This month, I'm actually going to talk about an insecurity, something I tend not to do because I tend to be mostly secure. Some would say overconfident, but I think more like comfortably confident. Well, in context, at any rate. I'm not, like, Barney Stinson confident. I know what things I'm good at, and I'm confident in those abilities. That does not extend to playing Skylanders with my kids as my younger son showed me the other day as he continued to clobber me in player vs player mode. I think my video gaming skills are beginning to atrophy since I haven't done any real playing of, well, anything in a few years, and the last thing I played to any extent was one of the Indiana Jones Lego games on the Wii.
But I digress...
My biggest area of insecurity, right now, is being unfriended (which is now a word even if my spell checker is telling me it's not (which is not to say that I agree with it's word worthiness, but no one asked me (still, it's better than LOL being a word, and I still can't figure out how that made it through))) or unfollowed or whatever. But it's not even that, it's the not knowing WHY! Or who. I mean, if Facebook would just do us the courtesy of telling us who unfriended us, it might cut out a lot of the anxiety. Even knowing that, generally, the reasons have nothing to do with me specifically, as often it is actually just people deactivating their accounts, it's hard for me not to question myself every time I lose one of those FB friends. "Who unfriended me?" "Did I do something to cause it?" The questions, they plague me!
Sometimes, there is a reason. For instance, there was this whole thing in the past year over this review that I did. I'm not gonna give names or anything, but let's just say the review wasn't a good one. The author had friended me on FB prior to the review with this quote:
Andrew, I'm excited for you to read it and I will accept any review you give, harsh or glowing or harshly glowing. Get on it already!I sort of expected that to be the truth; unfortunately, it ended up not being the truth, and the recipient of the review attacked my character over the review (I think the most tossed around term was "douche"), so I wasn't surprised when he unfriended me. However, FB didn't tell me it was he that unfriended me, so I scoured my friend list trying to figure out who it was, which is a maddening thing to do (since some of the people on there are from back when I used to play Farmville and stuff, and I don't really know who they are), and it was a long time before I thought to check to see if he was one of the people that recently dropped me.
And he's not the only person that has unfriended me over review issues. But, then, when someone friends me over the prospect of a review for his/her book that does not mean I'm going to give a good review just so that s/he will be my friend. I mean, that is so high school. "Do my homework for me, and I'll be your friend" kind of thing. In the end, those situations don't bother me. When I know that's what's going on.
I've been struggling at around 370 friends for months, now. I've hit 374 two or three times and dropped back down to 370 again every time. Every time I lose a number, I scour my list trying to figure out who it was, because I want to know WHY! My wife tells me I'm being silly, and, in my head, I know that I am, but this whole thing really is an insecurity for me, especially since I'm in a field where I "need" to build my friends list and my followers. I used to be fairly particular about friend requests, even when I was playing Farmville, and turned down a lot of the gaming requests I got. These days, I tend to not be very particular and accept pretty much every request I get, since it's everyone is a "potential." Don't ask me what that means; I just know that it's so.
The funny thing about all of this is that in life I'm not so concerned with "friends." I tend to just do my thing and people that want to join in can and those that don't want to can go their own way. I've always been like this, so I've bounced about a bit in the number of friends I've had at any given time based on what I was interested in and where I happened to be. Being the "weird" one has never bothered me, unlike my brother, who always wanted lots of friends and to fit in. Of course, he was one of the ones always telling me that if I just wouldn't be so "weird," I'd have more friends, and he couldn't understand why I was so unconcerned with it all.
But all of that is different now that I have to deal with it on a faceless numbers basis. It's not like walking down the hall in high school and knowing who is and is not your friend, because you can't easily see these people behind the numbers on facebook or blogger or wherever, so it bothers me when that number changes and I wonder if it was me even when I know I should be even less concerned over it now than I have ever been in my life, and that was not at all, which tells me that number fluctuations shouldn't bother me. And, yet, they do.
They do! And I can't stand it! Yes, it's enough to make me neurotic. That is, if I wasn't already.
So there you go... my insecurity. Do with that what you will.
However, up there on the right, you might see where it says "FIND ME HERE!" If you do see that and if you want to find me in those places, you can go over and catch me on facebook and goodreads as well. Just, if you do, don't unfriend me without letting me know, okay?