I recently created an Instagram account for my blog. I had a personal one, but felt like I needed to promote my blog separately and since Instagram recently created a way to have multiple accounts on your phone and I have a new email address by having Blue Host for my WordPress site, long sentence short, I joined the blogging world of Instagram. I use Twitter and honestly, that started out as a personal account, which I never used, so I switched up to be my an outlet for my blogging. I noticed an interesting trend that began as I beefed up my use of #hashtags. One day I would have some new followers, so what was 100 followers now is 105 followers. The next day, my followers number would be 99. What? That’s when I discovered fake follows.
I guess I’m somewhat oblivious to some of the “follow” rules out there. I came across a post from a blogger I particularly like, and Courtney mentions that bloggers should cut out all that “follow for follow” crap. Really? This exists? Apparently I’ve had my head in the clouds, but I didn’t realize this was a thing. Why would I follow someone just because they started following me?
I feel like this is just another example of why social media has created folks to be obsessed with themselves. Don’t get me wrong. I have clearly fallen into this trap from time to time. I mean if one of my Facebook photos doesn’t get 50 likes within 30 minutes, then clearly it was not worthy enough.
But really, I don’t follow anyone unless I’m interested in seeing the content they put out there and I would never expect someone I choose to follow to follow me back “just because.” If this is some kind of social media etiquette, then whoever invented this “rule” was probably some super, narcissistic crazy person who feeds off of numbers. Numbers are not the end all to why I write. I write because it’s my outlet. I write because I can. I write because I hope to encourage someone else. I write to blow off steam. I write for a good laugh. If you aren’t interested in what I have to say, then by all means, don’t follow me. I want the authentic. I want the curious. I want the genuine readers.
So what about the people who do follow you? I was talking to my friend about this and she mentioned people who start following someone, like a blogger or a “typical civilian” expect a return. If you’re Beyonce then it’s not expected for a follow back. Duh. But an “average Joe”? Their is an expectation they will be followed back. What will I do with people who follow me? I’ve started sending a “thank you” message. Saying, “I noticed you noticed me. You are awesome. Thank you!” And if I’m interested in their profile and what they have out for everyone to see, I will follow back. If they put out content that is about knitting underwear for their family for Christmas, then I might not be interested. I don’t think I would ever have the patience to knit, let alone knit underwear. There’s nothing wrong with knitting underwear. I’m just not interested in that topic and it doesn’t seem like a topic I would branch out on either. Nothing personal, people. Sheesh.
Do you follow people back if they follow you? Do you agree or disagree? Why?