The Underbelly of Blogging * Tyrannical Numbers

Numbers can be a joy slayer, can't they.

You don't need to be a blogger for too long {or engage in any kind of social media, for that matter} to find that you can quickly become absolutely obsessed with analytics of all kinds.

Hits.  Comments.  Subscribers.  Followers.  Active users.  New users.  Number of sessions per user.  Average session duration.  Bounce rate.  Pages per session.  Page views.

This unwieldy obsession, the endless striving, the unhealthy comparison, can fill us up with a rather unattractive pride when the hits keep on coming.  Or make us feel like great big losers when the numbers dry up. 

An obsession with statistics leads to all kinds of unsettling responses ... confusion, disappointment, frustration, ungratefulness, comparison, hurt feelings, jealousy, and burnout.  When we go there, our focus quickly moves from producing quality work and building healthy community to an exhausting, creative-sapping marathon that leads us nowhere fast.

If how we feel about ourselves rises and falls with our ever-changing stats, we'll never be at peace with who God's created us to be.  And if there's no peace in our souls, we won't be able to love others well, for we'll always be prone to following some kind of off-kilter agenda.

And that will do nothing but hinder us from authentically, joyfully obeying the biblical mandate to 'encourage one another daily' {Hebrews 3:13}.

Numbers lie.  

They don't speak the truth of who we are in Christ.  They don't necessarily reflect the unique creativity we've been given or speak to any godly wisdom we may have to offer.  They are fickle and transient and too easily throw us off course.

If we put too much emphasis on the messages they send us, they can become an idol, pure and simple.  

For me, being fairly technologically ignorant has turned out to be bliss.  I have no idea how many subscribers I have and follow only the most minimal statistical info.  This utter lack of savvy and smarts has its advantages, keeping me from somehow feeling like I've arrived on some imaginary pinnacle ... or am going no place fast.

For sure, the whole numbers thing can morph into some kind of weird personal crazy train.  The truth is that our stats will continue to go up and down.  And I refuse to allow any kind of disheartening roller coaster ride to define myself as a writer, a community builder, a pastoral counselor, or a woman.

I'm not going to allow blogging to sap my creativity or steal my joy.

I'm aiming to keep on doing my best work, leaning into making it my goal to please Him {2 Corinthians 5:9}.  All other ground is sinking sand.  

Let's talk numbers.  Just this once.

Also in this mini-series ...
The Underbelly of Blogging * 


I'll see you @