Thoughts On The Differences Between A Friend & A Follower

Why I Asked + What You Answered

A FEW WEEKS AGO I asked you to answer two poll questions.  I did this because a friend in real life who is a social media virgin asked me these questions.  She was curious about the terminology bloggers use when talking about blogging and I had no definitive answers for her.

The clear winner to the question “Blogs Are Found In…” was The Blogosphere.  78% preferred that term, with another 10% opting for Blogland which I think is a charming word.

The answers to the question “People Who Read Your Blog Are…” showed an interesting bell curve of preferred terms.  40% preferred the term Readers, while 23% chose Friends and 21% chose Followers.

I often refer to y’all as my gentle readers, so the top answer based on literal thinking makes sense to me, but that’s not where I see the story here.

Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Friend?

WHAT SURPRISED ME WAS THE relatively even distribution between the second and third answers, Friends and Followers.  Both are great terms but to my way of thinking these terms presuppose two different types of relationships that create different expectations about how someone will behave.

And as we all know, when expectations are not met disappointment ensues.

Friends implies connections based on equal power that are made on an even playing field.  I take an interest in you, I support you– and you do the same things for me.  When it comes to blogging this means I read + comment on your blog while you read + comment on my blog.

In a word, reciprocity. [Kindness?]

Followers, on the other hand, is a term that implies there is a leader with more power, who proceeds ahead while the less dominate people come after him or her.  This is not an even playing field from the git-go.

In blogging terms this means that as the leader I may or may not take the time to read + comment on what my followers write in their blogs.  By virtue of the way in which I envision our relationship, I’ll think I have no obligation to comment on other people’s blogs because I’m in charge here.

In a word, purpose. [Control?]

And Here Is Where The Misunderstandings Begin

TO WIT, IF I THINK you’re my Friend who will take an equal interest in me as I have taken in you, but you view me as a Follower who doesn’t necessarily deserve your time and attention, then we have a situation wherein feelings get hurt, confusion begins.

I’m expecting you, my friend, to care about what I write.  You’re baffled about why you would take any interest in me, your follower.  There is ambivalence, there is tension, there is cognitive dissonance.  No one is happy.

I’ve no marvelous insights into why certain bloggers prefer the terms that they do for the people who pay attention to them;  I just see how bloggers do what they do.

In fact, I’m only writing about this today because I found it interesting that I discerned this subtle yet significant divide in attitudes about blogging as a result of your answers to two simple questions I never thought to ask before.

Remarks, regrets, reconsiderations, anyone?  The comment section is yours.

In Which I Show You Who You Are & Ask You Two Questions

I MADE THIS DANDY BAR CHART that summarizes who reads this blog.  I created it using data provided by you, my commenters, after you took the SW COLOR ID quiz [that I wrote about HERE] and told me your results [in the comments].

As you may recall, after taking the quiz SW described each personality type in short pithy sentences.  And you know I do like a pithy sentence so here is all of that information in one place.

  • Naturalist [40%]: I let in the fresh air.
  • Minimalist [17%]: I find joy in the little things.
  • Creative [14%]: I make it my own.
  • Nurturer [14%]: I bring people together.
  • Trendsetter [6%]: I walk with confidence.
  • Free Spirit [3%]: I create my own path.
  • Dreamer [3%]: I take it all in.
  • Enthusiast [3%]: I jump in with both feet.

I realize the above is more statistical than my usual flapdoodle and twaddle, but I found it interesting to see the diversity of personality types, and the percentage of said, that engage here in the comments on The Spectacled Bean.

Or to put it differently: you, kids, are an eclectic bunch of wordy wackos who I believe have your hearts in the right place. Thank you for commenting here. You bring joy to my life.

• • ❤️ • •

HERE’S SOMETHING I’VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT.  Even though I’ve been doing this forever I’m not sure about how to refer to some things regarding weblogs.  I don’t want to be pedantic, nor do I want to sound like an old codger using antiquated terms.

I’m a wordy girl so this concerns me.  Thus I created the following two polls because I’d like to know your answers to these quandaries.

Thank you in advance for your kind participation.

Presented For Your Consideration: 7 Writing Prompts + 1 Photo Challenge

Another busy week here so I’m going to do something fun & different. I’m using the following back-to-school writing prompts AND I’m snapping my first #bumblebeebookstack photo. Tell me what you think…

Teacher Turned Mommy is hosting a blog hop in which she has provided these 7 prompts. Click HERE to be magically taken to her blog where you can learn more about it.

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ONE

My memories of the first day of school involve two things: ANXIETY about what my new teachers would be like & CURIOSITY about who I’d be sitting by.  People, figuring them out & getting used to them– that’s what I remember from my first days of school.

TWO

My favorite school supply was paper.  Whether it was lined or with grids, plain white or a beautiful color, small size or large, loose or in a spiral notebook– I LIKED PAPER.  [Still do.]

THREE

The teacher who made a difference for me was my freshman high school English teacher, Mrs. L——-,  who believed everyone could be a writer if they followed one simple rule: BE SPECIFIC. [Years ago in response to a prompt I wrote about Mrs. L——- here: The One About My Favorite Public School Teacher.]

FOUR

Here’s the thing about apples, they are my favorite fruit.  I LOVE APPLES, all varieties.  Cooked, baked, raw. In salads. Turned into juice or cider. With peanut butter on each slice. With chunks of cheddar cheese to go with.  With popcorn, even.

FIVE 

Getting a new box of crayons was [and is] a treat.  My mother, who had strong opinions on this topic, felt that one child with 64 crayons was excessive and unnecessary, so I MADE DO WITH 48.  Periwinkle and Cornflower Blue were my favorite colors.  I did not like Raw Umber.

SIX

When I think about new friends I’m reminded that I went to three elementary schools in four years.  I walked into the first two schools only knowing a few kids from church, but the third school was different.

It was a new school with a new building that combined about half the kids from each of the first two schools I went to;  therefore, for the first time, I KNEW ALMOST EVERYONE.  And this made me happy.

SEVEN

Answering what’s in your lunchbox is difficult for me because my mother didn’t believe in packing lunches.  She was all about a HOT MEAL so she made me buy my lunch every stinking day until I got to high school when I was allowed to pack my own lunch, that I put in a brown paper bag.

Some of the cafeteria food wasn’t so bad.  I liked the fish sandwiches and the Spanish rice and the baked beans and the no-bake cookies– but the salmon loaf was beyond bleech.  Subjecting innocent children with their tender taste buds to it was cruel.

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I got this idea from Instagram. This is what is called a Bumblebee Book Stack. Finding the books was easy, but photographing them was more difficult than I thought it’d be. Go figure. 

One-Liner Wednesday: Well, If Nothing Else I’m Truthful & Consistent

This is trippy.

I was on Twitter reading some comments when I thought I recognized a handle from someone who’d had a blog back around 2007.

It wasn’t the same person, but it got me thinking about bloggers who were part of my daily life 12-15 years ago, so I started looking for these long-lost bloggers.

Most of their blogs were either deleted or abandoned.

However for the heck of it on one of the abandoned blogs, Chasing Daisy, I stopped to read a post, then I clicked on the comments.

There in the comment section was a comment I wrote over 12 years ago.

It’s a comment gleaned from my own personal experiences in which I talk about how people can bug you.  It’s a comment that I believe still rings true.  Yep, I said it then and I say it now:

“Just when you think that they can’t get any dumber, they do.” 

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This is the brainchild of Linda G. Hill. Click on the badge to learn more & to connect with other bloggers who are doing #1LinerWeds this week.

Thoughts About How I Comment On Personal Blogs Today

GOING THROUGH OLD FILES I found the following that I wrote as my response to something that must have happened, but I don’t know exactly what the catalyst was for this. Nor do I know why I didn’t publish this at the time.

Perhaps I thought sharing the following was too personal? Or too snarky? Or too dull?

I suspect that the issue that prompted this thinking was the infernal eternal blogging conundrum best summarized in a question: what do you do about people who are happy to take your comments, but will not give any, or very few, back to you?

What I wrote back then holds true for me today, so I’ll toss it out here and let you, my gentle readers, make of it what you will.

+ • +

Here’s my take on the issue: while in the early days of blogging quid pro quo reciprocity was the way everyone did things, I no longer abide by that standard.

I do, however, hang onto the idea that I have bloggy friends, not merely followers or fans.

Today I follow a variety of bloggy friends who interest me, and short of them turning out to be blatant narcissists or psychopaths, I leave comments willy-nilly around the blogosphere.

I like when I receive attention back but it’s not a make or break thing with me.  I figure how I treat other people is my good karma, and how they treat me back is their good, or bad, karma. ❤️🌻☮️

+ • +

AND ON THAT NOTE I’LL end this post by sharing with you one of the underlying premises of this blog.  It’s a premise based on the idea that everyone likes to be noticed, understood, and appreciated.

This is something I believe and you might believe it, too. It is a premise that I keep in mind every time I write a post or comment anywhere.

Maya Angelou said it best when she said: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Is this not true?  Please comment below.