Rated: 18+ · Book · Biographical · #1399999
My primary Writing.com blog.
I have to admit, seeing this notification made me chuckle.
All due credit to Annette who inspired the idea with "Reading, Writing, Reviewing" .
Tonight I removed everything I had "fanned" on the site, hence the note above. That's not to say that I "unfavorited" people; I still have my favorites so I can keep track of the users and activities that I enjoy interacting with. But I've been really uncomfortable with the idea of obsessing over one's fans, and offering incentives to gain more fans. No judgement against anyone who does find the accumulation of fans important, or wants to encourage community-building by doing so, but for me personally it's just not sitting well.
I suspect it's part of a recent, larger move away from social media on my part. I also check Twitter and Facebook less. I'm not as enamored with the idea of scrolling through a feed trying to make sure I haven't missed anything, whether it's Instagram, LinkedIn, or Writing.com. I've been through cycles of trying to add friends, followers, fans ... whatever term a site adopts for its audience. I've seen people, myself included, chase artificial metrics for success like who has the most CR, whether you can collect all the merit badges in the shop, if you can be the #1 reviewer for the month, or raise/spend the most GPs in an activity. And if I'm being honest with myself, I'm exhausted by all of that. Exhausted and ultimately unfulfilled.
So I'm trying something different. I'm focusing more of my time on meaningful interactions rather than superficial ones. I'm slowly gaining back some of the time in the day that I used to use for productive purposes rather than social media interactions that haven't been filling the void that formed when I stopped exploring my creativity.
One of the things that I love about this site is all of the different ways one can participate. You can write, review, run activities, communicate on the newsfeed, shower others with gifts and recognition; each user contributes to this site in their own unique way. For me, I want to reorient that engagement away from chasing social rewards (GPs, CR, fans, etc.) and back toward writing and running activities that celebrate writing.
I have absolutely nothing against anyone who enjoys the social rewards on this site, but that's just not something that's a priority for me at the moment. Will I still visit the newsfeed and interact with others? Sure. Will I still collect trinkets when I find them? Of course. Will I still try to earn exclusive Merit Badges when a challenge comes up that strikes my fancy? Geez, I didn't swap out my entire personality. But I'm going to try to be more intentional about not letting popularity and social cache drive the agenda anymore. And to that end, I've non-selectively chosen to "unfan" everything.
Okay, maybe that last GIF was a little extreme. I still have my favorites. I'm still always on the lookout for new activities and users to favorite so I can follow along and interact with them. But I'm going to try to let that happen organically, where connections are built on the quality of the interactions themselves. I don't need to "fan" someone (and they don't need to "fan" me) in order to make a connection.
Maybe I'll "fan" some things again in the future. One never knows. But, for right now, I think the right choice for me is to step away from the pursuit of fans and CR and the Writing.com social economy in general, and instead reinvest in the site's writing and creative community.
Stay tuned, I've got some ideas about what to tackle next.