Repeat after me: “I am a person! I am a living individual with my own interests, my own thoughts and my own will!” Now, I’ll have you warned, this blog post is a rant. Nothing more, nothing less. And what may I rant about today, you ask? The fact that people forget that I am a person!
Now, I am very aware that most of those I’ll be ranting at, might not have a very good life. They might not be very happy with themselves, they may be in a difficult situation. They might even just be bad at putting words on things, and end up sounding like complete shitheads (sorry, I said I was ranting). That’s fine.
But I am wholeheartedly surprised (and saddened) by how much some people care about the amount of followers they have. And wholeheartedly surprised (and equally disgusted) that they reduce me to the name of my account, often in the same sentence. The “hello, I am a person” in my account is ripped away, and people stay put with “lillentheshire”. Like my account just somehow exists and uploads pictures, long captions, and respond to messages and comments all by itself. Like some weird form for AI that doesn’t have any emotions or free will.
I’ve always been thrown off by the “F4F?” comments I keep receiving. And being the person I am, I always decline in some polite way, with an explanation for why I don’t do F4F. You see; I care more about what I enjoy seeing, than the amount of followers I have. Shocking, right? So if I enjoy your content, I will follow you – easy as that. If I don’t, I will not.
But the fun (or shall we call it a tragedy?) starts when people respond with threats, just because I choose for myself what I want to see on Instagram. For instance, someone just concluded that I am selfish and that don’t care about Lillen, simply because I wasn’t insulted by her calling him ugly. And she only called him ugly because I said I didn’t want to follow her back. I personally don’t understand why someone would be interested in following an ugly horse in the first place, but surely, her opinion should be fairly respected. She is allowed to think that he is ugly, right?
I even had one lady send me a poorly worded death threat, which I found hilarious. I invited her over for tea and told her when I’m typically home, and that she was free to stop by when she had time to. This is now four months ago, and she still hasn’t shown up. I don’t think that conversation went in the direction she wanted, but surely it is polite to show up when you’re invited home to someone, right?
Other more common threats is that they are going to stop following me. Which I happily advice them to, because if they can’t see me as the person I am, and follow me because THEY want to, I don’t really want them following ME.
What bothers me most, though, isn’t the fact that people enjoy the F4F culture. If that’s how they intend on using Instagram; that’s fine! It is the fact that it reduces me from a person, to the name of my account, that bothers me. Because they are hunting for the “lillentheshire has now started following you”, and care more about that, than me as a person and what I enjoy to look at.
If you’re into this whole F4F-thing; you do you, alright? I know it’s an entire culture on Instagram, and as long as you still see people as humans, I don’t really care. But the amount of people who try to push me to get what they want, is disgustingly grand. If people politely decline, and even bother to send you a message so you know why, just don’t be a shithead back. Alright?
I am a very picky person. I am on Instagram to see things I like, and that isn’t a whole lot. I like my friends. I follow my friends. I love pictures of hens in tutus. Snakes with hats on. I enjoy high quality pictures of happy horses. I also follow comedy accounts, and other things not related to horses.
And I care more about being inspired, happy, and find interest in things, than pleasing a person with “lillentheshire has now started following you”. I am not a people pleaser, have never been, never will be. I don’t see my account name as a prize. I don’t see me following anyone to be an achievement.
Yet I do my best to be polite and give a proper reply. Because I don’t want to reduce any “F4F” person to the name of their account, as they do to me. And so many people act up. I mean, I could just block them, right? Yet I choose to attempt to have a conversation with them.
Because I am a person. Allow me to be a person.