The Reason We Need 100 Followers (and What It Takes to Get Them)
Merriam-Webster defines reciprocity as: “a situation or relationship in which two people or groups agree to do something similar for each other, to allow each other to have the same rights, etc.: a reciprocal arrangement or relationship.” So, when you follow a Medium member who already follows you, the two of you are engaging in the art of reciprocation.
Oxford University Press defines social norms as: “common standards within a social group regarding socially acceptable or appropriate behaviour in particular social situations, the breach of which has social consequences. The strength of these norms varies from loose expectations to unwritten rules. Norms (such as those for social roles) are internalized in socialization. Functionalists emphasize that society, its institutions, and social order depend on social norms, but within a society different social groups also have their own norms. Compliant behaviour is termed normative but the existence of social norms does not prevent them from being frequently violated. Ethnomethodologists and symbolic interactionists emphasize the contestation of norms, and Marxists stress the role of coercion rather than normative consensus.”
In other words, reciprocity means to persuade and share. But reciprocity is not always an even exchange, and not everyone is online 24/7/365. So, problems can arise when expectations are high, and someone we have followed has not returned the favor. But the only one here on Medium responsible for doing any legwork necessary for getting into the Partner Program is each individual who seeks payment for their submissions.
So search for interesting articles. Then read them, like and share them, then post comments letting the authors know what you thought and that you have decided to follow them and look forward to reading more of their posts. Then be patient and move on to the next.
Never send a separate message at some later point and time reminding someone that you have followed them, yet they have not followed back. We all have our lives to live outside of cyberspace and cannot be held responsible for how you believe the metaverse should be. When the time is right for you to reach that one-hundredth follower, it will happen without you ever having to break a single sweat.
The Partner Program requirement of 100 Medium followers is a form of social psychology. They tempt us to help them gain more partners by rewarding us in the end with payments for our future posts once we help ourselves and (as an added benefit) others to gain 100 followers and then apply to become partners in the program.
But this social experiment is not for the faint of heart because our prose and poetry are our babies, and we want everyone to get to know them and like them because we think we do. But we are not sure, and we are not even sure we know and like ourselves. Well, at least some of us anyway. I know there are outliers out there. Still, deep down, we all want to be discovered and appreciated, and the longer we have to wait, the deeper it hurts because we begin to doubt our gift.
Some of us may even begin to feel we have gone back to those places in our childhoods where we felt the most ignored. But no one on Medium intends to do that to another. We are all doing the best we can to balance our work and home lives and find time for this passion of writing between it all. And when that happens, we do not mean to forget to read, like, share, comment, and follow. It is not always easy to get everything we want to get done all at once.
I joined Medium on 20 January 2022 and had 48 followers by 25 January 2022. And that did not bother me because I knew it would take some time to build up an audience. But I was bothered by the number of articles suggesting ways to gain 100 followers in less than 168 hours. Still, out of curiosity, I read a few of those articles and other works by those authors. I also liked, commented, and followed every one of them. But I have my reasons for deciding not to share. For example, I have not had a Twitter or LinkedIn account for years and do not plan to create either now.
No one suggested anything I did not already know. So, I decided to write an article of my own. When I began to write this article yesterday (26 January 2022), I had about 61 followers. I currently have 70 and secretly hope to reach that magic number of 100 by the end of the day. But if that does not happen tonight, it will not be the end of the world.
The reason we need 100 followers is reciprocity. It challenges us, helps us gain more contacts (from around the world), gets us closer to acceptance into the Partner Program, and boosts our self-esteem. And some of us may even get discovered by a traditional publishing house, magazine, or newspaper.
Harvey Mackay, the author of Swim with The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive, says reciprocity is the key when it comes to keeping up with your network. And he encourages interdependency, sharing, and keeping at it (networking). Those four actions will get you well beyond the 100 followers you seek.
And I know because I have been there myself when funds are low, and you are desperate to make money any way you can, R. I. S. K. (Reciprocity, Interdependency, Sharing, and Keeping at It) may seem too much to ask when all you want to do is write. But unless you want your writings to only be read by you or your family members and close, personal friends, you have to interact with your followers and help each other’s network grow.
So if you would like to join the Partner Program but have not yet reached 100 followers, set aside a few hours each day or a few days each week specifically to read, like, comment, and share pieces written by your current followers and members whose works you have never read before. Remember to follow them as well.
I spent the past few days taking care of my health and working on this post. So tomorrow I will catch up with all my followers. But if any of you are reading this now, thank you for reading this. And thank you for choosing to follow me and accepting my request to follow you, if you had done that as well. And, thank you to those of you who have reached the end of this post and have decided to follow me as well. Once I have logged back in and seen an increase in my followers, I will follow back (those I do not already follow).