In between the Friday interviews I’ll be sharing here (sarah of knittingthewind is next!), I’d like to tuck in some posts about some of the facets of blogging that make me thoughtful, at times. Today’s thoughts, at least, will be rather stream-of-conscious in style as “consciousness” or awareness I have in plenty…answers, not so much…
Tho’ I can’t imagine blogging without the receiving-of-comments (tho’ that seems to be an approach I encounter more and more), I have yet to find a comfortable rhythm with responding to those left here. Answering questions is a different matter, but responding to comments in general leaves me drained and I don’t often do it. This is what I am like in real-life, so I suppose it makes sense…I am not so good at chatting at a party, but am happiest holed up in a corner with one person and heart-to-heart conversation. I know that in the “post office in the hedge” metaphor, my post is my gift to you and your comments are the gift I find when it is my turn to lift the lid…but it never feels as simple as that outside of Jo and Laurie’s world…
These days, when I visit blogs, my heightened awareness about it all has me thinking about the Whys of blogging. That will be one of the facets that will have its own post, but underneath the myriad reasons, it seems to me there is always a generosity about it. So I’ve been really troubled lately when I see how negative comments affect some very dear women on the web…Heather and Amanda come to mind. I admire how Heather handles it when it happens, with grace and honesty and a philosophical take on it that I don’t think I could muster (not ignoring the hurt and bother, by any means). The one hurtful comment I’ve received threw me off-balance for quite awhile. If I had to deal with it regularly, I’m not sure I would feel blogging was worth exposing myself to it.
My favorite comments are the noticing kind…when a connection is made…when a question arises from something I shared…when I know from the response that I’ve written something that someone else has also felt.
Tho’ comments are so precious and part of the exchange of blogging, I don’t leave as many comments as I would like. I haven’t put my finger on why. Sometimes, it is hard to find the words…sometimes, the internet feels too public and makes me shy…sometimes, I get so behind in my blog-visiting and am “catching up” and not leaving time to form a response…sometimes I write a private email rather than respond in the comments. I say I am only going to sit down to read blogs when I have time to respond, but then I sit down and read blogs when I want some company or inspiration and don’t leave a comment. Sigh.
I’m still puzzled that no one shared a response to my experience of listening to Audrey lay an egg. : ) I’ve wondered many times since if it didn’t seem profound to anyone else…or you pondered it in private…or…what? This is the way it must often seem to those who are moved to write posts and don’t receive many replies.
As I very much understand the dilemmas commenting poses, I added the little heart button at the bottom of my posts as an alternative to commenting. It lets me know that you are there and reading and enjoying, even you aren’t up for leaving a comment. But it doesn’t get used much, usually, so I wonder…are all the many readers who don’t comment or even click reading and not enjoying?
Some people say that the lack of blog comments has much to do with our use of devices, which allow us to read easily but make typing more of a challenge. I don’t know…there is plenty of commenting going on in some places. I think the reasons are many and varied (but having so many more places to be online plays a part) and are probably very similar to all of the reasons we find it more and more challenging to get to many things these days.
Despite all of these thoughts, I am much less concerned with comments than I have been in the past. I think most bloggers go through a period, long or short, where you are checking stats a lot and longing for more response/connection. I was in that place for a few years. Now, I am just trying to understand how blogging and all that is attached to it fits in the current state of online life for me…as a reader and a writer.
What are your thoughts about blogs and commenting?