and follow if you can keep my attention till the very end. Good choice of excerpt

    Liked by 7 people

  23. I like the last line. I’ve unfollowed people on Facebook after they became nasty towards someone else for simply stating a different point of view. I generally keep my opinions to myself, and nothing is worth being nasty.

    Liked by 5 people

  24. Hi

    Good post. I feel these days social media pushes my buttons. I avoid that even on Facebook. Twitter travels at the speed of light, and occasionally I post something there, usually ignored. Hallelujah. I want to post about my writing and the journey.

    I have had serious ups and downs through the years. My first work was a cookbook, sold well for a captive audience. On occasion, I hawk it on social media …

    My second work, How to Steal a Romance, is a lighthearted view of a woman, lost in her battle, and later, found. Falls into old habits. Returns. Falls in love. With someone her total opposite.

    When I began that work, I had gone through an agonizing journey, one that tore me apart, my career and job — gone. Homelessness looms every day. Work has eluded me. Ageism exists, and employers really do turn up their noses to someone with a disability. I railed against everyone, everything, and never addressed the problem–me. My attitude of anger.

    BTW no one appreciates a whiny lil ole lady shaking her fist at the world.

    So, back to my first novel. When I finished, it was though I wrote a biography of a woman who fell, stood, fell, stood, etc. She … was … me. In pain. Wearing the scars of life, not looking up. Shot down. Angry. Not seeing the future (no matter how crazy it looks right now).

    This caused an AHA! moment. Perhaps my attitude was obvious to others. OK, so certainly it had been.

    After a million edits this very personal work of fiction was requested by an agent. Actually, agent of choice. I bite my nails in anticipation.

    My second work is similar. Addressing personal problems, battling the demons. Angry, giving in slowly. Full of sorrow. Someone shows up to stand by and hold me straight, not burdened with guilt. Though I know it’s personal, I pray that my characters will come to life and speak to others.

    During my good times, I forgot that problems within me existed. I was filled with pride and as the proverb goes: Pride goes before a fall (and boy, did I fall).

    I hope this lets you know a bit about me. I am still falling at times, then standing. You get the picture. But every time I write, I find me in there. I read some works of fiction (four or five novels from the same author a month) that are based not on reality–at all, and characters are not memorable. I want mine to shine–not show me, but show the victories out of pain, sorrow, anger.

    When your editor cries, argues with your characters, I figure I’ve done my job.

    -C

    Liked by 6 people

  25. This is my first time on WordPress. I have been looking for a means to tell my story. I have been through some amazing adventures, trials and tribulations. It had gotten to the point where my life became worldwide in the media. I have always been told that I should write a book. I am not a writer nor an author. I never really knew what to do to get my life into words but I truly feel I can help so many others, in their own lives overcome some unbelievable situations they may be going through. I am not out to get followers or likes by numbers. I choose to remain anonymous and know that perhaps someone reading my blogs finds comfort or assistance for their own journeys that may not be what they want it to be. I just hope I’m doing it right! Us amateurs!

    Liked by 5 people

    • How I know that dilemma, too! Although I didn’t recognize my ‘issues.’ I hid from them. After the draft was finished, I posted it on Scribophile. Eek. It was ripped. Since then, I’ve made dear friends there who have done their ripping, and as I learn the craft to complete my work (quite cringe-worthy in every aspect), things improved. Big time. Sharp learning curve. You are ahead of me, in that you know where/what your characters are dealing with. Get into a group such as Scrib. It’s an honest look at your WIP. Some will like, some will hate. It is the way of the world. You also learn to read and critique works from others. It’s free, but 65 bucks for a year. The lessons learned are invaluable. There’s the Writer’s Academy with sections on the craft of writing, point of view, deep point of view (which makes your readers relate, big time), grammar, and how to critique. If you join, check it out for free. You can find me at Claire O’Sullivan. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

      • I spent some time on scribophile. I found I couldn’t give it the time necessary to really participate. Time is so limited, I think I want to spend it writing.

        Like

      • Yes. That’s why I’d like to see bloggers make a practice of having a convenient list of their favorite posts on their homepage or in their menu. Reading what they think of as their “Best Of” list saves me time in searching for their quality work and is a great way get to get to know them on a more personal level before I decide to follow them and devote more time and effort in reading more of their work.

        As an example, I have a simple, minimalistic homepage where I’ve listed about 10 or so of “My Favorite Literary Children”. (That’s in addition to the “Top Posts” and “Recent Posts” widgets in the sidebar.) That way my readers can quickly check out my “highlights reel” to decide if they like my work enough to read my new stuff or maybe even take the time to check out my archives. If not, “Thanks for visiting, no hard feelings, and feel free to come back and visit another time if you ever feel so inclined.”

        And now you’ve got me curious. Could you put in a reply to this comment a link — or at least the title — of what you’re calling your “absolute best post”? My enquiring mind really wants to read it now!

        Liked by 3 people

  26. Great post. I get that ‘rush’ when someone follows me and then my mind starts to think maybe I should try and get more followers. Then I’m stopped in my tracks as I remember the reason I’m doing my blog. This one is personal. Not for monetary gain or for approval. So I go back to blogging about me for me and then follow the same sequence when I get another follower! Haha! I have followed a few blogs but get so overwhelmed by it all (the same with twitter) that my search doesn’t continue for long. I really enjoy just searching and reading a blog ad hoc and if I enjoy it liking and maybe commenting on it without following them.

    Liked by 6 people

  27. Hello Jeff, I totally agree with you on ALL you’ve said. I’m on WordPress since a year and I’ve had only 23 followers, just 1 among which read occasionally my posts. I follow 5 of them, and I never missed on of their posts because I find them interesting. I’ve noticed the game of “follow to be followed” unfortunately it’s the way it works.
    Great post by the way.

    Liked by 5 people

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