Musings: The “Magic” Friend/Follower Number…

If you’ve been on Twitter, Facebook or even Google+, you’ve probably seen at least one of these messages: “I almost have 200 followers/friends/circles!” or “I’m 24 followers away from 350!” Another possible post: “If I get 500 followers/friends/circles, I’ll donate to charity or give away something!” Its pretty rare for anyone to have not read this message in their news feeds while on these networks. So why am I bringing this subject up in the first place? Well, its thanks to a newsletter I read produced by my good buddy @moyer777 on Twitter. You can read it here: Linky.

In said newsletter, Sue Kisenwether talks about how this “popular” blogger said that “If I get XXX amount of people to follow me, then I’ll donate $200 to a charity”. I’ve seen this done fairly often, usually “popular” or celebrity people do it. Not a fan of those posts… However, the twist to what usually happens was that there was a backlash and people were not happy about this attention grab. In the end, said blogger threw in the towel and declared that they would donate the $$ and the numbers be darned. So it raises a question, why did the numbers count in the first place at all? I mean, you donated in the end of it all. Apparently not having those X amount of people didn’t hinder your ability to donate to the charity. So why did the # of followers matter at all?

The only reason I can think of is for attention, probably some recognition and maybe even some gratitude. I have to wonder, has anyone not donated to a charity because they didn’t get the required number of people? If this has happened, I have to say, wow. Wow that you even put a requirement like this on your willingness to donate to others. That it takes 200, 500 or even 1,000 strangers following you in order for you to donate is rather disgusting and shallow if I must be blunt. Basically, your putting your pride before others and that is hardly charitable. Your still “getting” something out of this transaction. Even if it is, in my opinion, a rather pointless thing.

I don’t talk about the donations I give out. I do give them but it is something I’ve never felt the need to declare publicly or even get any credit for it. Any gratitude I get from the person(s) receiving the donation is more than enough.

The other thing I mentioned was the “I’m X away from Y amount of followers”. This isn’t as bad as the charity deal, but it still makes me wonder why people do this. Why do you care if your about to get 750 followers? Is it an achievement for yourself? Do you get $$, I don’t know, what is it? Sure, getting more followers and people to talk to is great. That’s the whole point of these networks is to chat with people. (At least, that’s my basic view of it) But its kinda insulting when I see someone I follow put out that tweet, as if I’m just another number to their goal of….whatever it is they are trying to get. And some people got so obsessed with the number that I simply unfollowed them….your not socalizing anymore, your obsessing about a number.

Expanding who you know is great, its one of my goals to know more people in this world, whether through the internet or real life. It is really something else to be able to chat with some people from the UK at night and people from Australia in the morning. But to have “friends” just to make myself “look better” has never been my goal. Heck, didn’t even realize I had over 100 followers for a long time after I hit the number. (I’m guessing, as I don’t know when I hit the #) I’m, well, quite amazed to have so many people think that I’m worth following on Twitter. Gives me warm feelings you know…

If your someone who has done a post(s) like this before, I’d like to hear your thoughts on the matter. Especially the second part as it still confuses me why people do it to this day. So leave a comment on the blog and I’ll certainly listen to what you have to say.

Thanks for reading.

-King Isaac Linksr

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