And over the last few years, I've noticed that instead of people realising such numbers have no bearing on anything, it has, instead, gotten worse.
Whether you're on Faceook, Twitter, another "social" site, any form of Blogging site, forums - whatever it is, you will find people that are obsessed with certain numbers, as though they mean something.
On Facebook, it's number of friends, and they add strangers they've browsed and found, either through clicking through Likes, or Friends-of-Friends, or Area or whatever. "Oooh I've got 941 friends on Facebook!" they will proclaim at a party. Yeah love (because they are USUALLY females) but how many do you actually KNOW?!
Personally, I have about 300. Sometimes it drops to 280, but rarely goes much above 300. And I can say, hand on heart, I know MOST of these people. They might be family, local friends, heart parents, gamers - but I've spoken to them all either vocally or emailly at some point, at length. Those I DON'T know on my friends list are invariably the friend-of-a-friend that I've accepted, but will remove at a later date when clearing up.
Twitter is the bloody-awful Number of Followers. "Just 27 more people till 1000, please spam all your friends and get your friends to be my friends!" is the usual spam de jour, but there are other tactics. I don't understand why it matter if you have X, Y or Z followers. And I suspect a lot of these "People" are actually spam-bots that follow them, collecting their tweet contents and sending the appropriate crap at them via another account...
I have managed to get up to 93 followers. Yesterday I broke 100, but deleted the spambots and people that clearly don't use twitter. Why? Because I want to have actual followers, not just a random number of computers that follow me. Same with the people I FOLLOW. I don't click every celebrity, every cause, every person that asks for followers - the people I follow, I want to read their random stuff. If someone doesn't tweet for over a month, I delete them too.
There are others out there that are so intent on getting their number of followers up, they will do almost ANYTHING to get attention, and in the long run, it's just BAD. It looks bad, it sounds bad, and if someone researches you in the future, and come across "Every 100 followers, I will randomly DM one of them my boobs!" how do you think that will look?
How do you think it will look if that person happens to be your CHILD?
My biggest Twitter-related bugbear is Number of Tweets. There are those that seem to think this is an all-important goal in life, to get this number as high as you can. Some post crap constantly. I mean over and over and over, every three minutes watching a TV program, every twenty paces when out walking, every third bite in a restaurant. There are others that have apps that report their activity on various sites or similar, so-and-so liked this, so-and-so did that, so-and-so watch the other...
Now, don't get me wrong, I have been guilty of this when I used Foursquare, but realised fairly quickly A) every time I checked in, Twitter got spammed, and B) What EXACTLY was the point, aside from letting burglars know I was out? And my solution? I removed it. As usual, I am not naming names, but there are some people that will spend an hour or two on some sites, and their every action is reported to Twitter.
Twitter Jail exists - if you tweet more than 100 times an hour, or 1000 times in a day, your account gets locked down and you can no longer tweet. I've never been, but know lots of people that have. And I'm sorry, if you're sending 1.6 tweets per minute, then you deserve to be blocked for a time. If the jail didn't exist, I would unfollow you.
But all these things - the spamming, TV blow-by-blow, the apps, the random crap - these all count as "Number of Tweets" which some seem to see as a badge of honour, but I really don't get why. I could quite easily rack up a massive number here, because invariably, during the day, I have more free time than most. But do I? No. Because it would piss me off - and cause me to unfollow - people that do it. As it it, I have a few people I am considering unfollowing already.
Yes, I use Twitter a fair amount, but not to the point I've lost followers after having a 20 minute conversation on there.
The list, to be honest, is endless, but my point is not. You can churn out posts, forum entries, blog posts, tweets, have millions of friends or whatever - but it should be about Quality as opposed to Quantity. Sure you might follow 7000 people, but how many can you have a decent conversation with? Yes, you might have done 12000 tweets in three months - but were they worth reading? Great, you've got 1000 friends, but how many of them are your FRIENDS? Yes, I might only have 300 friends spread around the globe, but I know if I need help with something, there's someone there that will be willing to help. I know if I need someone to talk to, someone that understands will be just a few clicks away.
If you are really shallow enough to think these numbers mean something, then by all means carry on. However, if you try bragging or "bigging yourself up" over these numbers - especially in front of me - you will get laughed at and most probably mocked.
Play on the web, do and say what you like, just don't be so wrapped up in these completely arbitrary numbers that you end up pissing everyone else off or worse, embarrassing yourself.
Or even worse - making ME embarrass you ;)