7 Downsides to Blogging

Cartoon by Ward Sutton

 

Okay, I’m not proud of what I’m about to say and mostly try not to complain about trivial things. But I am all about transparency and don’t believe in showing only my glossed over, ‘who I hope to be perceived as’ version; but rather value the whole inner process of what transformation looks like, even when it’s ugly and/or painful. So I figure I’d let it out.

After two years of blogging (look for anniversary poem tomorrow) I am grateful for the many writers, poets, home birthers, Christian anarchists, pacifists, off-grid homesteaders and genuinely authentic people with whom I’ve come in contact and have enjoyed getting to know through their writing. It is truly the Internet at its best. I’ve said this before but my personal number one reason for wanting to blog was, and is, to be part of a community of people who see the profound purpose in sharing their soul with the world. They are the light in darkness, as I see it. Still, here is a list of things that have driven me wild with annoyance when I have erroneously chosen to focus too much on them. I know we are all vastly different and we have varied reasons for putting our writing out there for anyone to see, but some things I just cannot wrap my brain around.

7 Downsides to Blogging:

People who like posts but never comment. I personally don’t find likes without comments all that supportive, but I’m not of the “like” generation, or whatever the Twitter/Instagram/Tumblr devotees are called. Bringing me to the next point:

The like option in the Reader. I don’t know why the WP developers have designed the platform for one to be able to disable the comment option but not the like option. I know you can remove the like button on your website, but I figure if someone visits my actual site (not just the Reader version) and reads the post, then they should have the option to like it.

People who disable the comment option. Going back to why I blog and the utter disconnect from the mentality of merely collecting likes. They seem to want readers because their blogs are public, but what? They don’t allow for any continuation of the thoughts they generated? Blows my mind. I’ve actually unfollowed a couple blogs that no longer allow commenting.

-Of course it goes without saying that the follows for attention, when stats clearly show they never even read any posts, bug me to no end. I don’t have the time to be too meticulous about checking stats, but if I do ever notice this, the followers are removed after a day or so.

People who never read my blog even though I regularly read and engage in their work. It’s harsh, but blogging can be like a never-meant-to-be-relationship: they’re just not interested. In which case, there’s really no point in getting to know their souls through their writing anymore either. Just silently wish them well and move on. Even were my favorite author or poet to have a blog, it would be a major turnoff for me if I got the sense they were too high and almighty to interact with the rest of us. I cannot praise humility enough.

When blogs I follow and with whom I’ve had some positive communication suddenly go private. Yeah, I get the need for privacy, especially if one has had a creepy incident or has felt threatened. But each time I’ve noticed this and have sent a request to visit their sites, nothing. Maybe they never even see these admin-generated requests, but I can’t help but take it personally sometimes.

When favorite writers suddenly delete their sites with no heads up. It’s like mourning the loss of a friend. After feeling like you know someone’s thoughts intimately, you start to really care about them and ask God to bless them in your prayers. Maybe I sound needy or overly emotional, but I don’t take it too well when suddenly a person is out of my life forever, even if I only ever knew them in blogland. It doesn’t make them any less real or less deserving of my prayers. I think about death too and how if a person hasn’t posted anything for a long time and hasn’t deleted his/her site, how will I ever know whether or not he/she is still on this shared plane of existence? Maybe I’m too sensitive for this kind of impersonal communication…

There you have it. Like I said, I know these idiosyncrasies are triflings and somewhat embarrassing to admit, and overall I’m happy with this two-year blogging experience. Hopefully by putting this out there, these things won’t be poking and prodding at my mind anymore. Peace.

2017, Amaya Engleking

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31 comments

  1. qbit · 3 Days Ago

    Agreed, it is hard to keep and maintain relationships this way, although it can be so rewarding. I find I go through peaks and valleys of the time available to engage externally vs. need to focus inward on my writing (in that kind of a period now). “Likes” sort of let people know you haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, even though I might not have the energy to comment. Anyway, thoughts…

    • Gospel Isosceles · 3 Days Ago

      I agree. From regular readers who occasionally comment, likes are certainly welcome as they function as a nod, or “Yeah, I hear you,” when yeah, there are times you’re not going to feel the need to say anything else. As far as engaging, I find the more I do so, the more I get my creativity flowing and find I have something relevant to say. Even though I love my alone time and have felt intellectually isolated in the past several years, I need and thrive on authentic communication with folks, online or off.

      • qbit · 3 Days Ago

        Yes. I so appreciate the people who stop by when they can with a comment. (Like you!) Provides a lot of motivation.

  2. oldepunk · 3 Days Ago

    I’m in total agreement with you Amaya. I do find that the good outweighs the bad. I try not to get too worked up about the follows that don’t actually read or comment. I would write whether I put it on my blog anyway. I always try to remind myself that I write for me first. If even one other person gets something out of it, then that’s just gravy😉

    • Gospel Isosceles · 3 Days Ago

      Yeah I remember you said this once when you were nominated for an award: write for yourself first. I think that is key to having a good blog and also to being happy in life. I don’t know if I’m qualified to preach happiness, now that I just said that but, well, for me I guess authenticity is paramount to anything else. Still, don’t know why, but I do think about my audience, for better or worse.

      • oldepunk · 3 Days Ago

        I try to think of my audience as well. I’m not an expert on happiness either but I think we’re definitely authentic 🙏

  3. Frank J. Tassone · 3 Days Ago

    I’m guilty of often liking without commenting. I do try to keep up, but when I’m swamped, a Like is at least some way to say, “hi, I’m still reading.” I get it, though. I love interacting with readers, and I can’t do that when they just like.

    • Gospel Isosceles · 3 Days Ago

      Frank, I meant to thank you for reblogging that tanka the other day. I’ve been really getting into that form this year. I know, I try and read every blog post I follow, so I know more times than not one might just like a post without needing to add anything, (as then I’d be forever sucked into blogworld and neglect the real one.) Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.

  4. gene · 3 Days Ago

    LIKE 😉

  5. Imelda · 3 Days Ago

    All valid points. 😊

  6. Colin Lee · 3 Days Ago

    Wow, Amaya. Great stuff. I guess everyone’s journey is different, whereas blogging might be a means and not an end for some. As for the tacit obligation to reciprocate reading and commenting, I think I’m constantly living in deficit on the balance sheet (stat). Time is a problem. Time zone is another. Chinese firewall is yet another. Linguistic and cultural barriers are also one sometimes. And perhaps even here online I’m still an introvert. If I don’t have much to say, I do resort to clicking “like” with a hearty smile and without any commenting. Hm. I don’t know.

    • Gospel Isosceles · 3 Days Ago

      Fair enough. But to be fair to your modest self too, I’ve seen some great insight you’ve shared on my and other blogs. It’s good to connect, is all I’m saying, and if liking is like a picture speaking a thousand words, then I’ll try and relate to that more. (Hey, kind of like Chinese poetry–sparse but dense with meaning.) 😉

      • Colin Lee · 3 Days Ago

        You’re awfully kind, Amaya. 🙂 And, hey, congratulations on the anniversary too. Keep writing, my friend. You’re brilliant.

  7. koolkosherkitchen · 3 Days Ago

    Dear Amaya, I can empathize with your complaints, but people blog for all kinds of different reasons. Some are just quiet readers who press “like” out of politeness, but they do read once in a while, when something catches their attention. Not everybody writes comments! I personally think that, unless I am compelled to say something important, it’s silly just to comment “Nice post” or something to that effect.
    Happy second blogiversary to you, and keep on blogging!

    • Gospel Isosceles · 3 Days Ago

      Yeah, I can see your point about a like saying just as much as writing, “Nice post.” I like posts often and try to comment as often as I can, but I think it might be nice to for once have an online platform where the like button is not an option. It might reinforce us to reach out in a more unique way, though I see that it also could create an illusion of isolation. I don’t know. Thanks for your comment, Dolly!

  8. malakhai.jonezs · 3 Days Ago

    Good News About The Trinity! Great blog post. I’ve been guilty of reading and liking, but not always posting a comment. I like your positio., I’ll try to take time to provide commentary. Hope you and your fam are doing well! 🙂

    • Gospel Isosceles · 3 Days Ago

      Hi Malakhai, guess what? If we have a boy we’re going to name him Malakai. Oh I hit like all the time on blogs I follow, but if it’s a first time to come into contact with someone, I try and leave a comment. It’s just weird that someone might not have anything ever to say, but as Dolly brought up and I acknowledged too, I know people are in this for way different reasons. Hope you’re all doing well too. Any new stories? And haha, “Good News About The Trinity” 😉

      • malakhai.jonezs · 3 Days Ago

        No way! Malakai? That ole school biblical there. Fam is doing just fine. I’ve been writing stories. Quite a few, but they aren’t baked enough to release just yet. Soon though. Soon.

  9. Harry Miller · 3 Days Ago

    Sometimes when I’m conversing with someone I’ll just smile. If s/he’s being especially articulate or powerful, as you often are, then I’m even less inclined to hear my own raspy voice trying to hold up my end of the conversation.

    Also, sometimes it comes off like I’m trying to one-up the blogger (or talker, IRL) by trying to say something as clever, and that bothers me.

    Maybe ‘liking’ is just a way to acknowledge someone’s post, like smiling during a conversation.

    Of course, ‘liking’ does often seem dismissive, especially if someone has poured her heart into her post.

  10. Angelo Devlin · 3 Days Ago

    My sister encouraged me to blog, simply because she thought i had something to say. I had no expectations of likes or comments. I see and agree that some of the likes are merely gratuitous. My mo is I only “like” something, if I’ve read it.

    I enjoy your blog, may not always take the opportunity to read all your posts. Do appreciate, my perception of your sense of peace and passion in your writings.

    That is where I’d rather be, in my writing instead of largely expunging darkness. Although I do have a secondary all positive blog.

    fivefingermantra.wordpress

    Great post. Keep on writing.

  11. daninmaya · 3 Days Ago

    Hi Amaya. Thanks for posting this. I also like comments and receive very few. I don’t have as negative feeling about like only. I like a poem when I like it and stay silent other wise I consider “likes” to be genuine. This what I do. Further comments are a different endeavor. I I welcome the entry into this deeper communication. In a spirit of honesty as you have spoken, it is a commitment of time and energy that I can’t always take on. For instance, now – am getting ready for bed, I will write my journal, I have a germ of an idea for a poem or potential poem in my head. I always fee l I have to honour that gift. I hope it doesn’t seem all ego but sometimes I feel I do write my poems they are dictated directly by god. It is certainly not about fortune and fame. I am quietly excited to be beginning to find a community of writers I hope to exchange with. I’m a bit nervous now as I respect what I see from you a lot and I fear offending you. Maybe this too public a forum for talking like this. Hmmmmm. Dab

  12. newyorknorthfineart · 2 Days Ago

    Interesting post! I think all of us who blog can relate to what you are saying. On the plus side, it is a great way as you say to share your soul. This is something that is dear to my heart that I am trying to get around for the holiday season. I hope you will pass it along. Looking forward to more of your posts. Rita https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hidlnk1NC10&t=5s

  13. avantmama · 2 Days Ago

    I agree, to a point. Blogs do make it hard in some ways to maintain like an “ideal” relationship between readers sometimes, and different bloggers are going to have different intentions generally. The culture around liking is interesting–I definitely see a “like” as kind of the equivalent of a wave hello, which I guess can be legitimately friendly or just something you do in passing.

  14. writteningeek · 2 Days Ago

    I’m guilty with doing the Like without a comment. I try to make it a point to visit everyone that I follow once a week, and at least give a like, just so they know I came by. I should try to work out some type of schedule, but it’s hard to do.

  15. The Existential Baker · 1 Day Ago

    Well this sure invoked a lot of comments, lol.. i do enjoy your style and though we have differing outlooks im glad we respect each others position. Seems too many friends have become ememies over social media because of a lack of respect and reducing people to mere opinions

  16. canach · 1 Day Ago

    Thanks for being honest. I am still quite unsure of blogging. I try not to follow people unless I am going to actually read their posts from time to time. I don’t have a lot of time for blogging/reading blogs. (It’s been zero lately due to illness in the family.) That’s why I don’t follow vast numbers of people (and probably for this reason don’t have vast numbers of followers). However, it’s more important for me to get to know a few people and you are one of the very few who has ever left a comment or interacted and I appreciate that.

  17. paul scribbles · 3 Hours Ago

    My strategy: Keep your circle small and intimate. Get rid of the like button.Recognise that everyone is different and that whilst connection can be made here it is still a virtual world which can switch off in an instant. Good lesson in impermanence. My biggest bug bear…commenters who say ‘nice poem…here’s a link to my work’

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