Not that I’m complaining, mind you, but it seems that I’ve picked up quite a few followers over the past couple of weeks. Clearly, some of them are “bots” — this is obvious by the nondescript avatar image and the wacky comments. Others, though, at least appear legitimate. What I find strange is that they never like or comment on anything — they just seem to be blindly following. When I enjoy a blog, when I decide to “follow” someone’s blog, I usually make at least one comment — my way of “introducing” myself — and I almost always hit the “like” button after I read a post that I have enjoyed. In other words, if I follow a blog, I generally tend to read the blog. (I’ve made a few mistakes, hit “follow” prematurely, who hasn’t? But I do actually read most of the blogs that I follow. I then, at the very least, “like” the post, particularly when I’m in a hurry. When time permits I try to leave some kind of comment — even if it’s just a smiley face emoticon!)
There may be a valid reason that none of my new followers are commenting. A few visits to some of their blogs has revealed that many of them are not native English speakers. For some inexplicable reason, I am gaining popularity among folks whose blogs are written in some kind of Eastern European language. (Serbian? Latvian? I don’t know.) At first I thought that, perhaps, they were working on their English language skills. (Frankly, I wouldn’t recommend my blog for ESL students — my writing tends toward the idiomatic with a healthy dash of regionalism!) Insofar as I would like to think that my blog has been stumbled upon by the odd English teacher in Riga or Budapest, my stats would indicate otherwise — in that I have almost no visitors from this part of the world.
Initially I thought that maybe a lot of these folks were new to blogging and were simply trying to obtain followers themselves. (They are barking up the wrong tree with me there — I am a discriminating follower. I don’t just follow someone to follow them. Like I said above — I actually try to read the posts and engage with the bloggers of the blogs that I follow.) These people are tough out of luck if they think that just because they chose to follow me that I’m going to follow them without at least glancing at their blogs. I’m a busy woman. I can’t just willy-nilly follow everyone. Sheesh! I’d never get any laundry done — or get to work — or get any sleep — for God’s sakes!
I’m sure that I have followers that I don’t follow myself, just as I follow and read any number of blogs authored by writers who do not follow me. I would argue that it makes for a richer experience if the follower/followee relationship is a two-way street, but it is not required. I don’t take it personally. Just because I enjoy someone’s blog doesn’t mean that they have to involve themselves in mine. Maybe I’m not their cup of tea. That’s fine. I’m a big girl. I can take it.
So, what gives? Is anyone else experiencing the same thing with regard to these “phantom followers”? What are your thoughts on the matter?
For those of you who are, indeed, honest to goodness new followers who just don’t have the time or are not in the habit of commenting — please accept my apologies. To you I say, “Welcome!” To the rest of you, I would request that you “Hit the bricks!” I don’t blog to pump up my numbers; I blog to tell my stories. I enjoy the give-and-take of interacting with my peeps.
For those of you Lithuanians, Croatians, or Bosnians who are sincerely trying to improve your language skills by reading my blog, let me provide a few translations. Think of it as my way of saying “Thanks for visiting!”
“Barking up the wrong tree”
means that you are looking in the wrong place for something. If you hear this expression, particularly if you are in a social situation and, are, for example enamored of the big, muscular fellow that you’ve ponied up next to at the bar AND if you, too, have a penis — and this gentleman tells you, in what will possibly be a menacing tone, that you are “barking up the wrong tree”, I would advise you to “hit the bricks” (the meaning of which will be described later) — and you should do so as quickly as possible.
“Tough out of luck”
means that there is zero chance of something happening. Again, using the example above, it doesn’t matter how dreamy muscle man might be, you are “tough out of luck” if you think that he’s ever going home with you. Again, “hitting the bricks” will be an effective method of extricating yourself from this situation.
refers to an act performed in a disorganized or an indiscriminate manner. This is how you will have to run toward the exit door if you do not heed the above advice and Muscle Mike decides to take matters to a more physical level. This will NOT be the physicality you were hoping for when you set your sights on Muscles McGee.
“Hit the bricks!”
means you should go away. (Related expressions are “Scram!”, “Get lost!”, “Take a long walk off of a short pier”.) If you hear any of these expressions, especially if they are uttered by your unrequited love, do head immediately to the nearest exit or, at a minimum, find the folks you came in with — there is usually safety in numbers.
as used above, is slang for “people” — a Google search of the word “peeps” will result in images of brightly colored marshmallow baby chickens — these are not the “peeps” to which I refer — while it might be interesting, I’m not sure how, exactly, one would go about “interacting” with a confection. It will have been beneficial to you, if you heeded the advice given under the heading “Hit the bricks” and sought out your own “peeps”, especially if Biceps Billy suddenly appears to be surrounded by his. As is often the case, “like” often attracts “like”. You will surely be outmuscled by the likes of these guys.
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