Followers

Relax, nobody is reading the nonsense I write, except for the devoted few. True, spammers descend en masse whenever I write about writing or relationships, to bestow their likes in the hope I’ll reciprocate. My loyal longterm readers, I fear, I have completely alienated, though one or two inexplicably remain, hopeful that I may one day pen something they find interesting again.

But other than them, there are no followers hanging on my every word. On Facebook, I have twenty-two friends and most of them are my in-laws. I have a few more on LinkedIn, but that’s hibernating for now because it gives me hypertension. On Twitter, I have just one follower, which is fine because I’m not a tweeter. I don’t have any other social media. And out in the real world: no, I’m sorry, I only have a handful of friends. There are no masses, tuning in to listen to what I have to say.

There was a spike of interest around 2007, when a once-popular web portal pulled in a feed of my blog posts into a little box beside an active forum, but my audience has dwindled ever since. If other blogs receive hundreds of visitors a day, mine receives the same in a month — most of them devoted returnees. It’s as it always was: nobody’s very interested in anything I have to say. Why keep at it, you might ask. Good question; I ask myself that question constantly too. Group therapy, perhaps.

So fear not: there are no crowds mulling over all I have penned the past three months. Most of the post have never been read. Some never had a chance to be read before I unpublished them again. I am the same nobody I always was, out on the periphery, ignored by the great and the good. Which is how I like it. I don’t think the Facebook page I set up to disseminate my posts is going to last; I have already disconnected auto-publish because the flurry of visits alarmed me.

I’m okay wittering away out on the edge, unknown. I can’t be bothered waving, “Here I am.” Indeed, I realised after I connected my blog to Facebook that I actually prefer it when nobody I know reads what I write. There’s a special freedom that comes typing words into the wind. Who knows who my readers are and why they return. Who knows if any of them actually read a word I write. This is all of the unknown. The mystery of writing in public.

Eventually, I will disappear.

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