So, I’ve been around on the blogging circuit for a while (not just this particularly blog, but others I started and then interested fizzled out), and I am curious about the etiquette surrounding blogging.
I genuinely like reading other people’s blogs, and rather narcissistically, I particularly enjoy the ones that are similar to mine; those that relate to me. When someone’s words spark some kind of recognition, or resonate with me on a deeper level, I find them therapeutic; they make me feel as though the path I am treading isn’t as lonely as I had once envisaged. I also love the hilarious posts. There is nothing better than accidentally stumbling across a blog that makes you laugh out loud, and leaves you gagging for more. When someone’s blog has touched me on some level (even if it is just my funny-bone), I like to let people know. I am not an ass-licker (which has been implied in the past – not here, just in life, in general); it’s just that I am as honest as the day is long, and will let people know, which has been misconstrued in the past. That said, the omnipresent conflict and contradiction that is my life, and which is also starting to form a pattern throughout my posts, would prevent me from being honest about my negative feelings; I would never leave a comment saying something along the lines of “that was crap…don’t give up your day job”. That’s me: always aware of other’s feelings, even to the detriment of my own at times.
So, when people have spoken to me, inspired me, or tickled me, I like to let them know. However, I follow very few people. This is for a number of reasons: firstly, following someone means that I genuinely like who they seem to be, what their posts are about, and that I feel a connection, on some (it could just be minor) level. This to me, is what blogging is about: sharing my thoughts and views to be appreciated by like-minded people, and vice versa. However, recently, I’ve noticed that I have followers that have zero in common with me, and can only assume that they are doing so to get a reciprocal follow. This is all well and good, and there is nothing wrong in trying to get your blog out there, especially if there is a business attached somewhere along the line. And let’s be honest here, there are not many of us that write blogs just for our own entertainment; we write for others to read. However, publicity and business reasons aside, shouldn’t we reserve a following status to those that we connect with, and enjoying reading, rather than randomly following people we don’t give a monkey’s about? I would personally appreciate a like or comment much more; that way, there is some visible sign that my posts have actually been read.
I see it this way: if I make it through a whole post, they get a like. Sometimes, if I am feeling kind, they will still get a like even if I only make it to the three-quarter mark (sort of like a “C” for effort). I think that if they take the time to write it, and have done enough to attract me to the point of reading, then they deserve some recognition. I also leave comments fairly often; however, these need to be honest and heart-felt (we’re back to that connection again), and not just written to let people know I have been there, so that I can presumably entice them to come and check me out. Leaving comments also has a lot to do with the fact that I am a know-it-all, and find it very difficult to refrain from imparting pearls of wisdom, whether they are invited or not!
I am easily pleased; it takes very little to stroke my self-esteem. One or two positive comments and I am floating. Mind you, that’s not limited just to writing, it is my life in general. I need to be loved; need to be praised; need to be appreciated. However, I am not so naïve to believe that every person following me likes my posts, or is even reading them. The tech guy with the blog about creating robots out of old lawnmowers is not interested in my self-analysis, angst and rants against the world, is he? Or maybe he is. Maybe he is a tech guy with the blog about creating robots out of old lawnmowers that is also a HSP. Who knows?
Who cares, really? I think the point of this post is to ponder why others are liking and following others. It’s a shame really to think that they might just be doing it for their own benefit; but isn’t it also quite inevitable? And really, as long as you are doing what you want, what you think is right, is there any need to worry about what others are up to?
And the funny thing is, if I am right, most of my followers won’t ever know I feel this way! Priceless!