Arbitrary Numbers

Over the years on the internet, I have come to the conclusion, that people put an awful lot of stock in various numbers that have precisely no bearing on anything.

At all.

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 ;)

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8 Responses to “Arbitrary Numbers”

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I think you're a bit full of rubbish.

For starters, we can see you actually do care about this "arbitary numbers2 you claim to not care about by the fact you have a visitor counter on your site.

also you say "how many of your friends would be willing to help if needed" or similar tripe. let's ask YOu, how many of your frirnds would be willing to help you if you asked? ignore family on twietter and facebook, how many of your "THREE HUNDRED FRIENDS!" could you honestly ask for - and receive! - help from?

so i call bullshit, your just as wrapped up in numbers like those you so blatently claim yourself not to be.


Dan said...

Dear "T"

OK I will bite, despite the fact I usually Do Not Feed The Trolls.

First off, "full of rubbish" seems a bit harsh, but later, calling bullshit, fair enough, your opinion. I will work on the assumption you're either

A) A New Visitor (thanks for adding one to my statcounter!), or,
B) A Troll, or,
C) A Bit "Special"

Now, if it's A, then a few moment research might help steer you the right way. If it's B, then no matter what I say will mean I'm Wrong/You're Right, in which case there's no point. C, well, pretty much the same as B, but I will humour your regardless.

The StatCounter:
This has been on the blog since Day One, since before I had literally TWO to THREE visitors an hour. Yeah, the big time. A quick search (Using - and I get the confusion - the handy "Search" box up there) or clicking the StatCounter tag, will show the main reason I have that there is for interesting search results and, yes, to see how many people are visiting. Not so I can bang a drum and wave a flag proclaiming how many hits I get, but so I can see what is drives people to visit. Also, you will notice it is tucked down and out the way at the very bottom of the column. Clearly NOT drawing attention to itself.

Also, considering that it currently reads 116000 after SEVERAL YEARS, that is kinda sorta like bragging about your two inch penis.

Second point, my friends. Now here, things get nasty. Not for me, I should add, but for you. Because clearly this is where we come to the assumption you obviously have LOTS AND LOTS of Facebook friends. I only used capitals because you did. And the next assumption is that despite LOTS AND LOTS of Facebook friends, you have asked for help and obviously been ignored.


Now, I have (currently) 301 friends on my FB. If you don't believe me, say so, and I will get a screenshot for you. However, I am NOT going to go through my friends list and either ask who would help, nor will I assume who would help, because I know FOR A FACT that there are plenty on there that would.

HOW can I possibly know this, I hear your angry little voice seething. Well first, I have asked AND RECEIVED help on so many occasions it's not even funny. Someone to talk to, information, advice, money, a lift somewhere, someone to send something from another country....

Shall I go on?

I can say without any doubt in my mind the number of my friends that would gladly help - without asking for anything in return, I should add - would easily be in double digits. Without breaking a sweat, no less. I know I could shout for help and ask someone to drive me from A to B in an emergency, and people would offer their car.

I know I don't have to justify myself, I didn't have to answer you - hell, I could have just slapped you as a spammer and never seen from you again, but still... I am pretty sure you won't reply to this comment which will prove you're of the Troll-Variety, or of the "I Don't Know What I'm On About" sort that, once proven wrong, stays away, but I'm happy for you to argue your very very invalid and dead/buried point if you so wish.

I'm ALSO going to point out to people that you're here, foaming at the mouth so hard you skipped basic punctuation/spelling before hitting send. Nice job on not leaving a name or link though...

In closing, you anonymous visitors do make me chuckle.

301 friends and counting.
116920 blog visitors
4680 profile views
2027 blog posts
5875 tweets
94 twitter followers

Farmers Wifey said...

Ahem, anon or "T" as you like to be called, he only has the stat counter on this blog so he can see how many times I visit, because he thinks I am rather awesome.

Jennifer said...

I didn't even notice it until now, how picky was that troll!

Paul Garrard said...

I like to think that people read my blog but I'm not hung up on numbers for numbers sake. The same goes for Twitter where so many people are hung up on how many followers they have. The trainspotting mentality has never appealed to me.

Em's way said...

Dear T

He doesn't need to ask who would help him, because he already knows. Just as most of his friends, online or in rl, KNOW they can ask him for help and they'll get it, if he can give it.

Personally I have received ALOT of help from the 0dd one, practical help as well as support. He is one awesome guy (stop blushing you, cos its true :p) .. in short, its that old adage 'as you give so shall you receive' ... sooo the 0dd one gives out mucho love, lots of pisstaking and ooodles of support and jokes ... in return we take the piss out of him, give him love and support when he needs it and ooodles of jokes back.

whereas you give ooodles of hatred, spite and general patheticness .... which I have no doubt you get back, which is probably why you have such a sad life, that you have nothing better to do than to troll t'internet looking for people to attack hey??

Posh Totty said...

Whoooa there T, I can only presume you don't know Dan very well, if at all or you would realise just how pathetic your comment really is. I for one am one of Dan's Facebook, Twitter, Blog and personal life friends and would be there at the drop of a hat if he needed me for anything and I am sure the majority of his other friends would too and on top of that I know with total confidence he would do and has done the same for me too.

You are quite obviously lacking something in your life and I can only presume judging by your anonymous comment that it must be friendship.

So instead of anonymously attacking someone you know nothing about, why not try getting out more and making some friends of you own, you never know, you might like it.

GreenCastle said...

Ooooo Dan your on your own... I wouldn't help you, your so nasty and you posted all those dare you brag. ROFL...
I was so hoping T would return..
Oh well. We still love you, in a non-gay manly sort of a way... Not to be confused with our normal homosexual love..