What Happens When People Don’t Comment On Our Blogs?

The art of silence... byVinoth Chandar

The art of silence… by Vinoth Chandar

Sometimes blogging can be a very intimate and very personal experience. There are things we share here that would never be uttered aloud to anyone, not those we love or those we don’t.

Those posts are raw, authentic and revealing.

Sometimes when I read them I wonder about what words I should use in my comment. I wonder how to tell someone I appreciated what they said in a way that won’t be offensive, irritating or hurtful because what I just read was so powerful it left me sitting in silence.

When I switch seats and write a post like that it is never because I want comments but because the story I told is too much for me to remain silent about. It is too strong, too real and too raw so I put the words down on paper and the pressure is eased.

Most of the time I don’t care if anyone comments because that wasn’t why I wrote the post but every now and then the silence becomes deafening and I wonder if I am working alone in a vacuum.

Why Are You Crying?

When I was a junior in college I spent the night with a classmate. We didn’t know each other well. Since it was a night class I would sometimes walk her to her car but aside from the few minutes it took to go from the classroom to the car we hadn’t said much to each other.

I don’t remember what led to my going home with her that night. I think we might have suggested studying for a quiz, but my memory is a bit fuzzy there.

What I do remember is we got really friendly and that somewhere in the midst of it I realized she wasn’t looking at me. I asked her if she was ok and she said she was fine and things resumed.

Not long afterwards our activities finished and I lay next to her in shock because she was in tears. She wasn’t sobbing but she crying hard enough for me to be confused because there had been no sign of it.

“Why are you crying?”

“Because you are not him, please go.”

I got dressed, walked out of the room and went home trying to figure out what I had done wrong.

Later that week I asked a couple of my female friends if they could help explain what had happened. They both looked at me as if I was an idiot and said I was the rebound guy.

When I said I felt sort of used they rolled their eyes at me but that is a story for a different time.

What Happens When People Don’t Comment On Our Blogs?

Sometimes when I think about why people do or do not comment I remember that night with my classmate and think about what it means to be ready to put ourselves out there.

I think about the importance to be willing to put yourself out there and how it can be scary to do so. It is not easy to bare your soul in a post and share the soft underbelly of your psyche.

When you share the private and personal you open yourself up to criticism from people who don’t know you and who might not have the ‘proper context’ for understanding what it is you wrote.

They don’t know you.

They aren’t familiar with your sense of humor. They don’t always recognize when you are serious or when you are playing and sometimes their comments reflect that.

In concept it makes me ask why publish a post that you fear will lead to your getting blasted. Why publish something that opens you up to comments you might not like.

It could be easier not to to open yourself up but then again sometimes that tale you haven’t told is breaking your heart and busting your chops. Sometimes it is so eager to break  free you can feel it chipping away at your teeth.

When you want to share it because you want to be heard it can be hard not to get a comment or two so the question you have to ask and answer yourself is what is more important to you.

Some Weeks Later

“Jack, I owe you an apology. Our night was a mistake. You didn’t do anything wrong, it was me.”

I didn’t know what to say, so I just nodded my head.

“I have good news. I got back together with my boyfriend. If you see us talking please don’t say anything to him.”

I nodded my head again.

“Don’t worry, I can’t think of any cool way to say I slept with your girlfriend and made her cry.”

Ok, I didn’t really say that but I was thinking it.

Twenty-five years later I look back and think about how much I ended up learning from that one moment in time.

Because I can look at it as being when I really started to understand how good intentions could go awry and how people remember how you make them feel more than they remember what you say.

That is a lesson that has equal application personally and professionally.

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22 Comments

  1. Pingback: How Bad Bloggers Make Good Bloggers Sexier

  2. Kaarina Dillabough November 17, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Your words prove there is no vacuum. Sometimes we comment, sometimes we don’t. But in either case, we’re listening:) Cheers! Kaarina P.S. “Just write baby, just write.” 😉 😉

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  4. Larry November 16, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    When you feel that you’ve written something meaningful and feel you shared something that is important and get little response, it can be hurtful. However, once you start taking that too personally, you need to stop blogging. You can’t blog simply for comments. There is no happy ending in this scenario.

  5. Damien Riley November 15, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    My favorite part was when you said “They don’t know you.” That is important to remember. Being an online diarist requires a thick skin sometimes.

  6. jane smith November 15, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    If no one commented, then would you stop blogging?

    positive comments are really encouraging to keep writing and great validation, but generally I write because I have to. I keep things bottled up with every other aspect of my life and it has to come out somehow.

    • The JackB November 16, 2014 at 12:11 am

      @disqus_vEOwUmK922:disqus I blog regardless of whether anyone reads or comments. It is better when they do but not necessary for me to keep going. Like you said, I keep things bottled up so this helps.

  7. Vidya Sury November 15, 2014 at 3:59 am

    🙂 That brings up the question – blog for yourself or blog for your readers?
    I confess I blog for myself.

    Hugs Josh! I felt this post!

  8. Julie November 15, 2014 at 3:54 am

    Blogging without telling the inner story is soulless, heartless blogging. If you want to engage people’s hearts then you have to be willing to expose your own.
    I love how blogs about commenting seems to force people to comment 🙂
    You’d think young women would have more sense than to act before they are ready, but they never seem to. And the secrets! As they age they tend to get more desperate rather than less, since time has run out for most of them (in society’s eyes, and theirs if they listen to society, which they often do). That’s why middle aged guys have so many good stories to tell, reaching across the decades, remembering how they felt.

    • The JackB November 16, 2014 at 12:09 am

      @JulieAClearSign:disqus Blogging about blogging always seems to drive more traffic and engagement. So many of us are working hard to be seen/heard so…

      Hey now, are you calling me middle aged? I am going to be 130 which means I am still a very young man. 🙂

  9. Wendy of The Rock November 14, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    …nice one… thanks
    I’m still not sure why I decided to start blogging

  10. Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 14, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Maybe, just maybe, people are so in awe of your writing talents that they are left speechless. Count me among them….

  11. Brian Sorrell November 14, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    This could easily be another couple thousand words and I’d still be soaking it in. I like the balance of this post: story and emotional expression. Very nice. This is the stuff off good memories.

  12. My Inner Chick November 14, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Great post!
    …but how do people know how we feel ( in the blogging world ) if we don’t tell them, if we stay silent?
    Ahhh, that’s the rub.
    xx

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