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  • Viva Sarah Press

Have you ever got a social media cold shoulder?

At first, I couldn’t figure it out. Two completely different people, who used to like my posts, suddenly stopped liking them.

It’s not that I write to garner likes.

I write because I like to write.

I write because I have millions of ideas swirling in my brain and writing is a great outlet.

I write because it is how I breathe.

And I write a blog (two, actually) because it is my business card as a journalist and speaker.

I hope the writing that I share (there are many more documents on my hard drive that have not and will not be shared) earns engagement. Not necessarily likes.

Of course, I don’t expect likes from my closer friends because we communicate in other ways. We go out, we speak on the phone and chat via Whatsapp. Sometimes these friends will hit the ‘like’ button and other times they won’t. It’s all good.

Again, blogging is important for business cred.

So, you know, bloggers get used to a community of online supporters, the people who like the posts. Certain posts magnetize certain people.

And, yes, even two people (yep, two) who suddenly go AWOL, especially as they were prone to share and comment, caught my notice when they went silent.

When these two – not together but rather at different intervals -- stopped liking the posts in a genre they had liked up to the point they didn’t, I started to wonder why.

First, I assumed I was writing on subjects that didn’t hold interest anymore. And again, while I write for myself, I do hope the writing that I share appeals to others.

That wasn’t it. According to my analytics, the subjects I blog about are still attractive.

Then I had a thought that perhaps – and without sounding paranoid – it was intentional. So, I googled “social media cold shoulder.”

Turns out… it is a real thing! It is also referred to as “virtual cold shoulder.” Or “digital dissing.”

I had no idea this phenomenon existed. And it turns out there are so many reasons why people purposely withhold a “like.”

I found a blog dedicated to friends who ignore you on social media. Click on the link to read it or know that the takeaway of this blog is that the Facebook algorithm is to blame. The blog also suggests that there may be an unresolved validation need from the blogger.

I found a blog about parenting and moms who ignore more “perfect moms” on social media. The synopsis of this blog: social media makes moms feel inadequate, like failures and not creative enough. So, the blogger doesn’t “like” those she deems more “fun, motherly and confident.” Similarly, I read a blog that promotes ignoring Facebook friends if what they write about makes you feel insecure. While I don’t think my blogs trigger insecurities of any kind, I prefer to be ignored than be the person making someone feel bad about themselves.

I also found a blog on Facebook manipulation. According to this blogger, “Not liking is an excellent passive-aggressive way to send someone a message. The colleague, friend or boss who has consistently liked your stuff and has now gone cold but is still active on Facebook, is sending you a message. No, you're not being paranoid -- you're being ignored.”

So, am I being ignored because my blogs make someone feel inadequate or is it the Facebook algorithm or is it intentional? All the answers are fine by me. Of course, it’s nice to be liked. After all, Facebook offers a “like” button – not a “dislike” or “ignore” button.

But so long as no one is being hurt by my words, the variety of reasons for the social media cold shoulder are all good. It doesn't matter the reason.

Why? Because if there’s a reason someone is ignoring me or a reason for going cold, it also means that it has nothing to do with my writing. And as such, my writing isn’t boring. And that is a great relief. And a compliment I’ll take.

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