The Numbers That Matter

I’ve been stewing over a few questions the past few weeks.  They might sound harsh or mean, but stick with me…Here goes:

Do we really need to toot our own horns?  Do we really need to comment endlessly about the ever growing number of Twitter or Facebook followers we have? 

What if we gave up on shameless self promotion and started cheering for one another instead?

This is not a novel idea.  It’s as old as God. 

I am sure some amount of self-promotion is not bad or evil.  We like to talk about ourselves because we are awesome.  But what happens when book sales, Twitter and Facebook numbers become our obsessive thought?  I think we’ve gone too far.  I think it’s time to shift our focus off of the crowd of followers we have on to our audience of ONE (ahem, that’s God again).

I was sort of worried about this awhile ago.  Some people got mad at me for not responding to their endless comments on my Facebook page, and blocked me.  (It’s the modern day shunning, isn’t it? ) I don’t handle rejection or criticism well, so I asked an old and very wise friend what I should do about it.  You know what she said?  Ignore them.  Your influence on their lives is very minimal anyway.  When you die, you really will only be very missed by about 12 people.  The rest will get over it quicker than you imagine.  What?  I thought my influence spread as far as my blog stats, and my Twitter and Facebook friends reached. and even farther! Gail said my influence might not be as significant as I thought it might be.  Ouch.

Gail wasn’t saying my life is insignificant.  She was saying the opposite.  She was simply telling me that the influence that matters the most is on those 12 or so people closest to me. They are the numbers that matter.  They are the ones that count the most.  I’ll be focusing on those 12 harder than ever.

Who are your 12 or so?


By the way…you can follow me on Twitter HERE

or on Facebook HERE


4 thoughts on “The Numbers That Matter

  1. You never know, though, whose life you may touch simply by saying something you say so well. In the viral age you have a much larger opportunity to make a small difference – however far removed it might be. You’ve inspired me in ways you don’t know and that never would have happened without Twitter or Facebook. You can’t make 10 friends without the POSSIBILITY of reaching 10 people.

  2. Disney Cyndi says:

    My family members (which numbers are a bit more then 12) especially my husband, kids, my mom, sister aunts, uncles and cousins.

  3. Shelly W. says:

    I really appreciate your thoughts on this, Michelle. I’ve struggled with “Christian” writers who do that very thing–run around tooting their horns. It just bothers me for some reason. I feel like, for me, I just need to do the work God’s given me to do and get on with it.

  4. Dan Clark says:

    I enjoy reading about your journey (& some others) in blogs. I have not drank the social networking “koolaid” (twitter, etc), but I can understand the temptation to “toot your own horn.” I guess things like twitter and facebook can be considered by some to be part of building community…but I don’t agree. I agree with your friend about those dozen or so people closest to you having the most impact. I am not saying we should be in a bubble with just a few people, but we need to keep some perspective and do some prioritizing when it comes to maintaining community. Some relationships (people) are positive, encouraging and healthy…and others are not. I think if we are honest with ourselves, we can tell the difference.

Leave a Reply