If there are any blossoming Sherlock Holmes among my little blog visitors you may have noticed that I moved some things around yesterday. No, it wasn't because I wanted to become transfixed watching my picture slideshow on the edge of my seat to see which image will appear next.
I decided to get rid of the follower box and purely for selfish reasons.
I added it when blogger first rolled it out thinking it might be a fun lark as it reminds one of all those friends lists on facebook so you can easily show off just who thinks you're cool.
And it's that same thing, all those lists of people, that was starting to cause me some pain. For just as easily as one can choose to follow a blog one can decide to stop. So what was once an amazing 50 falls down to 40 and with it goes my self esteem.
This all relates to a fear that your worth as a human being can be measured in numbers. How much you make a year, what you weigh, your height, how many friends you have, what you spent on your last outfit all are being measured and watched to decide where you fit in society. It's as though staticians are sitting there trying to decide which of us is worthy of attention and which should join the uncool crowd in the back.
In fact sometimes I feel as though I do not deserve to even be getting the attention I do in the world of blogging. I don't have much money, don't live in an exotic local, have no cute puppies or babies to show off, and certainly am not beautiful. It's mostly my love of the written word and knowing that if I keep it up one day I can look back and laugh at the goofy stuff that came out of my brain that keep me going (though some of my wonderful commenters do as well, I'm sure you know who you are as I visit and comment on your own blogs every chance I can get).
I'm sure it comes as no real big surprise that I was the weird kid growing up. Being introverted I was just as happy (if not moreso) to go swing all by myself than hang out by the slides gossiping with the gaggle of girls. So of course I was picked on for being the weird one, the quiet one and the smart one. The world was telling me because I did not fit in, did not match societies expectations I was not worthy.
Sadly I do not have the power to change society or our measuring number crunching lists. Instead I just patched over the wound with a band-aid and stuck my head in the sand. I'm sorry that I've made it so much harder for those who use blogger to be able to read my blog (I too do not have a google reader and rely on all the links on my blog. I fear I just like link chasing too much to give that up) and I am certainly not saying you should stop using the following feature either.
Everyone has their own demons. This has been weighing on my mind for a while and I felt I should explain my stance instead of just changing something and never mentioning it again. I'm also not mad or angry at those who decided to "dump" me, maybe saddend a touch that I can never be good enough but there goes that conditioning again.
I'm sure by the time I get over it we'll have a whole new way to determine just how important your contributions to the world are measured.