Thanks to technology, we are able to track so many things. Blog hits. Followers. Views. Even site of referral and the viewer’s city.
I should know. I administrate four Facebook pages and two Twitter pages, handle stats on two blogs, and maintain two websites. Every week, stats bombard me, either through my inbox or through my need to know. Some days, I walk on air. Other days, well…not so much.
Stats vs. Worth
Whether in real life or social media, it’s easy to equate worth with popularity. How often have I felt awkward about a Facebook post that got zip for likes or a blog post that registered just above 0.01 on the Richter scale? Or the times in life when good intentions fell flat, or when I deemed silence to be disapproval.
We want to be worth something in others’ eyes. We need value—crave it, seek it, do stupid things for it. Been there, done that. Still do it.
But I’ve learned one of the most harmful things I can do is to seek self-worth from numbers. If 10,000 people decided tomorrow my writing is worth reading, God would not love me one iota more, nor would I somehow reach a higher distinction of favorability with Him. Stats, popularity, and hearts change, but of the three, hearts are what He cares about.
Stats are Skewed
Just as we can’t really track the good we do, stats online or offline are not going to be 100% accurate. I remember once receiving over a dozen likes on a Facebook post on my author page, only to be told by Facebook that it had reached a grand total of one person. (Seriously, FB? I know what you’re trying to get me to do.)
Numbers represent a good thing, but they’re an awful thing to live for. At the end of the day, if we’re really trying to reach people, even a “1” in a stat feed should be worth something. A “0” can be disappointing, and it could be hard not to question it, seethe, or despair. But effort is never wasted because…
There are Greater Things Than Stats
Whether zero or one hundred people read this post, I’ll still have done what God is calling me to do. I’ll still have grown a little bit stronger when I look at the those stats. I’ll try to figure out a better way to reach people. I’ll be humbled by anyone who does read and comment. I’ll have spent time devoting myself to touching people’s lives. Last time I checked, those things never hurt anyone.
“‘…for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart'” (1 Samuel 16:7b).
So, are analytics really the bottom line? I don’t think so. In life and online, I resolve to keep my eyes on the people and not the numbers.
Are analytics really the bottom line? (Click to tweet.)
Stats don’t equal popularity. Popularity doesn’t equal worth. (Click to tweet.)
Why numbers don’t count. “Analytics: Not the Bottom Line.” (Click to tweet.)
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