I’ll give you this candy if you’ll be my friend.

“I follow back.”

Jesus pancake-flipping Christ, how I hate those three little words.

I positively loathe how the internet, something that has brought us such opportunities for communication and expanded knowledge and access to some really cool and random shit, not to mention all the pictures of cute cats our fluttering hearts can handle, has apparently devolved so many of us back into little squabbling children who haven’t yet learned the value of quality over quantity.

In 1995 Alanis Morissette famously sang about “ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife”.

And at the time, everyone was like, “You’re being ridiculous, Alanis, none of this is ironic at all.”

If that song were back in the spotlight today, I kind of feel like the biggest argument against it would be Alanis not appreciating the sheer number of spoons she’d managed to accumulate.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I almost miss the days when 50% of the comments on YouTube were some variation of “lol faggot u r gay”. At least offensive hate speech is still saying something, after a fashion. I can even kind of understand the motive behind the perpetually tiresome “FIRST!” comment. But what exactly is the current trend of thumbs-up mongering supposed to be bringing to the discussion?

(“Like” this post if you need oxygen to live.)

WHY are people so obsessed with these meaningless numbers? Having a nervous breakdown if they lose one of their 6,000 friends on Facebook, maybe two of whom they’ve actually had a personal conversation with in the past month. Spending years accumulating 20,000 followers on a personal Tumblr which is just reblogs of other people’s work and not any of their own original content. Begging for likes in the comments of a video that someone ten million times more creative and interesting made. What does anybody get out of any of that?

Not a goddamn thing, from where I’m standing. Not anything that matters, anyway.

As far as I’m concerned, “I follow back” is just a concise declaration stating that you have nothing of actual worth to offer the world. That I shouldn’t care if you subscribe to my blog or my Tumblr posts or my tweets because you’re only following out of duty, not interest, and that I’d be a colossal idiot to hope for any kind of real engagement from you on a personal level because according to you, our only value lies in serving as filler material to make each other’s readership look more impressive than it actually is.

Forgive me if I don’t appear to be jumping at that once-in-a-minute opportunity, but I am not a packing peanut. I am a REAL nut.

I mean, why does anyone get suckered in by this shit? It’s like showing up to the Olympics and immediately holding a press conference in which you gush to everyone about your ongoing use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Except, for some inexplicable reason, instead of being followed by a public outcry about how reprehensible doping is, everyone just oohs and aahs over your physique and decides that steroids can’t be that bad after all if they gave you such a killer bod.

Haven’t we learned by now that looks aren’t everything?

(RT if you think food is yummy.)

Quite honestly, I appreciate it when someone unfollows me. From the bottom of my heart. Because at least it means they were paying attention. I’d much rather have someone give up on me because I’m not their cup of tea than have an indifferent +1 hanging on like a benign tumor.

So go sell your soul someplace else, follow-backers, ’cause I’m not buying. I’ve got enough dead weight to lose without your help.

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44 thoughts on “I’ll give you this candy if you’ll be my friend.

  1. I have people following me on Twitter, I have no clue why they follow. I suppose they thought I’d follow back, but I don’t. I follow on Twitter or a blog because I think it might say something I want to see. I was one of the first group of public Facebookers. Had WAY too many friends, because I friended anyone who asked. Shut that account down. Now my personal Facebook IS for just people I know in real life. Good, valid point here! Life & Faith in Caneyhead

    Liked by 1 person

    • I get followed on Twitter all the time by people who are literally just following everyone who posts about a certain word or hashtag. Then they unfollow me two days later because they realize I’m not going to make EVERY tweet about Nutella or sloths or whatever it was they followed me for originally.

      Guess everyone’s just in too much of a damn hurry to actually look at the account they’re following and see if it’s something they’re interested in in the long run.

      And Facebook…oh, Facebook. I had to block a bunch of people from high school because every time I unfriended them because they NEVER talked to me, they would friend request me again. Even though whenever I accepted, they wouldn’t say a word. Sorry, but seeya.

      Like

  2. I’m so relieved to find someone who will say what I’ve been thinking. “Hanging on like a benign tumour” pretty well sums it up.

    … and then you turn around from your angry rant and make me laugh out loud at your tags πŸ˜€
    Even when you’re angry, you’re funny.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This sort of thing really annoys me too! I remember seeing a “discussion” on GoodReads recently with the sole purpose of allowing people to share their blogs so that everyone can “follow” each other. It made me cringe.
    As a general rule, I won’t even check out another person’s blog if they’ve only “liked” one post, or just “followed” without leaving a comment or anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I check out all new followers on both my blogs, but if I’m being honest that’s just as much to weed out troublemakers as it is to find new writers/creators to follow. If I had a dollar for every account that’s followed me that’s either just pure spam or pure copyright infringement…I guess that’s the benefit of having a manageable follower count, it’s a lot easier to play “spot the asshole”.

      Liked by 1 person

    • And that’s how it should be. But it is a numbers game for a lot of other people. I’ve gotten downright insulting messages before from people who expected a follow for follow and got butthurt when they didn’t get it, and I think that’s ridiculous. People should be subscribing because something interests them, not out of a sense of obligation.

      Like

  4. Anomaly here! I’m not even on the Twitface. And since my email is the equivalent of a Ford Edsel, I can’t follow blogs, either. But if you have a PO Box, I can mail lots of yummy Easter candy go you! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Preach Nutty, preach! And if you’ll excuse me– I’ve got to go promote the shit out of this post so it will get 1,000 likes because apparently I’m a horrible person who wants to watch you kill a hipster.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Some numbers matter to me. I think the more hits I get on my own personal blog the better my chances of getting a book published. I can go to a publisher and say, “This many people like me! They really like me!” But anywhere else–which I guess just means Facebook and Twitter since those are the only social media things I’m on–I don’t care about numbers.
    Yeah, I “friended” a bunch of old high school “friends” who sent me Facebook requests when I first signed up and I promptly forgot about them. I didn’t have anything to say to them then and still don’t, except maybe, “So, you still dress like Billy Idol?”
    And pardon my ignorance but don’t you get an automated notice when someone follows you? Taking the time to write “I follow back” seems like excessive attention-seeking. Kind of like those kids I knew in school who had to answer every question, although they were at least saying something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Numbers are great. I love numbers. If they mean something.

      But if I follow 200 people’s blogs just because they’ve promised to follow mine back, and none of these 200 new followers actually care two beans about what I write, what exactly did I accomplish? Sure, my subscriber numbers look a bit plumper, but that won’t be reflected in likes or comments. What good is a parade of followers if reader engagement is still a ghost town?

      Every time one of my photos gets featured on the Radar on Tumblr, I get hundreds of new followers in a matter of hours. But of these hundreds of new followers, only a handful actually continue to show any kind of active interest in my work after my fifteen minutes of fame are over. The long-term effect on my other stats is…none. I succeeded in getting five hundred new “followers” who care about exactly one photo I posted that one time, and that’s it.

      That’s my problem with numbers.

      And by the “I follow back” crowd, I’m talking about people who actively advertise themselves this way across their accounts. Their Twitter bio is just “I follow back”. Their blog’s About is “I follow back” Any comment they make anywhere just states “Check out my blog, I follow back!” People are forever reblogging my photos on Tumblr and adding “I follow back” after my caption, trying to use my work to get them more subscribers, when they don’t produce anything original of their own. It makes me mental.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well fortunately for you I can never find the damn follow button in the first fu**ing place so I’m just here enjoying a good read. I also don’t know what tumbler is other than something I use to pour a stiff drink into. Follow me I’ll follow back! Kidding. I seriously don’t know where the follow button is.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I adore Twitter, but I don’t understand the radical push to get the numbers up. I get followed by people, and I go to their profile to see if we have anything in common. Usually I discover they followed 798 people at the same time. That means they are buying followers. They pay a bot to follow a jillion people, about half follow back, and then they unfollow so their follower number is higher than that of those they are following. It’s weird. People think having tons of followers makes them a big thing. I don’t get it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So I got here from a Bloggess post…

    I’m confused. What does “follow back” and “RT” mean?

    Also, this post was devoid of candy, so I feel really let down and sad.

    Like

  10. Hi. New follower here. (I was probably sent here by Christopher W. or Gina W). I am going to agree with this so hard. This is especially prevalent on the Facebook blogging groups. When you have a PG-13 blog, you are the turd in the punchbowl. If I follow your Mommy or religious blog, do I really want you following mine? Do I want to read your posts? Nooooooo. You know those people don’t freaking want to follow or read mine! And if you DO worry about numbers, since FB only rolls your post out to 10% or so of your followers, I don’t want those forced likers to be one of the ones who actually sees my posts. Those are the ones who will never share or comment. Dead weight. They probably liked my page and then click “I don’t want to see posts like this” when a post comes up πŸ™‚

    To me, it’s like being on a dating website and checking “unimportant” to how you rate every question: Looks, unimportant. Personality, unimportant. MY LIKERS AND FOLLOWERS ARE IMPORTANT. I have discriminating taste, dammit.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This annoys me as much as the giveaways on Instagram that require you to follow 15 other accounts and tag 3 friends to enter. Because apparently my support alone isn’t worthy of a free mascara or coffee mug, so I need to whore myself and advertise for them, and flood my carefully curated feed with crap that doesn’t interest me. No thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amen. I automatically loathe any social media contest that requires you to mess with your friends/followers.

      “Invite 20 friends to like this page and repost this spammy link in your timeline every hour for a full week and you may have an infinitesimal chance of winning a free t-shirt advertising our company website!”

      Thanks, I’ll pass.

      Like

  12. Well, I’ve been surfing the A-Z blogger pages throughout they day and as of this evening, you are the second I am following. Take it from me, that’s a compliment. But you needn’t repay it in kind because we are alike! Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I would LIKE to think that people who follow my blog/twitface are reading it, but considering I only have a wonderful, awesome, legendary handful of followers who actually like/comment/otherwise prove to me that they are paying attention (like your awesome self!) I figure you guys are the only ones in the party with me. The others probably stopped by for two seconds, didn’t see any famous people, and promptly fucked off.
    Whenever I get people commenting on my Instagram about follow for follow I tell them I’m not going to do that, and only to follow me if they like my photos. Otherwise yeah – what’s the point? It’d be meaningless.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly. Why follow thousands of people on principle and have to sift through a bunch of posts you don’t really care about to find the few that actually interest you? To be “fair”? To be “nice”?

      I mean, I’m Canadian, so to some extent I’m expected to be nice, but…I’m not THAT nice.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m a new follower and I have to say– this whole ‘follow for follow’ thing is new to me. As you can probably tell, I’m totally out of the loop. Blogging is a brand new thing for me and I came across yours through Half a 1000 Miles. All it took was reading a few posts to see that I LOVE your writing. You are witty, interesting, and someone I definitely want to follow. Period. That numbers game sounds ridiculous and beside the entire point of blogging, I’d think. Ugh. Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading all of your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Follow for follow is pretty much people on the internet acting like kindergarteners. Participation ribbons for everyone! πŸ˜€

      By the by, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t follow you at least partially for your awesome name. I mean, your writing’s pretty cool too, but that blog name? Definitely a winner. Five stars, would follow again.

      Like

  15. i wuzz gonna say (write) “1 day i wuzz really bored, & …” but(t) i’m bored part of every day, so
    {start over}: one day i wuzz really bored and axually checked on each and every “follower” of my blog. (obviously! the # is not huge. ) HALF of whoever these people or robots or computer-created-aliases were (or are) were “gone” — by gone, “website does not exist” or some such. i hope you’re not attracting maggots, as i suspect there’s something in my blog which does …

    Like

  16. Hi .. sometimes I accept FB request , just for courtesy “Why is my guy from my office who never ever even say hi at office sending me friend request on FB … God Why ??” And then those birthday notifications on FB.. Sometimes people wish me on FB , but do not when they see me in person at office.. aah I find that very annoying.. !
    But I still accept request on FB and then politely , after some days -unfriend.
    WP , In the beginning I too, made the mistake of following someone based on one post and it was more novice impulse . Now am learned , have un-followed many 😦 and read/bookmark interesting ones.
    Twitter , tumblr I do not exists ..I think I can only handle too few social media at a time..
    Now I followed you .. you should follow me back πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

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