I admit it. I was digital-stalking someone. In fact, I was stalking him so hard, I spit out my oatmeal. It landed on my computer screen and slid down from his Twitter follower number that had jumped from under two hundred to over five thousand since the day before. My stalkee had bought fake followers and I was livid!
There are people you stalk because you admire them, and others because you feel the opposite – you know, contempt. Your reasons can run the gamut from pedestrian jealousy, to a sense of injustice at their hack-like existence, to resentment because they’ve done you wrong. It doesn’t really matter. The point is, you’re stalking them because you’re waiting for them to screw up.
Witnessing their public humiliation would justify all your creeping around and nullify whatever it was that made you feel contempt in the first place. Order would be restored. Shit, from a certain perspective, your intentions are noble.
You’re simply a wannabe balance-restorer of the universe.
When my hack stalkee began misrepresenting his social media standing and I gave a shit, it made me furious to learn that I…gave a shit.
That’s when I went on a rant to edify humanity on social media behavior as if I were above it all. Not only would the rant make me feel better, I was going to turn it into a publishable list article that would surely go viral. That flipping hack would see what “it” was really about, and to boot, I was channeling my outrage into productivity.
Yeah. Except nobody wanted to publish my sure-to-go-viral article.
By “nobody,” I mean two people didn’t. But the second editor gave me life-changing feedback by pretty much saying the piece had no “human” behind it. She was right.
It’s human to watch what others are doing online, and human to want some online attention for ourselves. The virtual pats on the back give us an indication that people are listening. It’s why those of us with personal accounts bother with social media in the first place. We want to be heard, to connect, to keep a record and to make a mark.
It makes sense then, to minimize how much we annoy people on the web. Shockingly, that’s as simple as not doing the things that annoy us.
For example, we need to ask ourselves, do false follower numbers cure insecurity? For that matter, do real ones? We are grown men and women, yet so many of us allow social media to play into our sense of self-worth. Whether we have four or forty thousand followers shouldn’t affect our self-confidence for the obvious reason that we’re not dumbshits!
If we want more followers, we can build up the number by making our presence known to like-minded users. That means, taking the first step and engaging. Once they know we exist, some users might take an interest in our “cowboy kitty” Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest feed.
Chances are, they’ll stick around if we follow basic social media etiquette — the sort my hack stalkee violated by purchasing fake followers for his personal account.
He must have thought he was saving face. He should face this:
1- Don’t, for fuck’s sake, buy fake followers.
We can all tell anyway. When you have a high follower count but proportionally dismal engagement, it’s glaringly obvious. Isn’t that more embarrassing than a low follower count?
If you’re trying to promote/sell something through hype, you should also know you’re participating in false advertisement.
2- Don’t follow just to unfollow once you’re followed back.
Is there a single person left on this digital-happy planet who’s not aware of apps that keep track of who unfollowed you?
Tricking people into following you to up your numbers — then dropping them — makes everyone want to grab a dead catfish and slap you across the face with it.
3- Don’t badmouth, complain about or wage war against other users in your posts.
Forget that it’s tacky and off-putting. What purpose does it serve other than to uglify your profile? If you must vent your momentary spite, do it where it won’t be on eternal digital record.
At the very least, be sure not to give away the subject’s identity. Instead, channel your wrath into a ranty article while telling yourself that you’re restoring balance to the universe.
Joking aside, we’re on social media because we want people to like us and/or our product.
So how about we do everything in our power not to irritate the fuck out of them?
What are your social media pet peeves?
MORE PLACES TO FIND LONG AWKWARD PAUSE:
Facebook: Long Awkward Pause
Tumblr: Long Awkward Pause Mag
Would you like to see a topic discussed on LAP? Click HERE.