The Falsehoods of View Stats

I’ve just added the ‘Blog Stats’ widget to my page and I can’t help but wonder whether it is something I really want to do. Do I want to know how many hits I’ve gotten? Do I want other people to know this? What do they mean, and why should I care about them?

This is something I have noticed for a long time, not only in wordpress but in almost every other website; this idea of keeping count of how many people visit your page. Somehow it strikes me as both narcissistic and masochistic, for I simultaneously seem to shouting ‘Look at me, look at me! People like me!’ and crying ‘Boohoo me, people don’t like me’. If I get ‘high’ numbers (and what is high, and how does one determine this in relation to ‘the world’ anyways?) then having a counter that proudly displays it makes it seem like I’m bragging, and yet if I don’t get many numbers, does that mean I am unpopular? Should I be worried? And once again, should I care?

The problem, I suppose, is that there is no one to compare oneself with, but if there was then one would be forced into, what seems to me, a very unhealthy race for popularity and power. It’s like school all over again with people judging each other based on the number of friends in their little group. The worst part is that I cannot help myself from looking at the stupid stats and ascribing some level of importance to them. I look at the 31,200 hits on my fanfiction stories and grin, slightly smile at the pathetic 841 hits on my YT vids, and scratch my head at the 300+ hits here (seriously, with no basis for comparison, I am just mildly confused and entertained by this number), and yet deep down inside I utterly HATE myself for it.

I dislike the idea of competing against others; it’s a waste of time and effort and I would much rather ‘do the things I do’ for the pleasure of doing them, not for any recognition. Nonetheless, it is still there, that inkling of pleasure drawn from a set of meaningless numbers that in no way reflect anything relevant at all. They do not validate what I do, neither do they condone it. Instead, all they do is produce in me a false sense of either ‘accomplishment’ or ‘failure’ that should not be the motivation behind my actions.

This is why I’ve written it down. If I express my feelings (whenever I can identify their strange presence) and thoughts I force them to submit to my will and thus control them (laughs maniacally). By throwing them into the world I take away their power over me. So what if I look at the stats and get a happy or sad feeling?, they are meaningless and I have stated them to be so; take THAT stats! I bet you weren’t expecting that! Na-na-na-na-na-nah, and a good dose of snobbish disdain to be sure. I have rendered that which is meaningless even more meaningless. Have I accomplished something? No. This makes me happy.

With all my indifference,

AR ^_^

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