I did something kind of ridiculous several months ago, and have been meaning to share. It's really not a big deal - rather trivial, actually - just kinda funny. The challenge is going to be explaining clearly. In fact, the mere thought of attempting to explain it was giving me so much anxiety that I kept putting it off, but I think I'm ready now. I've sufficiently done breathing exercises and prepared my brain. Are you paying attention? Here we go:
To start, look over to the right-hand side of this blog. You may have to scroll down a wee bit. See that square-shaped smattering of small thumbnail pictures labeled "Followers?" Well, supposedly those thumbnail pictures represent people who come in to read this blog from time to time (not cult worshipers, which is sort of what the word "Followers" might lead one to believe).
Not knowing anything about the term "follower" (other than it sounds like a scary term, worth actively avoiding), I never paid attention to the "follower" feature on my own blog. Hell, I was happy if even ONE person took a look at my blog. I still am that way. Just ONE! And those of you who are bloggers yourselves know, you have a choice of displaying those little thumbnail pictures of your purported "followers," or not.
Are you still with me? Good. Keep reading:
So one day, while I was tinkering with the format of my blog design behind the scenes (I'm talking about going behind the curtain, so to speak, into the deep dark bowels of the blog-o-sphere where only the bloggers themselves lurk, manipulating colors and fonts and props and gadgets so as to enhance the experiences of readers like you), I came across a square-shaped smattering of thumbnail pictures JUST LIKE THE ONE YOU SEE ON THE RIGHT-HAND SIDE OF THIS BLOG. Above it was a label that said something like: "Click here to show your followers on your blog."
I stared in pride and amazement at these pictures of these supposed followers of my blog, which I had never bothered to look at before: mostly fresh-skinned fraternity-looking boys with white teeth and tousled hair, with a few generically ethnic and African-American guys mixed in. Hardly any women - just one or two.
WOW! I thought to myself. Look at ALL THOSE MALE FOLLOWERS I HAVE! Not just male followers, but reasonably good-looking ones at that! Who knew! Here I was thinking all of my readers must be boring ol' white girls like me, but lo' and behold, I'm actually attracting lots and lots of GUYS! And look at the racial diversity of my readers - black to white to everything in between - all reading about dead babies with more than a passing interest. I'm famous!
So I clicked whatever button meant: "Heck yeah, I want to add this! Are you kidding? I want all of my viewers to know just how many cute guys are sitting around reading about stillbirth and miscarriage. Not just reading it, but FOLLOWING it."
And low and behold, BOOM - my list of followers and accompanying representative pictures DID appear on my blog.
Except, the ones that appeared weren't the same faces that I had just seen a few seconds ago. No, no. These faces were more like the people I expect to be reading my blog: women, mostly. A bit of ethnic and racial diversity here and there, but not enough to feel proud about.
Confused, I thought wait, these aren't my followers! What happened to all those cute boys! I went back "behind the scenes" into the blog editing mode, and realized what had happened: those pictures of all the cute boys weren't my REAL followers. They were just fake SAMPLE followers.
I kind of felt like a retard for thinking they were my REAL followers.
Now, this isn't to say that I'm not happy with my real followers. I love my real followers. Anyone who reads this blog is automatically a nice person, in my book. It's just that...well...my audience isn't the total young frat-boy sausage fest that I thought, for a brief instant, that it was.
Did you get the story? Dang, that was hard to explain. Glad I got it off my chest.