Allow me to step on my soapbox and let loose a rant that’s been brewing for quite sometime…*ahem*…
If you don’t want to read the whole post, I’ll lead with the end point:
I’m shutting down the SWS Facebook “page” and keeping it personal, the way I originally intended, by inviting you all to my regular profile. Click “follow” and you’ll get the daily blog post (as well as some bonus content).
Be sure to click “follow” and not “add friend” so you see the artsy content and avoid clogging up your own feed with my name tagged in various memes and medical articles. Follow HERE.
Now the reason…
A couple of months ago, Facebook notified me that they were going to shut down my blog profile unless I submitted legal documentation proving my name is She Walks Softly. So I converted the profile to a “page,” lost all my data, and now my blog posts are listed as reaching about 7 people instead of 500+ per day via Facebook specifically. Since I had barely touched the site for 5 years, I didn’t realize that Facebook wants us to buy ad space so they limit the post audience and don’t let us add anyone or communicate from a “page.”
I take issue with this because Facebook frequently makes announcements regarding its perpetual quest to target the user’s experience to his or her own interests, as if we should be grateful. It appears this is largely a veil for self-serving data mining and manipulation of visibility for financial gain.
I’m an extremely pronounced introvert. And while I adore and admire my extrovert friends who cast a wide social net, due to my own wiring I cannot…even where it would serve me…muster the faintest interest in non-substantive popularity. This quality is simultaneously a gift that ensures a high concentration of quality personal interactions in my life, and a curse in our market-saturated society that requires copious self-promotion for any independent project (an endeavor at which I’m not only miserable, but wholly inept). I’ve never promoted my blog anywhere nor have I taken any measures to grow the Facebook page. Whoever ended up on these sites found them of their own accord and wanted to be there.
The plummeting numbers themselves didn’t bother me. It bothers me that many people who went out of their way to tell me they appreciated the blog content and followed daily through Facebook no longer see the posts, and I have no recourse to make them aware of the shift. Even if I could remember all the strangers who have expressed gratitude and write to them from my regular profile, I would get temporarily banned for “spamming.” And, if I were able to write to these kind strangers, the messages would be relegated to the recipients’ “other/request” folder, most likely remaining unseen. I didn’t even know an “other” folder existed until there were hundreds of messages in it…and I still never check it.
In short: people who expressed genuine interest have been shut out. This hardly reflects the site’s purported benevolent preoccupation with targeting user interests. Apparently, there is a penalty for valuing quality over quantity, for wanting followers who actually give a damn about the material as opposed to page views that can be bought.
This blog is a fun hobby that has nothing to do with my career. I will never earn money off it, and that was a conscious choice I made so as not to alter my content for search engine optimization, feel tempted to post shameless clickbait, bombard people with pop-up ads and other flagrant marketing tools…or do anything other than share my love of art, absurdity, and the darker side of life with fellow enthusiasts.