Harry Wolff

You can't escape my laugh.

Blog Stat Anxiety

March 16, 2012
Read time 1 minute

I try really hard to ignore the stats for this blog. I try. I really do. But it’s so damn hard sometimes.

I like seeing my daily visits go up. It makes me feel popular, liked, appreciated. No one wants to be the last kid picked for the basketball team. They'd love to be picked first - but settle for anything but dead last.

That's how it is with view count stats. I live in abject horror on days that my view counts drop, and I yearn for so much more when I see a rise. I want to have as many visits as possible but anything is better than nothing.

Checking my stats every day is unhealthful. I don't want to, but like an addict needing one more hit I inevitably log into my WordPress dashboard to see how I did. Every day I'm either disappointed or afraid. The days my stats drop I'm sad, the days they go up I'm scared they'll go down tomorrow. It's not healthy.

I've tried to stop. I've forced myself to ignore my stats for a week. Then I got paranoid. I didn't know how my new content was performing, if people were responding to it favorably. I didn't know what type of work I should produce more, and what I should produce less. I worked myself into a tizzy imagining jeering peers throwing insults my way. It gave me stomach aches and anxious thoughts.

So I peeked at my stats. The next day I did the same. And the next. Before I knew it I was back to daily stat watching. Damn.

It's natural to be concerned with what people think of you. We're social creatures. We depend on each other to survive. I don't need my blog to do well to survive but I yearn for the fulfillment that I imagine popularity will bring. I'd love to be widely read and respected.

So that's why I watch the stats. I watch them go up, and I watch them go down. My blood pressure follows a similar curve. Sure it's not healthy, but what else do I have to do? Write? Yeah, like that'll help.