Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Blogging: to Comment, or Not to Comment

I’ve got plenty of ideas for posts collecting dust in my brain, and as I was going through the catalog of them today, wondering what I should blog on, what has been foremost in my cerebral vessel as of late is this:

There are many different reasons that we all blog. Many use their blog as a journal of sorts, sharing their feelings or the day’s events or even getting into very personal issues. Some use their blog for education on a particular subject, some use it as a journal for their family life and kids, and some, well, some are just bored. I was thinking about all the different blogs out there, and how I read some in all of the categories I just mentioned, though there are undoubtedly dozens more “types” of blogs, and it got me started thinking about my own, about how usually my blog is fairly impersonal – yes I share when I’m happy or sad, but it’s almost always vague and doesn’t do more than scratch the surface. Now, I am absolutely okay with this. In fact, this is what I want; this is who I am, the type of person I am. I’m an intensely personal person, and sharing intimate details of my life is not something I’m inclined to do unless it’s paired with a healthy dose of humor and sarcasm (oh, and please know that if you are one of those people that share very personal experiences on your blog, there is absolutely no judgment on my end – more power to you, is what I think).

Anyway, so back to what I was saying. When I originally embarked on blogging, I was very hesitant to begin one. I am adamantly opposed to journaling. Like, you might have to inflict some pretty serious torture on me if you were to want me to start a journal, and even then, I might choose death. For realsies seriousness, here, people. I used to be an avid journaler, (yeah, I don’t think that’s a word) and then burned them all…dozens of them. Long story, okay? Seriously, like, don’t even ask. And to me, blogging just seemed like a journal – well, even worse than a journal, because everybody could read it…!

But I began, and I discovered something. People liked to read my blog, I seemed to be offering hope, perhaps, or inspiration, even? ... And, I really liked to write it. It became a release of sorts. It’s helped me hone my writing style; I’ve learned that I’m a humorist at heart and like to look on the light side of things. Blogxygen has given me something to focus on other than anorexia and the doom doom doom I feel all the time, and as I embarked on recovery from the psycho slut ED, (again) it has helped me with the identity crisis one undoubtedly feels as they begin to let go of the ED…and the questions one has like Who the hell am I if I’m not an eating disorder? Or Will I be good at anything else? Etc, etc, and it’s helped me find other aspects to the Brie-meister that I would otherwise not have found. So I love my blog, and I adore reading others, because I have found hope and solace in a community of wonderful people whom I’ve never met but who love me and support me, and I hope, in turn, I them.

So, this blog totally had a direction I was going in…and I kind of lost it…okay. Wait. I think I remember--

--But I’ve noticed something about the different reactions I’ve gotten to my blog posts. For example, if I write something that is more serious, or at least seriously depressing, in general, I usually get a tremendous amount of feedback and support. But if, say, I write something fluffy and light and funny, but not particularly deep, the feedback seems to be less. Now, like I said, I’m not whining or protesting this, I’m simply stating my observation. But frankly, it was kind of a startling discovery. Do we comment more when someone seems to be sad or in a crisis so that we can let that person know that we are there for them, or offer them some small morsel of wisdom that we hope might help? Do we perhaps not comment on a more light-hearted post because we think, hey, that’s great they’re happy or doing well, but I don’t really have much to say…?

Now, there are obviously exceptions to the rule, but in general, and not just on my blog, this seems to be something I’ve discovered…and I find it…odd, perhaps. Maybe a little unfortunate. For I think it very important that we show support all the time, and not just in the times of desperation or hopelessness. I think that it would be vital for us to find camaraderie and friendship not just on the aspect that many of us have in common, like an eating disorder, but on the other aspects of our personality and life, you know? I love getting to know about other parts of you, your life, etc. But maybe I’m alone on this, I’m not sure.

What do you all think?

Or am I not going to get any comments because this isn’t a post with me struggling? ;)

DISCLAIMER: Upon re-reading this entry, I have concluded that this post seems like I’m boo-hooing about comments you may or may not have made on my blog. However, I’M NOT. This was simply an observation I wanted to share.

31 comments:

Laura said...

no comment

brie said...

Oh Foodie, oh Foodie...

If anyone else had commented and said that, I'd have thought they were an arse-hole. ;) Fortunately for you, I get your sense of humor. And I like it.

elizabeth said...

I don't tend to get comments at all but occassionally when I do they are more often on the fluffy entries and not at all on the sad ones. But either way, I like to write for me . It's interesting knowing that random people read even if they don't say anything and that for whatever reason, is satisfying enough.
But it is ininteresting none the less to see this comment thing happen this way for most blogs...
And HERE! HERE! to mosquitoes dying after one bite-- if only.

Shannon said...

Its funny that you wrote this blog! It is something I have noticed also. Although, for my blog, it is the opposite. People comment on my blog if it is more lighthearted or fluffy.

I know on your blog, I usually tend to comment on the funny ones, instead of the sad. Mainly because subconsciously (or consciously), I feel bad that I cannot really give any solace or advice as to what you are going through. And I find you friggin hilarious, so I have to comment on those!

Dont worry, it doesnt sound like you are complaining, its an interesting observation!

emily said...

ditto. i think people want to offer support when something sad is posted.
also, i think people worry about commenting too much. don't know why, i comment lots. it might have something to do with how many times you can type the generic "i liked this post" blurb. our blog was started so that when our friends all left for grad school, we could all keep up with one another. so far, it's been fabulous. if the slingshot ever brings them back to the UT, we won't be strangers.

Laur said...

Speaking of Comments I noticed you commented a lot on mine today and I VERY much appreciate it. Comments feed me! hehe

Here is my thing...sometimes when I see your blog, there are quite literally like 24 comments, and I guess I sorta feel like mine will just be mooshed into them all and maybe not really be noticed? Is this the internal low self esteem part of me talking? Probably.
But I agree, I think people probably post comments on your more dark, hard days just because they want to say something to help you feel better.
I will try to post a comment every day from now on now that i know it means a lot to you. But you have to comment on mine too! :)

kb said...

I've just started a blog (very tentatively) and it still feels really weird, in a way. I don't know what I want it "to be". But I definitely find it more interesting to see who people are beyond their symptoms/pathologies/disorders.
- kb

Jodi said...

You know, I've noticed almost the opposite on my (less widely read) blog. Everyone has something to say when a spider crawls up my pants but when I share some more personal thoughts I get no comments. (That could be because they were really random and written late at night though...)

Penny said...

As a non blogger it seems to me that one blogs to receive feedback. otherwise, just sit at your desk and write in your journal. So, depending on the topic, most people are moved by pathos and feel somewhat responsible to relieve it. Other writings are for humor or sarcasm and seem more self-explanatory. However your now famous "duckie" blog received so many comments as it was all of the above and touched everyone's heart with its wisdom and pathos and humor. Brie, you just plain have an ability to write and to do it in an interesting and connected way. Its a talent. Please, do not ever quit, but don't feel obligated to always "make our day." I say, Blog as much as possible but do not feel like your readers are expecting any particular wisdom. It has to stay fun and meaningful for you.

Courtney said...

Funny, my husband and I were actually discussing this exact concept last night. I think the phenomenon goes beyond blogs, I often notice when I'm really struggling or going through "crises" of sorts people are willing to drop everything just to help and give support. However, when I'm doing well people tend to get busy with their own lives and sometimes it feels like people aren't interested in the real me, they only "care" when I'm sick.

I know realistically that people care no matter what, in fact I've had numerous people tell me they enjoy my company MUCH more now that I'm healthy and not so consumed with ED, but at the same time it's hard that health, positivity, humor, and daily life don't send the same message that we need support and help. I think you're so brilliant to point this out and I think it would be awesome if people could support each other in their successes and happy times just as much (or even more) as in the hard times.

Jackie said...

I never thought about it until you brought it up but you right! I think it is important to share in the good times of life as well as the bad. To maybe even the celebrate the good times MORE because for those of us suffering from ed, good times are few and far between.

Very good point. I will try to be better at this!!!

Jackie said...

Okay, I just re-read what I posted and it is full of grammatical errors but I refuse to delete it so DEAL with it! :) Oh and I did comment on the project runway thing and painting cade's nails yellow so I am not too bad :)

xo Jax

Devon said...

This is me - commenting (as I am often seen doing) andddd more than that, this is me commenting saying where the hell are you? I have missed my Brie for farrrr too long.

It's been...like at least 6 or 7 weeks for realsies. We both know that this is entirely unacceptable. I will however, take the blame for apx. 3 of those weeks with being home and all.

Now then - where was I - oh yeah - WE NEED TO PLAY ASAP!!!!

Gah - living without Brie is like living without peanut butter m&ms. One can only go so long without the cravings kicking back in. Brie, oh Brie, won't you be my peanut butter m&m now?

I thought as much.

Call me silly!

Love you

Abby said...

Wow... lots to think about on this topic, huh? I went off on a ramble right here in this comment box, but then I deleted my rambling because it wasn't especially relevant. But I'll just say the main thing that I wanted to say: Thank you for bringing this up.

Krista said...

Hmmm. Now that is food for thought and I think I've just gained 5 lbs (sorry is that inappropriate?). Perhaps we comments when people are struggling because in one way or another we all struggle and it is something that we can identify with. Maybe when we share the "fluffy" stuff it only provokes comments from those who relate to it. I don't know, maybe I am talking out of my butt. I like what your mom said though, that one blogs to receive feedback. Otherwise, why put it online? I know for me personally I feel dumb commenting sometimes, but I love when others comment and never think it dumb, even if they only write a few words, so I guess I'll get over that and comment more.

Tiptoe said...

I think people comment on sad posts, because they can relate to them. We've all felt sad at one time or another. Also, I think it is a part of human nature to want to "lift" someone up when they are down.

I think overall though, blogging has to be for you and what you get out of it.

Emily said...

I try to comment on your posts, even if it's just a little something, because I know I love to receive comments myself. And I don't get many, which kind of sucks, so I always appreciate you commenting on my entries! :) Anyway- I, too, think people comment more on the sad entries because they want to offer support. But I think it's important to offer support all the time, not just when times are bad.

Katherine said...

Hmm, I don't have anything new to add. For my thoughts please refer to Krista's comment. ;-) love you!

Payton said...

I like to leave comments on peoples' blogs, but if I don't feel like I have anything to say then I don't. Also, I know this sounds bad (and I don't do it on yours because you always have lots of comments), I sometimes will comment even when I have nothing of value to say/contribute if there are hardly any comments. I love hearing from people who read my blog and so I feel like its the golden rule of blogging. Interesting topic. I always enjoy reading your blog. Plus you're one of the few who post as much or more than I do. :)

Shannon said...

Oops I just realized that my future brother in law was signed in instead of me, but that last comment was me.

brie said...

Wow, you guys, there was some great insight here. I, for one, am more inclined to comment on a humorous/fluffy post, mostly because there's no pressure to say something enlightening. Also, if I'm a regular reader to your blog, I usually will comment on more or less all of the posts you leave. I get nervous leaving comments sometimes on depressing posts because I worry that I won't say anything that will help you, or that somebody has already said what I wanted to...

brie said...

Ooh! Also, sometimes whether I comment or not will have to do with the subject (i.e. if you comment about an episode of Star Trek you watched you will get no comment from me because I have no idea - nor do I want one - what the eff you will be talking about) and, sometimes if you blog on the weekend, this is typically when I'm not on the internet as much, so even if I do get a chance to read it, which isn't often, I usually don't have as much time to comment. Huh. There really are a lot of factors for this, aren't there?

Kathy with a K said...

I find I make comments when something in particular strikes a familiar chord in me. Otherwise, why would I ever begin commenting on a blog of someone I've never met. (a hem....)
I'm finding the "power of the blog" is finding the many (or even just one of the) common threads we all share.

kristin said...

I agree with you, Brie, that people should comment on a blog more than just when someone is struggling. Whenever I get comments (if I get any comments at all), they are on the more serious posts. With my blog, however, it is understandable because I don't post much nor do I know that many people. Oh well.

Take care.

love, kristin

Laur said...

24 comments! see!!!! ahhhhhhhhhh

Rachel said...

Of the viewers who read my blog, I'd say that only about 1 - 5 percent of them leave comments. In my case, it's usually the more fluffy kinds of posts that get the most comments. I blog primarily for self-gratification and as a soapbox to air my views and rants and so forth, but it is nice to get feedback in a community atmosphere.

Rachel said...

Oh, and as a side note... I usually visit some of the newer blogs on a couple feeds I frequent just for blogger-to-blogger support, if anything. I know some other bloggers who never comment on the blogs of others and I was always turned off by such elitest kinds of attitudes.

Stacy said...

I love commenting and receiving them, but I don't want to seem obsessed and sometimes i think up what I want to say but never get to making the comment, whether it be a sad or happy or inbetween post. BUT I do find that when one of my blog friends is dealing with something hard and I don't comment, I take it with me and think about it and my hurt and worry for them goes with me outside fo blogland, I guess that happens whether or not I comment.

On the lighter side. I saw a tidbit on TV about the new x-files flick and it totally made me think of you. are you so stoked you are crawling out of your skin?

racher said...

hurry and come visit!

Krystle said...

I don't receive many comments (especially now that my blog is private) but you make many valid points. I have enjoyed reading your blog, whether the posts are sad or fluffy, but for different reasons. I also think that on which type of post we tend to comment says a lot about our mood at the time of said-comment. Maybe the fluffy post helped us see the humor in our own situations, and perhaps the darker posts have served as declarations that we are not alone. This would indeed be an interesting study...As always, you are full of both humor anf depth, Brie. Keep writing! :)

Melisa said...

Pardon my churchy right here but as I was reading through the comments it made me think of the relationship we have with Hevenly Father....bare with me....I'm not done. When things are going good and we aren't struggling, prayers slack off, when we are in dire depths of despair it is him who we plead too?
Just a thought.
P.S. I love your blog, wether sad or happy entries, it is all so "real".