The Red Queen’s Race

“Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else — if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”

“A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

This is becoming more and more true as cool technological tchochkes increasingly invade our time and space. I am falling so far behind in the race to keep up with social media that I despair of ever getting caught up. It takes 3 or 4 hours of dedicated effort every day to post on this blog and the other Beautiful Railway Bridge at Blogger, do the associated admin, read and comment on the blogs I follow, maintain a toehold on Google+, and deal with email. I only go to Facebook because my daughter’s on it, and I’ve given up trying to keep up with Twitter. Managing social media has become an unpaid part-time job.

I would drop it all and walk away but for one thing – I love blogging, I love reading other people’s blogs, and I want to do it properly. I could just dash off an easy post or skim through the reading with a generous scattering of Likes and no comments because there’s no time. Inevitably, that sometimes happens. But what is the point, unless it’s a half-hearted pretence to gain more followers?

I’ve never really understood this followers thing. It’s nice that people like Beautiful Railway Bridge, and I’m grateful for your support. I don’t write in a vacum, but to an audience. Followers for the sake of having followers – as an ego trip so you can claim influence on the internet – I think that’s stupid. You see a lot of sites claiming to teach bloggers how to maximise SEO, so there must be a huge demand for this sort of advice.

I’m happy with a smaller number of followers because I want to interact with likeminded bloggers by reciprocal visits and comments. Unfortunately, there are only 24 hours in a day and there’s a critical number of followers and followed, beyond which it’s impossible to have a proper, reciprocal blogging relationship.

Right now I’m over my limit in the blogs I follow and trying to catch up. Which is, I suppose, a roundabout way of apologising for not having visited your blogs over the last few days. Perhaps I’m thinking about social media in the wrong way, but this whole imperative to connect with as many people as possible seems batshit crazy. Community is good, necessary, and beneficial to mind and body. An amorphous mass, all shouting status updates and ill-informed opinions at each other at the tops of their voices, is beyond reason and verging on social hysteria in my opinion.

So I’m asking for some feedback on this question, to help me sort it out. Thanks.

6 thoughts on “The Red Queen’s Race

  1. “Perhaps I’m thinking about social media in the wrong way, but this whole imperative to connect with as many people as possible seems batshit crazy. Community is good, necessary, and beneficial to mind and body. An amorphous mass, all shouting status updates and ill-informed opinions at each other at the tops of their voices, is beyond reason and verging on social hysteria in my opinion.”

    Well said.

  2. Here’s feedback. I agree with you. Exactly! Do people actually scroll down hundreds of tweets a day, most of them deadshit boring? Yes they do. No wonder I can’t get into Twitter. I have better things to do. Breathe, eat, live. But please keep blogging! I’ve learnt from you—about Campbeltown, Amanda Palmer, other good stuff. Thank you.

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