How to lose hundreds of Facebook followers in one day is a post meant to share my thoughts about something that happened on my Facebook page just last week. You may have observed or been a part of the initial conversation found here. It’s possible you watched my Facebook Live that addressed the conversation. Some of you are just tuning in to the situation, so I will try and catch you up to speed. The main purpose of this post is to explain my heart in the situation and apologize to everyone. I also want to have a reference post for anyone that has questions about my decision. I am happy to engage further if you want to send me a message.
How to Lose Hundreds of Facebook Followers in One Day
Here’s the story: I was looking for Christian mom blogs on Facebook one day. I typed in the search box, “Christian Mom Blogs.” Only a handful of people popped up, and my name wasn’t on this list. I thought to myself, “If someone out there is looking for a blogger who is a Christian, they wouldn’t be able to find me by doing a similar search. What if I changed my name to include “Christian Mom Blog?” So, I did it. Impulsively. Without much thought. With no prayer. I just did it.
Within minutes I had lost a couple hundred followers and received a handful of private messages.
I responded with this explanation of Facebook that drew a lot of engagement. I love to connect with my audience, and so while I admit my heart started to beat a bit faster, I carefully listened and tried to discern the heart of what was happening.
Some Christians saw this as a personal attack on me because I am a Christian and was willing to publicly come out and say it. They saw it as religious persecution and were quick to come in and support me. While an obvious disdain toward Christianity seemed to be the feelings of a few that communicated it, I did observe it was the minority.
Further, I later found out that many bloggers that did any kind of name change experienced a drop off in their number of likes. This is because the change is shown to their entire audience, and the audience takes the time to clean up their feed, forgetting they really even followed that particular page in the first place. So, the drop in numbers does not necessarily correlate to any faith-related issue.
The heart of most who were opposed to the name change seemed to think, “By her coming out and saying that her main target audience is “Christian moms” I am wondering if this page is a place where I belong? I’m not a Christian, so maybe this just isn’t the right spot for me.” One reader PM’d me and said, “So this is only for Christian moms now?” I think this is how many felt.
This has never been my desire for my blog. My target audience is moms – all moms. Meaningful Mama is me on a plate, so my faith will influence what I have to say about raising kids and about marriage. I don’t deny who I am as a Christian. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and by visiting me you will get an authentic glimpse into our lives – the good, the bad and the ugly. In sharing this common journey of motherhood, I have wanted Meaningful Mama to be a door for people – all people – to be inspired to be more intentional in their parenting.
I want you to consider an analogy to this situation. If I saw a great article about health, and I went to the source and the title of the Facebook page was called, “The Vegan Life,” I probably wouldn’t follow that page. I don’t hate vegans. I don’t have a vendetta against vegans. They probably have a lot of great things to share about health. I just like bacon and think this online community isn’t a good personal fit. This is how I think many felt when I changed the name to “Christian Mom Blog.”
Of course they were still welcome on my page. I would engage with them in the same way I always did. I would continue to share and write the same kind of content I always have. Yet, they saw the name change as a statement that I was aiming the conversation at a sub-group of people. If they decided to leave or never follow, they might miss out on a great conversation about motherhood and marriage because a title got in the way.
I am about building bridges and not walls.
After much more thought, careful consideration and prayer I knew that it was right for me to return to my original name “Meaningful Mama.” I don’t want to always preach to the choir and surround myself with like-minded people.
There are amazing bloggers who really target the Christian audience. They provide resources, Bible Studies, prayer groups and more. It’s wonderful to connect with other believers, and it is important to have this niche available.
While I too want to be a resource and a place for Christians, I do not see my target audience as only Christians. I have a variety of content available – parenting tips, marriage help, crafts, activities, parties, holiday ideas, food and more. I want Christians to be able to find me, but I also want people that don’t believe to get a window into all I have to offer.
When Jesus walked this earth, He did not surround himself with only people of faith. In fact, he had quite a lot to say to the “religious people” who were following all the laws (and even made up extra laws) but their hearts were far from God. Jesus recognized that He had to walk among other people groups, bringing light and truth as he want about loving, serving and sacrificing. I want to follow in those footsteps.
When I initially made the decision to change to “Meaningful Mama – Christian Mom Blog,” I felt some numbers drop away. When I made the more thoughtful decision to return to my original name “Meaningful Mama,” I saw some more numbers drop away, but it was a new crowd.
This time it was some of the Christians dropping off. They wrote me in the thread and in private message saying that I had to “stick to my guns” and that I was denying Christ if I dropped the brand new “Christian Mom Blog” title. They assumed I saw the numbers dropping, panicked and caved under the pressure. Again, I do recognize this was the minority.
I assure you that is not what I had done. It would be just as tempting to cave under the pressure I was now facing by the Christians threatening to leave. Even if I saw a dramatic increase in numbers with the change to include “Christian,” I would stick to my decision and return back to the original FB page name, “Meaningful Mama.” I want to get back to my roots. I want my online community to remain diverse. I want to be a light. I want to promote family and marriage, and I want the message to reach far and wide and not be hindered by a title that sends with it some pre-conceived feelings and thoughts – sometimes deserved and sometimes not.
I am not ashamed of being a Christian. I do feel sad about how some Christians have misrepresented Jesus. I am encouraged, also, by the amazing things done in Christ’s name. The missionaries that give up 6 figure salaries to be a doctor in the most hurting in the world. The schools and hospitals that have been established. Those out there feeding the hungry, adopting the fatherless and sheltering the poor because Jesus told them to. If you want to get a peek into all that changed in our world because of Jesus’ life read this book (affiliate link).
I received some wonderful comments from lovely people. They were kind, thoughtful and helpful in thinking it through. Some of these people were Christians and some were not. It excites me to see people of other religions or no religion at all willing to be a part of what I have going at Meaningful Mama and engaging in real ways. Thank you for your kindness and willingness to really hear from me before deciding to flee. I appreciate you taking the time to be thoughtful about your decision. I am inspired by my fellow Christians who loved people in this interaction and responded in grace, truth and kindness. I can’t adequately express my gratefulness for the light you shine.
I also received some more harsh criticism. Some of these people were Christians and some were not. To those professing Christ, I want to encourage you to take time to understand my heart. There are those who have dismissed me completely, I want to challenge you to explore God’s heart on the topic. Think of the woman at the well. Remember the woman who was brought to Jesus’ feet while the religious crowd wanted to cast the first stone. Remember the good Samaritan and what it really means to love your neighbor. God’s heart is for people…all people.
No, I’m not going to deny Christ in my writing. My “about me” statement doesn’t change. I altered my Facebook description to include the influence of my Christian faith. However, I want my page…my blog…to be a safe place for all to come and explore my thoughts about parenting. I want to inspire, relate to and equip whoever has been put in my path.
I want to end with an apology. I apologize for jumping into the original decision without giving it much thought. That, I feel, was my biggest error. Know that bloggers, too, are human who make errors. Please don’t put is on a pedestal. I’m doing my best at sharing with you what “works for me” and get a window into our lives, but I am human just like you.
I am at absolute peace changing the name back to plain old Meaningful Mama. I believe it is what I am supposed to do, and I would not be true to myself or my faith if I caved to the pressures of man on either side of the conversation.
Again, thank you to all that have been respectful, loving and thoughtful. We need to be kind to another. Let’s listen. Don’t be afraid of that. It doesn’t mean we always agree. It just means we can all work toward a greater understanding, weighing what others have to say and considering it to help discover truth. Thanks for walking through this with me. I love my Meaningful Mama audience and am grateful for your presence here – each one of you!