A couple of years ago, a student complained that I had accepted him as a follower on my Instagram account, but hadn’t followed him back. He explained to me (in decent enough English that I was impressed at his debating skills) that when he “followed me” I was under a social contract to follow him back. I didn’t quite agree, and still don’t, but to get back to talking about the present perfect, I followed him back.
I only bring this up because of my current circumstances. This morning, my phone alerted me that I got a bunch of new subscribers while I slept. This was great news. I am always hoping some of my more positive messages, or hopefully interesting turns of phrase, will catch more people’s attention. I believe, rightly or wrongly, that having lots of followers might be an indicator of this, or might at least spread my message to the people who are likely to read it, somehow benefit from it, and feel like commenting.
I usually gain about 2 new readers a month. I probably lose 2 readers a month as well, but they don’t delete me. They probably don’t read what I write, but they still appear as followers. However, getting four or five in a day seems rather strange. If I had appeared on “Freshly Pressed” or some other promotional vehicle, I would understand it, but this was unprecedented so far.
Sadly, after taking a look at these new followers, they don’t appear to be bloggers, but some kind of advertising. I did not bend to my student’s argument that I am somehow obligated to follow them back. I definitely am not.
For the few who are genuine followers. Thank you. I appreciate any sliver of time you spend reading what I write. This is an important outlet for me and I am really glad I can share it.