Don’t worry about numbers

Rather than New Year’s resolutions, Aleen Simms has a list of liberations for 2018: things to let go of and not worry about. In particular I like this one about not looking at numbers:

Twitter followers, podcast download stats, blog post views, the scale, whatever. Life isn’t a video game. Happiness doesn’t have a numerical value attached to it.

It mirrors a philosophy we have with Micro.blog to launch without follower counts or public likes. Follower counts are not very useful for a new platform. They add anxiety and unavoidably lead to value judgements when considering whether to follow someone, instead of letting the quality of someone’s writing and photos speak for itself.

Andy Flisher posted to his microblog about how Facebook takes the opposite approach, encouraging the numbers game:

Facebook has genuinely ‘encouraged’ me to get more likes for my birthday than I did last year! 🤯 No wonder the youngsters are growing up so needy for likes and follows, not healthy 🙁

A social network doesn’t have to be like this. Micro.blog is a way to post to a web site that you control, and a place to discover and talk with other members of the community. Micro.blog is not a popularity contest.