Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Do you follow me?

At some time in your life you must have encountered it. There you are, walking down the street at dusk; hoofing it along some echoing tunnel on the London Underground (other subways are available); or climbing your stairs at home. And suddenly you get the sensation that you are being followed. Now, this could mean one of three things; (i) you're suffering a paranoid episode and there's no-one there; (ii) there's someone who just happens to be going in the same general direction as your good self and there's nothing to worry about; or (iii) you're being followed.

In meatspace (as some folk have taken to calling the real world) option (iii) is not to be recommended. The follower could be a psychopath, hell-bent on slaughtering you in a revolting, but interesting, fashion, a private detective, who for some reason unknown to you is logging your every move and reporting back to your partner via a short-wave radio (if such things still exist), or (worst of all) a Chugger, who will greet you like a long-lost brother/sister and attempt to get you to sign up to regular charitable donations. I think you're probably safer with the psychopath. At least you can reason with them on some level or other.

Victoria households advertising for maids-of-all-work or other servants would often specify 'no followers' upon the handbill. The last thing they wanted was for hordes of disreputable working class men hanging around outside their villas, waiting for young Ruby to knock off so that they could whilsk her off to the music hall. It lowered the tone of the street, and it reduced Ruby's ability to concentrate on her work. Now, of course, it wouldn't be a problem. Ruby would switch on her laptop, log in to Blogger, Twitter, or some such, and have any number of 'followers' at the tips of her poor chapped fingers. Seedy young gentlemen in houndstooth jackets with pomaded hair and waxed moustaches could make mildly indecent suggestion to Ruby all night long without the mistress being any the wiser.

I have thirty four followers on Blogger; quality followers, all of you, to a man (or woman, of course). On Twitter, I currently rejoice in the friendship of ninety five fellow humans. One thing I've noticed on the latter application (albeit not amongst those with whom I currently correspond) that there seems to be, for want of a better word, a 'competition' to see who can acquire the most 'followers'. Personally, I prefer quality rather than quantity, so I hesitate to have as my 'follower' an American gentleman who does nothing other than witter on about James Dean and Marilyn Monroe (whoever they are), a chap of indeterminate provenance who claims I can make millions just by using Twitter, and a lady of dubious moral character who already seems to have far more gentleman callers than is good for her. But why do we feel able to sidle up to people electronically and ask them if they will be our friend? Would we do this in meatspace? What reaction would we get if we did? Tomorrow, try walking up to a total stranger, tug the sleeve of his/her coat, and enquire, 'Will you be my friend?' And then post a comment on this blog to let me know how you got on. If they let you keep your laptop in the cell, that is. So I shall stick to the company of those who intrigue, fascinate, engage or amuse me, and leave the virtual sleeve-tugging to others.

But I can't help worrying. I've been stuck on thirty four Blogger followers for an awfully long time. Is there something wrong with me? Oh. I now seem to have thirty five...

16 comments:

punk in writing said...

Another blog post, another triumph!

chris hale said...

Punky - Aw, thank you!

willow said...

I was explaining to an elderly family member on my recent travels about my blog and "followers". I apparently gave them a good laugh, since they compared it to Christ and the apostles! ;^)

mo.stoneskin said...

Something wrong with you?

I doubt it. Unless you're constantly under the sensation that you are being followed...

Actually, I always get that sensation. I think it might be my mind just lagging behind a few steps.

Dedene said...

I would just love to be able to go up to someone and ask them if they'd be my friend. Wouldn't that be a nice change? I really enjoy your posts!

Madame DeFarge said...

Liked this post a lot. I suspect that many of the people whom I follow would be interesting in real life, especially if we exchange many comments over time and I get a sense of their character. However, if I ever met them, I'd be all shy and bashful. Honest.

Karen Redman said...

This was a wonderfully well written post. I am still chuckling ...

chris hale said...

Willow - I had a boss once. The only reason people followed him was out of idle curiosity!

Mo - I'm not paranoid! It's not paranoia when you know they really are out to get you!

Dedene - It depends where you are. In London they'd think you were mad or wanted money!

MDF - I have correspeonded by email with a few bloggy friends and that gives a different perspective again. But shy? You? Nah!

Karen - Thanks! Have you seen my haunted hat yet?

Derrick said...

Hi Chris,

Be happy with the 35(still there, I checked). I'm sure I would be paranoid if I was anywhere near Willow's 895??!!

BTW, how are Ruby's poor chapped fingers?

Comedy Goddess said...

Thank you! Six months ago I had no idea how relavant this concept would be. I feel so shallow sometimes.

chris hale said...

Derrick - Oh, I'm very happy with 35! As I said, quality, not quantity! And Ruby? She's been soaking her hands in carbolic all days and feels much better.

CG - Don't feel shallow! A couple of months back I had no idea what Twitter was. I wonder what the Next Big Thing will be?

Val said...

'meatspace' - ugh! dont think i want to use that one..but i think i am following you anyhow; no sleeve tugging tho ...promise :-)

chris hale said...

Val - sounds pretty revolting, doesn't it?

Keep following...you never know where I might end up!

Angpang said...

Got yourself another blog follower.

chris hale said...

Yay! Thanks Angie! I'll pour the tea...

小貓咪 said...

情色網,情色a片,情色遊戲,85cc成人片,嘟嘟成人網,成人網站,18成人,成人影片,成人交友網,成人貼圖,成人圖片區,成人圖片,成人文章,成人小說,成人光碟,微風成人區,免費成人影片,成人漫畫,成人文學,成人遊戲,成人電影,成人論壇,成人,做愛,aio,情色小說,ut聊天室,ut聊天室,豆豆聊天室,聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,080視訊聊天室,免費視訊聊天,哈啦聊天室,視訊聊天,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,6k聊天室,視訊聊天室,成人聊天室,中部人聊天室,免費視訊,視訊交友,視訊美女,視訊做愛,正妹牆,美女交友,玩美女人,美女,美女寫真,美女遊戲,hi5,hilive,hi5 tv,a383,微風論壇,微風,伊莉,伊莉討論區,伊莉論壇,sogo論壇,台灣論壇,plus論壇,plus,痴漢論壇,維克斯論壇,情色論壇,性愛,性感影片,校園正妹牆,正妹,AV,AV女優,SEX,走光,a片,a片免費看,A漫,h漫