As I write this, my lovely Instagram following dances around 1414. By the time I’m done writing this, it may shift back a couple of digits. And in reality, in 10 years Instagram won’t exist, so what does it really matter. But I’ve been waiting for this number. Not because of any perceived popularity but because I have a thing for 4’s,14 in particular. Some believe that sequential numbers like that are angels communicating, whether or not that is true, something about 4’s comforts me, so whatever. You know, one of those funky number things.
So I thought it would be a good chance to reflect on this odd thing of followship. Followership? Followhood? Followingness?
One thing I’ve noticed is that once you get past a certain number you tend to lose followers almost as often as you make them. I can’t say I haven’t seen that and thought to myself maybe I’m not as interesting as I should be. But the truth is, followers are like friendships, they are around for a reason and they go away for a reason too. Perhaps like certain real-life relationships, they’ve served their purpose. They’ve seen what they need to see, learned what they need to learn and are ready to move on. Or perhaps they’ve decided I’m not their cup of tea and that’s perfectly fine as well.
Frankly, I’m fascinated that there are 1400 people out there who “follow” me. I mean, there are 5th graders with more followers than that, but it’s flattering, really. I’m just a mom, with a self-love fetish. But the feedback and applause from perfect strangers really keeps me going. People are there, listening, learning.
I’ve always been one of those gals who are somewhat awkward one-on-one while shining brightly in ridiculously big crowds.
Little known fact: I was a college cheerleader. And while I had a hard time forming new relationships, I was able to jump around and holler, half naked in front of thousands of people. No, they didn’t have their eyes on me, no they weren’t there for me, but somehow my presence made the experience what is was. What’s a college game without the faint shout of cheerleaders, the flashy pompoms, the spirited music.
So in some ways, it’s like that now. 1,414, on their own journey, getting a glance at mine every now and then. I like to think of myself as a cheerleader for them. “You can do this!” “Go you!” “Love yourself!” “Live your life!” “Look how beautiful the world is!” And every like, comment, and positive feedback, fuels my own spirit, and marks my own journey. And what a rush that is for me.
So thank you, 1,414 people, for riding along, for now. Until you declutter your feed and decide your done getting to know me. What a fantastic phenomenon it is.