To Follow or Not to Follow…

If someone presented you with a gift, would you say anything? Of course you would. You would say phrases like “Thank you” or “You shouldn’t have” or “I love it!”

Writers give the gifts of their words, their stories, poems, expressions of thoughts and emotions. I’m always grateful when someone shows their appreciation for my work–whether it be by voice in a personal message, posting a comment, reblogging, leaving a review of my book, or simply clicking the “like” button. They are simple acts, but they are significant to the recipient.

I, personally, don’t use the “like” button arbitrarily. If I “like” your post, it is genuine. If I follow you, then I have found content you have written to be entertaining or beneficial in some way. There have been times when someone has followed me and then said, “I would appreciate a follow-back.” I have not been blogging for very long, so what is the etiquette here? Do you follow someone simply because they follow you, even if you don’t necessarily like the content of their posts? During holidays, you might receive a gift from someone that you weren’t expecting. Do you then feel obligated to go out and buy a gift in return?

Does anyone remember Christmas cards? I have heard people say “[So-and-so] sent me a card. I guess I’ll have to send them one now.” The recipient may never know the intention, genuineness, or lack thereof, so what’s the harm, right? If you are the receiver, would you still want the gift, knowing that it was given begrudgingly?

I realize I am posing a lot of questions and I don’t expect answers to all of them, but I would like to hear your opinions.

I genuinely thank you for reading and/or following me! 😁

Published by Brandon Ellrich

I live in Central Missouri and enjoy reading, writing, playing tennis, watching movies, and exploring creative outlets. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and I love to take my readers inside the minds of my characters.

18 thoughts on “To Follow or Not to Follow…

  1. I follow those where we have the same interests. I enjoy poetry, photography, and music and tend to follow this type of blog. I won’t follow blogs that lean toward politics, religion or filled with curse words. I’ve learned that if you follow too many, it is hard to keep up with so I try not to go overboard. I have a guideline that if I am following a blogger that hasn’t posted in at least 10 days, then I unfollow them. Currently, I follow 400 blogs, which is my max. Welcome to WordPress.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. At the beginning, I followed back out of sheer courtesy but quickly discovered that it meant little in terms of engagement. I still mostly follow back but I set notifications for blogs I have an interest in or for people I know are active readers of my blog, so I don’t miss their posts. Do whatever feels right for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great thoughts! My father-in-law recently expressed his opinion that service isn’t service if it isn’t voluntary and a gift that we actually want to be giving. I can absolutely see your point. It’s so important to be genuine. Actually, that’s one of the reasons I like WP better than any other social media site. I love reading other talented works and making sincere friends.

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  4. Brandon,

    You have to do what you are comfortable with AND for me i don’t do things here out of obligation. I do not automatically follow people back. If someone follows me that I’m unfamiliar with I will go to their blog and read a couple of posts and make a decision.

    In regards to likes, i only click the button if i truly liked the post (or appreciated it in some way)
    I appreciate “likes” as well but not empty ones. By that i mean the like that come in a couple seconds after you’ve posted something not allowing time for the person “liking” the post to actually read it…. or the people who “like” a dozen posts all within 30seconds… also telling me they didn’t read anything.

    Now comments are what really excite me. Agree or disagree, long or short…
    That is where it is at 😀

    I guess for me it is always Quality over Quantity. It is the same way i look at friends in real life. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I think this happens everywhere on the internet (and I guess in real life too), where a handful of people will abide by common etiquette, while the other portion only take from the world without giving back.

    I too have received lotsa comments that go “Wonderful post. Do visit my blog at…” but these are the bloggers with 10,000 subscribers and hundreds of likes per post, so I sometimes wonder if I’m missing out by not gaming the system.

    I myself prefer to have genuine connections, and I always ask myself how I can contribute to other people’s blogs without wanting anything in return, and that’s helped my commenting game greatly. Anyway, loved this topic. Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Brandon I am new to this too. I initially started my blog several years ago, but did not continue. This was a brief start. I have reinitiated since our world has changed, and while I am unsure of the etiquette, I do think following those that you have a genuine interest in is important. There are many subjects of interest and writers with incredible talent. I have been enjoying this process and hope that you will too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Honestly I had a lot of these questions starting out (and still wonder about a lot of them sometimes). In general my policy is that I only have so much time, so I might as well read and respond to posts that actually interest me. Activity in general seems to boost how many people visit my blog, so I might as well be entertained or educated as I put my name out there, if that makes sense.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It’s like one of those things with a line of suspended ball bearings that clack backwards and forwards when you set them in motion. You give and you get and you give and you get and you give and you get and you give and you get and you give and all of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I follow those who follow me. It is my way of showing appreciation for their support of my work. But then, I don’t always leave comments. I read and press the like button most times. People leave when they don’t always get a response;) I think it is the way things are when you blog. You tend to look for a response. But I have made great friends blogging, so I think who stays and who genuinely reads your work, matters. They give you a sense of accomplishment.

    Liked by 1 person

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