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Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Following Obsession on Twitter

I have a very obsessive-compulsive personality. Whether it’s a TV show or Facebook or Twitter or blogging or plotting, I go all the way. I want to do it right so I probably do too much. My days basically melt away under the glaring eye of the screen.

I know, right? When do I live? I guess I do that in the winter when I’m way too lazy to be active online. Anyway, talk about obsession, I’ve noticed a common trend on Twitter, which I have suffered all the same. Of course, the first step of overcoming a problem is admitting that you have it. The second is to accept it will probably never go away. At best, you can tone it down. 

So I'm obsessed with following. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t follow or #FridayFollow everybody just because I want them to follow or #FF back. I don’t even thank my new followers, and I certainly don’t follow back people who do not share my interests. Rather, I like to see the ‘Followers’ number grow because I get a bit depressed if the number of people I follow is way higher than those who follow me.

In a strange way, it makes me feel like I’m reliving my high school years when I was one of the VERY un-popular kids who did not know how to get the attention they thought they needed. I was like that scrawny bird up there. Of course, now I don’t beg because I’m an adult, yet this odd obsession with numbers keeps rearing its ugly butt like in a backwards birth every few hours of the day. 
I don’t know, maybe it’s because I like symmetry. Or because I’m like this in all venues. On Facebook and Blogger, for example, I constantly refresh the page to see: what the new posts are, if someone answered my comment, if I have messages, if someone commented on my post, what my blog stats are, who followed it and who unfollowed it, and… OMG. There’s the crazy again. I can’t get rid of it!

It’s like that giant squid-thing in the Pirates of the Caribbean that swallowed Sparrow at the end of the third movie. You wonder whether he will resurface and of course he will, but it’s not as easy with the Internet. The deeper you go into the squid’s belly, the harder it becomes to scratch your way back out. Not to mention there's crap all around, gross seaweed and dead jellyfish. Ick. 
So now I have to remind myself that the number of followers does not matter because I am following the people I like, and those who follow me back either stay with me to hear what I have to say, or fall away to make room for new and interesting like-minded individuals.

Which reminds me. I follow a lot of people, and when I started tweeting and had only a couple hundred tweeps under my following tab, it was extremely easy to get to know them all. I was afraid that by going up in those numbers would make communication and relating harder, but it hasn’t really. Mainly because of lists. Bless the soul of the person who thought of those! And yet, I try to follow everybody else's tweets anyway, so I can experience the variety Twitter has to offer.

After all, I am all about variety, right? So why not do Twitter my way. And possibly stop obsessing over things that don’t matter. Start obsessing about healthier things like… editing the damn manuscripts. Or, you know, showering. 

(freakishly loud sigh) 


Hektor Karl said...

With stats everywhere, it's hard not to look.

But I wish you well in your efforts. :)

Lyn Midnight said...

Exactly. Thank you. :)

Uva Be Dolezal said...

Totally get the obsessive networking thing :) *sigh.

Don't worry, it's just on to the next big thing, whatever it is. Maybe there will be waves of brown outs and all the twitter addicted folks will wake up and start looking around for people to chat with in the world again ? You never know.

I took a shower today. Now, at the moment I can't write :( .. Maybe I need to go hike few miles or something until my hair dries. who know, but there seems to be relationship with squeaky clean and not writing.

P.s. damn editing .. yep exactly.

Lyn Midnight said...

Hah, I think that's just you. Clean works for me sometimes, though if I write too much, I kind of forget to shower.. Is that bad? lol

Yeap, I wonder what the next big thing will be. I was perfectly content without Twitter a few weeks ago, by the way. Though now I have nice writerly friends such as yourself, so it's a win in the end. :)

Thanks you for stopping by, Uva.