The Following Game

March 12, 2010

I've recently noticed that I've acquired new followers. Welcome to my blog! I'm so happy to have you.

Last week, however, I experienced a case of disappearing followers. I logged in one day to 42 followers. Next day, 41. Day after, 42. Day after that, 41. I was perplexed until I realized that people were finding me through an old post I had put up in the community "coffee shop" nearly a year ago, asking if anyone blogged about depression. It also dawned upon me that these fellow bloggers had joined my blog expecting me to follow theirs in return.

Oh, dear. I guess I should explain myself.

When I started this blog nearly a year ago, I was indeed interested in finding other bloggers who wrote about their struggles with depression. My hope was to network with others and possibly make some friends. In a way, I was successful. I found a few good blogs to join that were interesting and insightful. Occasionally I still find and follow great blogs. Just the other day, in fact, I began following "She Became a Butterfly," the blog of a young mother like myself who deals with depression on a daily basis.

However, I refuse to participate in the following game. First of all, If I followed people's blogs just to get them to follow me, I'd have hundreds of blogs on my dashboard crowding out the few I really want to read.

Second, most people don't understand that I'm extremely picky when it comes to following any sort of blog, no matter what the topic. Grammatical correctness is HUGE with me. There's only so much I'm willing to tolerate as far as impediments to understanding the blog's content, and lack of punctuation is one barrier I can't get around. I can stomach the occasional run-on sentence, but run-on paragraphs are O-U-T. (If you have more than four lines of text with only one period, you are wrong!) I've spent so much time working as a writing tutor that when I read jacked-up paragraphs, my brain spends more time correcting the errors than processing the content, which turns what should be pleasurable reading into an exercise in futility. It drives me absolutely nuts.

A blog's content also has to be on the up-and-up before I will follow it. Good blogs that deal with depression are hard to come by in my opinion. In this case I make a distinction between depression and teenage angst. If you're experiencing irrational feelings of sadness and guilt, great. If you're just whining because you think everyone in high school hates you, tough. Complaining is to be expected on depression blogs, but endless whining makes me homicidal. Poorly written emo poetry does, too. Don't just talk about your feelings--talk about how you are dealing with them, how you are growing (or hope to grow) as a person. I'm looking for writing that shows some sort of emotional maturity--or at least a little personality.

And I still pass up on decent blogs all the time just because they don't really interest me. Maybe the content is a little too fluffy or too bland--maybe the writing style just doesn't appeal to me. That's ok. People pass over my blog all the time for the exact same reasons. I don't hold it against them. After all, variety is the spice of life.

If you're following my blog, thank you. If I'm following your blog, feel free to feel flattered. :-)


Anonymous said...

I could have writtent the above post. :) Occasionally I am guilty of the run-on sentence, but most of the time I keep myself in check.

Tyler Christopher Davis said...

What about informational blogs? Seems like you're only into feelings blogs.

Sanctum's Muse said...

Informational blogs are fine; I tend to find them a bit dry. Also, I get more out of "feelings" blogs because they are based on a person's real life experiences and struggles, which can be just as informational to me as medical fact.

However, if I found an informational blog that interested me, I would follow it. Thanks for reading!

Thomas Paine said...

I'm with you April. While I participate in the "Coffee Shop" forums, I haven't posted an, "If you follow me, I'll follow you," post. I post about political issues and while I would hope everybody cares, I recognize that's the case. I want followers that are interested in the issues; if they agree with my viewpoint that's a plus. I am more than okay however, with followers who disagree and offer differing views on issues.

Likewise, I will not follow somebody simply for the sake of gaining their membership to my blog. If you write stuff I like, I will follow.

P.S. Glad to have you on board!

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