I recently put a tweet on Twitter that said that I wonder, if I disappeared, how long it would take anyone to notice. Okay, my Twitter following is teeny-tiny, but I’ve been trying to post there more in order to grow my social network, and it seems that I end up ‘hearting’ or responding to other’s posts but seldom get any indication that mine have been noticed at all.
My circle, away from social media, is even smaller than my circle on social media. I have just less than 100 followers on Facebook, but then again, I only follow people whose happenings and goings on are of interest to me. My followers on Twitter are easily less than 20. In real life? My “followers” – those with whom I’m engaged in meaningful contact with – are 2. I have more friends than that, for example, I consider my nail tech as a friend as well as a service provider, but we only are in contact outside of social media when I’m there getting serviced! My hairdresser doesn’t do ANY social media, so I have contact with her only when I’m there for a haircut. I adore my chiropractor but we have contact only at my appointments.
My brother, one of my two real-life “followers”, posts in his blog every day. I’d know immediately that something might be wrong if he went a day without a post. With my sporadic postings to my blog, he’d not necessarily equate not seeing a post with anything serious.
My bestie, my other real-life “follower”, hears from me two or three times a week via email, and I hear from her about once a week with a possible text now and again. We only live a mile apart, but she’s got a husband (who needs to be fully wrapped in bubble-wrap) who has somewhat consistent medical appointment demands, and a 25-hour/week job with our police department (administrative) and all of the other things in her normal life to deal with. If more than three days go by and she hasn’t heard from me, she’ll text me and email me both asking, “Are you okay?”
My upstairs neighbor, Jeri, will knock on my door if she hasn’t seen me out and about or at least that my car is parked in a different place in a couple of weeks.
I’ve chosen this more ‘loner’ lifestyle and honestly, I prefer it. I’m suddenly conscious that I often go out of my way to make sure others know I’m thinking of them. With nothing important to say, I can write paragraph after paragraph in an email to my brother or bestie. I use social media to let the people I know out in the cloud that I’m paying attention to them. I even send the occasional ‘no special reason’ greeting card in the mail! And I guess I feel invisible because I don’t get very much of that coming in my direction. Only I know how many times, in my career span, I’ve thought about sending myself flowers at work for my birthday or, heaven forbid, Valentine’s Day, just to show others that I was special and important to someone!
And I come back to something I acknowledged in a previous post about “giving most what you need to get in return”. Apparently, that’s still not working for me…
P.S. After my tweet, I got two responses, both from people I know from the same Twitch stream. Both were loving and kind; one made me feel better enough to get teary-eyed from the words.