There’s a meme going around. It looks like this:
If you spend any time on the internet, we all have that one follower who likes and comments on everything. Without that follower, we’d have nobody. It’s why the meme doesn’t sit well with me. It seems condescending because that one fan probably doesn’t realize she’s your one fan. She probably thinks she’s your friend.
And, yet, there’s some truth to this meme. There is always that one person who likes and comments on every goddamn post. It turns out that I’m that one fan for Tim Sackett. I like and comment on nearly everything he posts. I’m not sure why because not everything needs a comment.
I’ve also come to realize that my one-fan-syndrome looks weird to other people in his life — his family, neighbors, local friends — who wonder why LAURIE ROOTI-SOMETHING is always on Facebook.
I’m not always on Facebook, but when I am, I’m always on Tim’s feed. It’s not creepy. It’s nice, right?
(No, it’s creepy.)
Poor Tim didn’t tell me to back off, but he didn’t not tell me to back off when he said that his neighbors wonder who the hell I am. (Who am I? Who am I? I’m LFR, don’t they read my highly regarded HR blog?) But I get it. I’ve had to tell people to back off on my stuff, too. Especially men who I’ve never met in real life who are on my social media accounts like flies on poop.
My mom once asked, “Who the hell is this guy who keeps leaving comments on your account?”
I’m like — “Mom, nunya business! He’s a fan!”
That guy turned out to be an excessively attached fan. Not the first, not the last, and a jarring lesson in boundaries. Also, my mom can sniff this stuff out a mile away.
Listen, we’ve all been there. Super-aligned on politics, totally in sync with someone’s animal photos, and excited when we see new pictures of our internet friends. When you find someone in the world who believes in your causes, it’s hard not to become an eager beaver.
But the one-fan-syndrome is real, and we should all guard against being that one fan who values someone else’s online presence more than we value real relationships.
Are you that one follower? Do you have that one follower? The best way to manage this whole existential experience is to get the hell off the internet.
That’s sage advice for just about every scenario in life, by the way.