I may be talking to you. I may be talking to me. You’ll never know.
Today is Monday, the first day of the week, and it’s the perfect time to do things right to make the week go smoothly. Yesterday, I got angry. Instagram changed its algorithm again and engagement on my page came crashing down to the floor. I have about 1.2K followers with an average engagement of 80-100 likes and 10 comments per post. It’s not much but I was proud of it. Now, it dropped to 20 likes per post, the comment section too embarrassing to speak of. To make matters worse, I was reading blogs on a group thread and I saw a blogger complaining of being locked out of her Facebook account; her stats dropped to about 75 per day, from 250-450 per day. She has had her blog for approx 42 days, just over a month. I was awed by her success, and curious. My quick guess was that she had put in a lot of work on social media promotions, and she attested to that. The best part was that her friends and family had no part in her success. It was all her.
Just after I finished praising her, and also sympathizing with her for her account loss, I became mad. Why didn’t I do as well? My blog is twice as old as hers with half the success; maybe one-third. I was sad and broken. Why did I have to fail so much? Everyone else seemed to be doing just fine. But was this true? I put in a lot of work into blogging and I have to juggle it with school and all, but that’s just life for you. Guess what I did? Since the anger started from Instagram, I went over to my unfollowers app and unfollowed everybody who didn’t follow me back. I saved some people because I really like their feeds but the rest, all gone. I also discovered that you could remove followers – that is people who follow you, that you don’t want anymore; you could remove them from being your followers. My reason was that I could not have over 1000 people who don’t care following me. I didn’t want my page to look like it was unreal, or that I bought followers. I was wrong.
I was simultaneously complaining to my friend about the drop and how I was just tired of trying to be appeal to people. He told me to take deep breaths. Then he asked me: “Why do you blog?”. “Because I love it”, I replied. “Then why did you remove your followers?”, he asked. I was dumbfounded. I didn’t know what to say. He continued: “You started the blog to be an inspiration to people. If you want to inspire people, why take away the opportunity for them to be inspired. Now, they can’t see what you post, or hear what you have to say. Is that what you want?”
I became sad all over again. I had become so engrossed in the thought of getting to 10K followers with at least 5% engagement so that some big company can sponsor me and I can make a little change out of something I love doing. I forgot the main reason I started this and had become completely sidetracked. I felt really remorseful. I don’t know the usernames of the people I removed but I’m so sorry, wherever you are. My pride got the best of me and I let numbers define me. I was so concerned about statistics that I forgot that these were real people, with real stories, real joys, real problems, and real hopes. Yes, I want success but I don’t want it if it means selling my soul or losing my morals. The deals, sponsorship, and endorsements will come when they will and I’ll be right here when they do. I’m here to inspire and I never want to forget that.
To you reading this, whatever you do, don’t forget why you started. Don’t sell yourself short. Like the song “I Hope You Dance” the lyrics say “When you come close to selling out, reconsider”. I hope you do reconsider. At school, work and your personal endeavors, never ever forget what your initial vision was . Only change for the better, not because of what you could get or what people say. Don’t ever forget it.