Endeavoring to explain why influencers like me fall short in responding to every message and comment they receive.
A few days ago I asked my audience on Instagram what I can do in 2021 to better serve them. One of my followers responded “by paying attention to other people you inspire. Its not helpful to not respond to our messages.”
Her response prompted me to write this blog post and hopefully explain why it has been quite the challenge to get to every single message influencers receive on social media.
For some context, I have almost 24,000 followers on Instagram. On average 2500-3000 people view my Instagram stories when I post them. Of the 2500-3000 people who view my stories, about 10-15 people will reply to my stories consistently.
Whenever I share a spiritual message, something funny, or something transparent, I get an average of 50 -70 responses to those messages. Majority of those messages are emoji responses, such as “Fire” “hand clap” “Yess” and “Amen.” So it’s pretty easy to miss more “meaningful” responses amidst these messages. Furthermore, if I am not following you, I won’t get a notification of your message. It will go into message requests and currently I have 99+ pending message requests. But today, I don’t want you to believe I mistakenly miss messages because I’m just so busy with life.
I’ve been influencing/blogging since 2013. For over seven years, never once have I been offended by a message/comment going unanswered. When I leave a comment on a post, and the blogger doesn’t acknowledge or respond to the post, I take it to mean they simply didn’t respond. If I send a direct message to a blogger, especially one who doesn’t know me personally, and they don’t respond; it simply means one of three things: they didn’t see the message, they didn’t find it necessary to respond, or they forgot to send a response. All these reasons are justifiable. After all, the blogger is not obligated to me. Just because I follow someone does not mean she has to acknowledge me. Just because I follow someone does not mean we have anything in common. Just because I follow someone does not mean I like who she actually is a person. Not all of my followers like me. Some are monitoring spirits sent to monitor my movements. Imagine me subjecting myself to all my followers just to please them. That would mean I’d have to subject myself to some demons as well.
The truth is, most people think highly of themselves and think what they say and how they feel is of utmost importance. But we will not always be considered important to the people we value or respect. It sounds harsh but it’s simply the truth. Just because you value, admire, and/or respect someone does not mean they are require to value, admire and/or respect you.
Imagine for a second that I follow and engage with all 24,000 of my followers on Instagram. From a physical standpoint, what benefit would that serve me? I’m sure I’d foster some great relationships in the process, but don’t you think I’ll also be exposed to some evil people as well. From a spiritual standpoint, I could never and would never expose my spirit and be led by 24,000 strangers on the internet. I also neither have the time nor the capacity to test the spirit of several thousand people before exposing my eyes and ears to what they have to say. So, it’s simply not wise to do so.
Influencing and content creating isn’t as simple as it appears from the outside. Exposing yourself, your family, your past experiences, your doctrinal beliefs, etc. will always come with some sort of resistance. I’m now wise enough to know that not everyone who follows me likes me or wishes the best for me. Not every positive message I receive is an indication of support. Over the years, my followers have shown me just how fickle they are. I’ve ignorantly fostered relationships with people in the past who, today, despise me because of something I said on social media. I’ve prayed with and financially supported people I’ve met on social media only for them to turn their backs on me because I rebuked them in love for a sin they were committing. I’ve met people on social media who hold offences against me because I did not show up for them when they thought I should during their time of need. And I know other bloggers who celebrated and pretended to love me when I was working with a big brand or while I was on a television show. But in my quieter seasons, ignored me because they no longer valued what I brought to the table. I’ve also had followers admit to me that they unfollowed me because I made statements and posts that exposed their insecurities.
All Human beings are fickle.
I was sure of this going into the profession and I will be sure of it whenever I leave. Even Jesus did not entrust Himself to people.
Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person. John 2:23-25
If Jesus, the Son of God, didn’t entrust Himself to men, why should I. I take social media as an assignment. This isn’t some leisure activity for me. This is ministry. God has called me to be a blogger to win souls for the kingdom and to glorify His name through my pages. He did not call me to subject myself to followers who think I am obligated to respond to every “yaasss” or “You look so beautiful” because they follow me. Am I appreciative of the comments, heck yes! It makes me feel good. It increases my engagement on social media, and it confirms that people enjoy what I post. And for that I am truly grateful. But then there are some who don’t really care much about what I post, they are just sent to provoke me and testify that I am ungrateful to the audience that follows me.
I’m sure some of you were looking for a softer response to why I do not answer messages. Sorry to disappoint you. This is not it. This is just the truth. Notice I made no mention about my “busy schedule” corporate job, family, or ministry responsibilities. I’m sure I could have made this post about all of that but what purpose would that serve you? It would only coddle you and make you believe that I wanted to respond but didn’t have the time to.
That isn’t my truth and it will never be. I see 95% of all the messages and comments I receive on social media. I intentionally ignore some messages for the reasons mentioned above. If that makes me unworthy of being followed, then please do what is best for you. But know this, I will always live in my truth and be my most authentic self. I will not subject myself to every single message you send me for fear of your unfollow. No, can’t do that.
Having said all, I want to also remind you to extend grace. Sometimes, I get sent 10 paragraphs via DM requesting for advice about boyfriend issues. And at the time the message is sent, my mind is consumed with so many other things. Sometimes, I’m in the middle of my daughter’s bedtime routine. Sometimes I get a call just when I am about to respond. If I leave you on read and you really desire a response, send me another message. Chances are I just forgot to respond and when I do remember, I can’t find your message anymore. If you really want my advice, help, or prayers, BE PERSISTENT like the woman with the issue of blood. I wonder what story we would know about her if after a few failed attempts to get to Jesus, she concluded that He did not care about her enough to stop and heal her.
In the end, if you remember nothing else about this post, remember I am not obligated to you. I am obligated to Jesus.