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How 'Bout I DON'T Follow You?



I've realized that a lot of bloggers seem to be repulsed by the constant flow of post comments and inbox messages to our various blogs and networks, filled with nothing substantial other than "FOLLOW MY BLOG, I FOLLOW BACK!" I must say that I hated these messages with a burning passion. I felt insignificant, like no one cared about my content, or the amount of work I put into my blogging, and only wanted to promote themselves. It felt selfish and downright rude, and I believed they really didn't deserve me following them at all.


My moral code kicked into full gear after one week on IFB, and I thought, "Gee, aren't we supposed to blog for the heck of it? Isn't it awfully difficult to send one message to lots of people? Could this be a generic way of actually communicating with me?" When the mass messaging option came out, however, all hell broke loose. Bloggers were scorned for messaging a hundred people, and then apologizing profusely, saying, "I don't know what happened-I only meant to send it to you!" I knew I'd never be one of those people, because I blogged for the fun of it, for the thrill of it, and I wasn't particularly interested in gaining too many opinions and too much feedback before figuring out what it was I was trying to do. A little snobby, no?

Admittedly, up until last week, I had ignored many a blogger who sent me these messages. But, purely on accident, I clicked on one of the links. And, purely on purpose, decided to look through it. And whaddya know? It was one of the best blogs I'd come across in a while.

After reading IFB's Chronic Complainers article, it dawned on me that there wasn't anything I could actually do to fix this issue. It seemed like there was a 50/50 split between people who hated "follow me I'll follow back" messages, and those who messaged me, begging for likes and follows. I figured that there wasn't anything I could do to prevent these people from trying to get my following on GFC or Bloglovin', but I decided that it would be a better idea to stop sulking every time I got a non-personalized message, actually check out the blog, and then give them personalized feedback, without making it seem as if they were obligated to follow me back. And, no surprise, they'd message back with a personalized, genuine response to my blog! Granted, their responses are sometimes along the line of "thanks, I love your blog too! I followed you, yay!" but that's a different issue.

The takeaway idea is this: "Be the change you want to see in the world." -Mahatma Ghandi
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But seriously, please keep the feelings of the bloggers you're contacting in mind when you send out a mass message asking for more follows. You could be well on your way to becoming a savage blogger, and no one likes that. If you don't send follow me messages, you don't have to join them, you don't have to be angry at them, and you don't have to beg for a thousand followers. But you can respond to them honestly and personally. And that takes a lot less effort than just complaining about it, although raising awareness about the issue is helpful too.