I try hard not to attach much significance to the likes and dislikes of the cyber world. The initial shock that I have a blog has worn off most of the folks who might have dropped by and typed a comment on what I had to say on any particular day has long since worn away. There are so many different ways to make one's presence felt. One of those is the actual conversation that goes something like this:
"Read your blog the other day."
"I don't remember. But it was pretty funny."
Which, for better or worse, is just enough encouragement to get me to that next day when I crank out another one. An email sent directly to me is also nice, like when my mother-in-law wrote to suggest that a recent post of mine should be on Facebook. I suppose that was a move to the big time, since I expect that Mark Zuckerberg reads everything that gets published there.
Then there's the tweets I make. I confess I do get a mild charge out of each little heart or promise to retweet. A heart is so much more endearing than a thumbs up, after all. These responses are almost always from strangers, but still they remain overwhelmingly positive. Then there is that pinnacle of online commitment, following. I used to take these as the highest compliment, until I began to examine just who or what was following me.
Bots. Made up people who are stuck out there in the ether to act as conversational speed bumps. The most obvious ones are those with zero tweets of their own and lots of retweets, regurgitating a particular point of view or voice that may or may not need amplification. I am always a little suspicious of a young woman whose timeline is MAGA heavy without posting any of her own words, interspersed with mildly salacious photos of "herself." I suppose the temptation is supposed to be flattery, since why would this fan of the "President" be lining up to listen to what I have to say about anything? Except to fish me in and return the favor of following "her" with the addition of one more follower for the big Tweet in the White House.
So, if you happen to be that Alexis or Jessica or Melissa that is following me and somehow I have mislabeled you as a figment of the twitterverse, I apologize. And I think you're amazing too. Except for that whole Make America Great Again thing.