Thursday, August 12, 2010

Comments on Comments

Comment is a weird word. Sorry, I just had to get that out there.
Anyway, I'm going through an internal battle with myself (duh, who else could you have an internal battle with?) about removing comments from my blog.
I've felt this way before, and my husband has always talked me out of it. He likes to read them and reminds me how happy they make me. But while I am so excited to get a comment, I also get hurt when I don't get them.
I love to know people are reading my little bloggity blog, and appreciate the encouragement/advice/support I get from you wonderful readers. Yet, sometimes I can be a little too emotional about the lack of comments. And it's so stupid because I read a LOT of blogs and don't comment every time, or not at all.
Then there's the whole egotistical thing. It's like I need to go to your blog, and leave a comment, so that you'll come to mine and leave one too. Commenting has become a part-time job. And I already have enough of those!
There are quite a few blogs that I love to read, and usually comment on, and then those bloggers NEVER comment on mine. I start feeling like I am the one trying so hard in this "relationship", and they are the confident, superior person who wishes I would just leave them alone. Then I make myself feel better by thinking that they must not comment on anyone's blog, and get even more upset when I see that they do comment on other's...just not mine.
The whole popularity contest is also an issue. Who wants to feel like they are back in high school again? Why do I care so much if someone follows me, or includes me in their blog list? There were blogs I used to read back when I started blogging that now have hundreds of followers and get so many comments on every post, I wonder how they handle it all. I want to be able to write down my thoughts, showcase pictures, and keep memories without wondering if people find it interesting. Who am I really trying to please? It should be God, my husband, and my family...not internet lurkers.
Then there's the fact that so many of the Catholic mom blogs I read don't allow comments. They have probably been in my place, and have seen the freedom that comes with removing comments all together. I truly enjoy visiting these blogs even though I can't comment to let the author know I've been there, because there's such a peace that comes with reading a post without the pressure to comment.
During Lent 2010, I did remove comments and it was hard for me, but it brought about such an awareness of how I spend my precious time, and how I waste too much of it. So I am really leaning towards taking the comments away. People can always email me if they want to get in touch, and of course I will continue reading (and commenting if I feel inclined to do so).
Does anyone have any thoughts or advice on this topic?


  1. Oh gosh, this is a tough one. I wish I could help, besides just throwing out my ungathered thoughts. But any way, here's my thoughts for what their worth :) DON'T TAKE AWAY COMMENTS!!!! Okay, while I love to comment on your blog that really isn't the point. I do think it's a decision you have to make and while I hope for them to stay, I can certain 'get' the whole comment debate.

    In the beginning, I thought and over-thought EVERY post for perfection. Although I didn't have a clue as to who was reading my blog and had zero followers at that point, I still desired perfect posts for those lurkers who happened to stumble across my little blog. As followers increased in this last year, there have been times of wondering where the comments are. BUT, I think I finally get it. I rely more on Sitemeter and the count of how many are visiting than on the comments. Because really, I've learned that while I love to read the comments and know that I'm not alone, I'd rather just read them quickly and not have to over-analyze and 'depend' on them. I know that I have WAYYYYY less followers and commenters than you, but I've come to a place where I am ok with that. I also know I have way more readers (family & friends) who never comment, but from what they mention IRL I know that they've been secretly lurking on my blog.

    As for commenting on others....I don't like feeling the obligation. I enjoy commenting, but sometimes I just don't have the time and sometimes I just don't want to comment the same 'these photos are really cute. what darling kids you have' for the billionth time. I also don't like to comment on EVERY post to become popular with the writer or that they get tired of me and think I'm a stalker of some sort (have you felt that way yet, Colleen??? hehe...). If I cannot comment at the time and want to get back to it, I simply put that post in my 'starred' list for later. Most often, I find that when I return to it several days later I no longer feel the NEED to comment any more.

    Okay, so I've do you like this comment on your comments??!! LOL. Any way, I'd be with your husband and talk you out of abandoning comments all together, if I could. But that's just because I like you so.darn.much and like our little back and forth commenting :) It's up to you and I will def. keep you in my prayers so that you can have right discernment over the issue.

  2. okay, I'm commenting on the comments . . . :)

    I know exactly how you feel, and I just wanted to say that I follow your blog through my Google Reader, so I read pretty much every new thing that you put up.

    I am an atrocious commenter -- I really am like the hit and run of the commenting world, and I apologize for it. It's not because I don't enjoy the things I read, but I do have limited time on the computer, just like everyone else. Sometimes, when I am rocking the baby, I'll go through my reader and read, but I won't have enough hands/time to click through and comment. Then at other times, I'll have a free hand and a minute to click through and comment. It's all very loosey goosey.

    I understand what you are saying about closing comments - I did the same thing for Lent one year and it was eye-opening. I've decided to keep my comments open, even though I don't always get a ton, because for me blogging is like a conversation. However, I need to then battle my own feelings that comments are sort of a source of approval for me. I have to really let that go - it's not healthy.

    So there you go - all my crazy ramblings about comments. I like your blog very much, even when I don't comment, and I appreciate that you visit mine. Really! If you close comments, I'll still read -- you can find me on your sitemeter ;)

  3. There is a tool my husband uses to show me who (as in what country/state) has visited my blog. The other day it had like 32 hits from people all over. I thought to myself, "how can I have 32 hits when only 10 people follow my blog and the same people comment over and over."

    Then I realized what I had just said. I am not blogging for everyone around the world. I am making a "scrapbook." for my family.

    As a reader, I actually feel a sense of freedom when people do NOT allow comments. It takes away that "Oh, I really should comment, but I want to read these other 5 articles and oh yeah, need to cook dinner....etc" So I am not bothered by your considering not allowing comments.

    Now, I LOVE getting comments. However, if I started getting a bit emotional or noticing what you mentioned in your post above, I would probably remove the comment section if not forever, for a period of time. But that's just me :)

    I go in spurts when I blog. This is just how it has been for me, so I don't expect a lot of followers and maybe that is why I'm a bit more detached right now. If I had as many as you....I think I would have this sense of obligation to post everyday....just typing that stresses me out :-)When blogging becomes a stress I know it's time to slow down.

    Anyway, I like your blog. I read it almost everyday but comment very little. I probably have a comment for you for every post, but I just don't have time to always do that. I absolutely do NOT like the feeling of being overwhelmed with my family because of things I can control, like time spent on blogs, internet, watching movies, being on the phone, etc. I try to always make sure my priorities are right (and no, I don't succeed all the time)

    So, just know that Sandra in Nebraska will read your blog comments accepted or not :)

  4. Colleen,
    I am laughing so hard at this post! Not because it's funny, but because I know how you feel. What can I offer you, besides laughter? Read this: Written by Gypsy Mama. (A favorite of mine)
    Also, in lieu of removing comments, I've begun praying for humility (not fun) I think a lot of my comment issues will be solved when I am more humble. I thought I was pretty humble before, but praying the Litany of Humility shows me I have a long way to go.

    Commenting on others: I haven't done this yet, but I think I might just start writing a short blessing so the bloggers know I've been there.

  5. H, Colleen. The author of the Catholic blog I always read removed comments because people started to attack her family plus it took time away from her family. As a reader, I always think no one really cares what the commenter thinks or feels. It is a precious time eater to get caught up in blogs and it really hit me when I saw the scene in Julie and Julia when the husband confronts Julie about her blog towards the end of the movie.

  6. Knowing this may well be my last chance to comment...I'm taking it. :)

    I also considering do the same.

    In reading some of your comments and being honest with myself...I too spend way too much time worrying about comments and I worry too much about sitemeter or feedjit (sp). I look at that one way too much! (Oh...the honesty here, rather embarrassing).

    I bought a book I so wanted a week ago. It's on prayer. I haven't cracked it yet...I've been reading blogs, commenting, checking my feedjt. STUPID. I need to be reading His word more.

    When I really feel compelled to say something to a blogger who doesn't have comments, I send them an e-mail. And usually you get a response back.

    Another note on my sporatic comments on "Comments on Comments"...I have a good IRL friend who reads my blog, hardly ever comments and I get uspet. So stupid. Why? Not good.

    I am so inspired by you...changes coming.

    Thank you!


  7. I could have written this post...I wrote something about it a couple of weeks ago actually. I am trying to be a better commenter, but sometimes it is a part time job! Please leave your comments on!

  8. Oh don't take down your comments! I love leaving little notes for you! =)

  9. Leave your comments on.

    I'll give you my take. I understand loving getting comments, I do too! So this is why I try and take time to comment on other's blogs, obviously I don't always, because I always read every one of your posts but don't comment!

    I totally understand your thinking of feeling like you're the only one putting something into the relationship when you post on other's blogs and then they don't reciprocate. So for me, I stop following them. Maybe that's harsh? I don't know, but I like to feel like we're friends, and like to make connections. If I'm commenting and they're not commenting on mine ever, I stop following them so I can stop worrying about it. I've done that on a number of blogs. Because to me, can you not even just once stop over at my blog and say hi? I know for some bloggers, they have so many followers that it'd be hard, but I'm talking here of blogs with no more than 50 followers with each post maybe having 3 comments.

    So anyways, leave the comments on, or else I may stop coming around! I like to be able to talk to people, and if you take comments away there's no way to do that :(

  10. I completely understand ya, girlfriend! While my vote is for you to leave comments on {only because I love your blog so much and like to be able to comment. *And* because I don't have your email address, so how on earth would I get in touch with ya???}, I will completely support you if you decide to take them away.

    I get caught up in comments way too much. And I was actually *just* thiknking about a particular blog in which I comment regularly, and she never reciprocates. It makes me a little sad, and then I doubt myself. Did I say or do something that would have offended? And you know what, I just don't need that. In the grand scheme of life, it's so unimportant what a complete stranger thinks of my blog. I blog for myself, and sometimes I have to remind myself of that ;)

    Anyway, that is a very long and confusing way to tell you that I understand everything you're feeling, and will support whatever you decide. BUT if you decide to take comments away, you'd better be leaving me your email :)

  11. It was painful for me when you took off your commenting option. :)
    I felt like I was biting my tongue while we 'talked'!!
    I love getting comments, it is like having a conversation with someone.
    I do have my feelings hurt when someone I love to read does not reciprocate though, so frankly, I only comment and read blogs/bloggers who read mine.
    As far as the followers go, don't read too much into that. I have found that a lot of people add themselves as followers, but don't really read the blogs they follow. (I don't do this) I suppose those folks just want to get their name out there somewhere???

    I hate that you are struggling with this though. I am sure you will do just what is right for you.

    ps. I have friends and family members that read my blog daily (for years) and have never commented...and that is fine too.

    pss. I always love your cute/witty comments. :)

  12. Oh my goodness- I don't really have any advice because I FEEL THE EXACT same way! I could have written this post myself!

    I watch my comments and blog followers like a hawk. If I've noticed I've "lost" a blog follower I basically freak out. I keep thinking that my writing stinks, or that I said something wrong. (What's worse is when I get a blog follower that found me from my brother's blog, and then they stop following mine, but still follow his!) I practically want to write an email to this former follower to ask why they left.

    Or I will write what I think is an awesome post. I put my heart and soul into it. I get the comments people leave on my blog sent to my email, so when I take a break from the computer and come back a few hours later and see that NO ONE has commented I get really upset.
    My pride is easily bruised and I am super sensitive.

    Then I wonder how the heck some people have a gagillion followers. I wonder what I can do to get that many.

    But then I remember why I started my blog in the first place. It's mainly a place for me to sort my thoughts and to uplift others. Who knows how many people I am encouraging- and I think that God doesn't let me know because I'll get a big head.

    I love, love, love your blog and I would totally comment more- but I'm so tired to put any coherant thoughts together (so hopefully this long comment makes sense!) Your blog inspires me- both in family and faith aspects. Please don't take away comments- or I'll have to bombard your email inbox with comments!

    Take comfort in knowing you aren't the only blogger who feels this way- and you have an awesome blog!

  13. well i also could have written a lot of this post.

    in the beginning, i wanted comments. I felt like I only had 2 readers and wanted more readers/comments so i signed up on catholic mothers online figuring that all these nice women with similar views would read/comment and we could be friends since honestly in real life I have few friends and even fewer catholic friends. seriously like none. Well I spent time reading so many catholic blogs and hardly no one ever from that entire list ever commented on mine. i kept commenting and commenting and no one commented back...except you and a few other ppl that read your blog. in general i was disappointed from that list of catholic bloggers.

    After awhile I began reading other blogs and in my opinion, ppl that weren't in the catholic sphere seemed to comment more actually...

    If you want comments I realized that its better to join social networking blog sites such as SITS, blogher and others like that. when i read comments on other posts the comments always say, oh I found you through SITS and stuff like that.

    Then I thought, ok I could join that to get comments, I might still, still thinking about it. But, really after thinking about it, I don't need comments after all.

    In the last 3/4 months I don't know why, I just feel like I don't need comments anymore and the comments are actually limiting what I want to say, write about. I think, if I blog about certain topics no one will like me and i will get a negative comment...why should i care what some person thinks though, right? So at this point I have been considering deleting comments too for me I will be able to say what I think more and not worry what others think of me...

    I don't know...I may just leave it.

    At this point, I am just blogging for myself and my memories, my journaling and not to impress anyone anymore.

    But, I do love to read other blogs. I love to read anything really and I don't have time or money to go buy new books all the time and blogs are free and interesting so...

    But I think those ppl that get a hundred comments from you and never return a comment ever is rude. They shouldn't just keep getting 100 comments from you if they never ever say hi even once. That bothers me too.

    so i think if they don't comment on yours after repeated attempts of you commenting on theirs then you should either stop commenting on theirs or just don't read them.

    There were a lot of ppl that i have similar views with and know irl we could be friends and they never returned comments and i used to get bothered too. But eventually I got over it.

    What I have noticed lately is that ppl that have a lot of comments sometimes they just respond right there in the comment box just by saying, "Thank-you everyone for all the comments" and I think that is a great way to respond without going back to everyone's blog.

    idk i know this is a long and rambling novel and i am only half thinking about what i am saying and i have kids in the background going crazy and thats another thought, if its taking away from family time then you should probably stop commenting on ppl's blogs etc.

    so i have to go control my crazies.

  14. I rarely get comments and could care less-I don't write on my blog for other people, I do it for myself to remember events in our lives. And lately I don't write mch of anything at all! Guess I should get on that.....

  15. YIKES!
    i was trying to skim over your comments with this post.. and you got a lot of advice...

    i will say.. i get what you are saying.. and understand too.. but truly- i hope you don't turn them off. when you were doing lent.. it was hard for me to read and then just sit with it.. comments kinda let me feel like i can discuss a post with the author...

    i used to have a hard time with comments too.. but then! whatever... i go to blogs and comment normally daily at the ones i really LOVE... others i visit occasionally... blogland can get crazy can't it??

  16. I have struggled a little with comments. Mainly, because I feel that I need to comment on other blogs to maintain a readership. I read/skim tons of blogs, but comment very little on any. For me, wonder if I should even keep writing a blog. Overall, I am happier and stay of the computer more when I do not blog. I get caught "in the trap" of feeling the need to post and I do not think that a blog should be like that.

    As far as whether you should stop comments or not, you need to do what is best for you. I love to comment on your blog, but if you feel it distracts you and think too much about comments, then maybe you should eliminate the comments. I will be sad if you do, but I would understand!

  17. I think you have to really be honest with yourself about why you're blogging. If it's truly just to 'scrapbook' your family life and your thoughts, etc, then comments/no comments shouldn't bother you a bit and removing them won't make any difference to you. If you're blogging because you want to forge connections or friendships with others like you, then comments are important (and you can tell who you're making connections with by who you're regularly exchanging comments with. If you're blogging to earn money from ads or to eventually land a book deal, then comments are a reflection of your loyal readership, but your stats/sitmeter is probably more relevant to your goal.

    I'm the second type. I love 'meeting' other bloggers online and getting a glimpse into the lives of other families like mine. I am a sporadic blogger simply because I have very little time and I'm VERY SLOW at the computer. HOnestly, I like reading blogs and leaving comments more than I actually like writing my own blog. I try and keep up with my favorite blogs and I always try and return comments, too, but I slack off sometimes. I really don't take anything too personally about any of it. My own mom checks my blog every day and NEVER comments. LOL


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