I think there are a lot of people who love the idea of online fame. The thought of constantly showing up in people’s feeds must be a good one because I have some Facebook friends who still post no fewer than three posts every single day. I have it. I don’t actually like it.
Single Dad Laughing on Facebook has 1.4 million followers. Actually, that’s kind of douchey of me. I dismissed 10,433 people into thin air by shortening that number, and those are real people. I actually have 1,410,433 as of this moment. That page gets a minimum of four new posts every day. Sometimes up to twelve. What people don’t know is that I hardly ever post anything at all. I have an assistant who does it. Her name is Christina. She’s a fucking rock star.
Back before smart phone addictions and mass content blogs destroyed personal blogging as a way of making an actual living, I grew that page to three hundred thousand plus followers on the merits of my own writing. That’s pretty damn impressive, I think. For a Dad Blog, anyway.
I used to love it. My following was an actual following. They read my stuff and they cared when I posted stuff. Then Facebook did a massive overhaul on their algorithm and “my stuff” more or less disappeared from people’s news feeds overnight. No longer could I just post a link when I wrote something. I had to stay extremely relevant if I wanted to show up at all. It was right around the time Facebook introduced sponsored posts to the masses. And since I didn’t have five hundred bucks to make sure my followers kept seeing my links any time I shared a new one, I decided to combat it by playing a different game… The George Takei game.
You see, if I just posted several posts that got ridiculous amounts of shares, it would also show my links to people. So I started posting memes. Ridiculous… stupid… hilarious memes. It fixed the problem immediately. My actual links kept getting seen, and I kept making at least somewhat of a living.
That was more than 1 million followers ago. The memes became my Facebook Page, and over the course of a few years my following of three hundred thousand fairly devoted followers dried up. People were following me for pictures they could share on their own walls. After a while, hardly anyone cared at all when I wrote something new on my blog.
I’m a writer. I’m an author. And god damn it, I’m a pretty good one when I put my heart into it.
What am I not? I’m not a meme sharer. I’m not a meme creator. I’m not a guy who really wants people to click on some article about ten stupid things teenagers said to their parents (the latest game I’ve had to play to keep making a living).
I wonder how many of my original followers are still there. I wonder how many of them wish it could go back to the way things were. I wonder how many of them gave up on me; I bet it was a shit ton.
1.4 million followers. Plus 10,433.
That is a lot of people.
In the past week more than 19,000 people followed the page. My posts reached 36 million people. THIRTY SIX MILLION. In a fucking week.
That’s a good thing, right?
Well, yeah. I’m not going to pretend it isn’t. My page is rocking. I have a lot of awesome followers. I make money posting links through it. I sell t-shirts through it. Yeah, I make a living through it. Most importantly (and I’m not just saying this), it is a page that really helps people feel better in a world where we’re becoming sadder and lonelier as a whole. It’s an amazing page.
But Single Dad Laughing is no longer me. It’s memes. And links. And t-shirts. And silliness. And laughing. And my face is everywhere. My face, the little icon next to every post, reached 36 million people last week.
People think they like the idea of online fame. Not me. I like the idea of people online liking something I create because they actually like it. I like the idea of people commenting because something I created stirred them to comment on it. I like the idea of a much smaller following that just follows my stuff because they find my stuff valuable.
I also like the idea of not being touted as “the famous one” when I am introduced to new people. I like the idea of going on dates and not being so easily stalkable. I like the idea of having to earn notoriety and respect with everyone I meet, and not just have it assumed because “lots of people like me.” I really like the idea of having my own identity again.
I’m going to resurrect Single Dad Laughing. I’m going to keep writing it because it fills an awesome part of my life. It brings lots of people together. It lets me share those parts of me that I think the masses will enjoy or that I think will help them. Single Dad Laughing is such a good thing. It’s just not everything.
I’m Dan Pearce. I’m not Single Dad Laughing.
So there it is. Here I am. I like that I’m doing this. I feel like a far more accurate representation of me will finally exist. The balance is finally coming back together.
If you want to follow this blog instead, here is my new Facebook page for it.
As of writing this, it has one like. My own. So go follow it. Just do me a favor and ONLY follow it if:
You’re okay not getting constant memes.
You’re okay not getting silly links.
You’re okay getting posts to these blog posts.
You’re okay with the word “fuck,” including variations of it like “fuck stick.”
You’re willing to click on the “get notifications” option when you like the page, since I won’t be posting on it often enough to “stay relevant.”
If you don’t follow that page, it’s cool. We’ll laugh about all my (assistant’s) favorite things together over on Single Dad Laughing.
Dan Pearce, The Dan Pearce Blog