Whenever I write something really touching, or post something ridiculously clever, and it goes unnoticed. It stings. It stings more than I care to admit. Unacknowledged. Un-liked. But it isn’t the likes I seek. It is for the reader—sometimes a specific reader, to find what I want to say to them. When I blog, it is quite personal, heartfelt and it means something to me. I want it to mean something to others in my life too and I wonder if the people who actually read my posts are able to find themselves in my written words?
When I share on social media the poems and stories that I have recently written it’s simply advertising, me creating a digital profile for future editors. The best two commissioned contracts that I have ever signed were from simple retweets and sharing a post. The people I want to reach will be able to read a wide variety of pieces that I have written.
But then there are the stories that I have written for the people that I care about.
I once wrote a story that involved five characters. It got published, but the story was really meant for one person. I don’t know if they have read it. I will not ask, but I hope that when and if they do, they smile. I hope whatever hurts, is quieted, possibly mended and that the days begin to get easier. My most recent story was also published. I wrote that story about one main interaction with a young encouraging woman in a restroom, but I wrote it to encourage all woman and to let women know that they are not alone, and there is always someone cheering for them.
We live in a world of instant gratification and countless self-esteem boosting social media websites. We have created this world, surrounded ourselves with fake friends, fake affirmation and whole lot of fake lives.
Let’s stop the fake. Let’s stop pretending. Let’s be real with each other.
So the next time you post something touching or clever, and no one “likes” it, do not despair. People have seen that pic. They have read the article. They may also bring it up later in conversation. Be real. Be you. Be kind. Be loving. Then it really won’t matter if anyone reads your posts.
Written by Kelli J. Gavin – Carver, MN
Originally submitted as “Stop the Fake”