I am in New York today to film some author interview/promo stuff. I know--that sounds cool, right? It is! Especially because I get to hang out with interesting people like Walter Jury, Dan Krokos, and Cora Carmack (we're all repped by New Leaf Literary), and of course, my awesome agent Kathleen Ortiz and the other lovely ladies of New Leaf. The only real drawback: I must put make-up on my face and, you know, be filmed. I love public speaking and teaching, but for some reason, speaking to a camera renders me a seriously awkward duck.
So wish me luck.
NOW, I wanted to chat with you about something I find so very interesting, and have experienced myself on a number of occasions. As I write this, I have exactly 999 Twitter followers. I'm running this Malachi's journal giveaway (*ahem* maybe you'd like to enter ...), and so my follower count has gone up rapidly in the last few days, and here we are.
The temptation, of course, is to attempt to push this process along. I see this ALL the time on Twitter, blogs, Facebook (likes), and Goodreads (adds). People say things like "I would like to get to XX number of followers!" They offer incentives sometimes, and other times they just ask. And ask and ask and ask. Perhaps the round, even number is appealing, or perhaps adding another digit represents a milestone, or maybe it's simply the idea of having that many people hooked to your online self. It feels good, right? You feel popular? Secure? Like it's a badge of acceptance or something?
Like I said, I feel it sometimes, the urge to say COME ON, TWITTER, GIVE ME SOME LOVE (IN THE EXACT AMOUNT OF [insert seemingly meaningful yet actually arbitrary number] FOLLOWERS).
Then I recall how I feel when I see those bleated requests from others. Sometimes I feel generous and I follow, but mostly I endure it because I like the person and am willing to wait it out until they reach this somewhat artificial goal.
But I have to admit that sometimes I unfollow, especially if the request is made several times. It grates.
And here's the primary reason why I don't make requests for specific amounts of followers: It happens anyway.
At some point, maybe even by the time this posts, I'll have 1K Twitter followers. And also: it doesn't mean anything different than having 999 followers.
When I feel the urge to ask people to follow me just so I can reach some magical number that's only magical when I don't have it (because once I do have it, I start wanting to reach the next somewhat artificial milestone) ... I forcefully remind myself that it's eventually going to happen naturally, a by-product of this career and of consistently participating in this community in a positive way. I also remind myself that those magical round numbers don't actually mean anything real, and reaching those numbers in a specific amount of time doesn't mean anything, either.
Have you done this? (it's okay! It's a natural thing to want!) How do you feel when others make these requests? Is it just part of the game? What does it say about us?