Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Enough About You

I wish I had anything to say. I'd like to blog more regularly, but I just don't have anything floating around in my head wanting to come out on my blog. There's no room in there for floating. It's a high traffic area.

But then Heidi left a comment in my last post that reminded me of something. Her comment is a few lines long about reflections she has had similar to those I posted about. Reading her comment I was very interested in her thoughts and then she suddenly said, " Um, anyway, I'm talking an awful lot about me." and I thought, Oh! But please go ahead! Keep "talking"! (she didn't, maybe because she couldn't read my thoughts, partly because she'd already written the comment by the time I had them)

So I was a little surprised about that and then I remembered something. I feel like that regularly! I read someones blog post with interest and by the time I get to the comment form all I say about the post is, "that's so neat!" or "I love it when that happens!" or something before I start in on a 3-12 paragraph comment about me and my experiences. Then I sometimes feel dumb and either edit it or delete it and go back and respond more to the post.

This urge to edit is unusual for me because usually I really do just say what I want. I don't try to come up with something to say in the comments, so sometimes I just don't respond. I enjoyed the post, but am taking it with me without leaving anything behind (sorry to those who think that's rude. Putting the way I just did sort of makes it sound like stealing. Hmmm.). I don't worry about coming up with something clever or thoughtful. I just say what I want. And sometimes it's a lot. About me. Then I feel bad.

I think what I learned from Heidi's comment is that a) maybe I'm not the only one who feels like that sometimes, and b) maybe other people don't mind long comments about the person commenting.

After all, people blog because they want to share their thoughts. People read blogs because they want to read those thoughts. Comments are an extension of that, so really it's best to say what you want (within reason) in a comment. And at least for me, I love reading anything someone has to say. Even (especially) if it's a long story or string of thoughts. It helps me feel the blogging connection. Whatever I said made you think of that, and whatever you said made me remember that 12 paragraph long story (for which I still apologize). It should mostly be okay to just type it out and hit "comment". (or whatever the button says. Weird that I comment several times every day and I don't remember what the button says. The human mind is so weird*.)

*note to self: there are other words that mean the same thing as "weird". Using the same such word twice in as many sentences is wrong. Strange, odd, bizarre, unusual, uncanny. . .
Weird is my favorite.

19 comments:

Heidi Ashworth said...

First of all, I adore your profile pic! Second, thank you--you make me feel less self-concious and awkward about myself. Blogging is full of these social insecurities and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one, either. But you are right--whatever comment someone has to make, it is an extension of the conversation and it's all good. If we were sitting down on the sofa together having XXX (anything containing chocolate and peanut butter) you would talk about you and I would respond by talking about me. It's how women show one another that they are listening, that they hear you, that they get it. Still, I have six sisters and the message I often get from them is that I talk about myself too much. So, that's where that comes from. Anyway, love you to pieces exactly as you are, the same word twice in one sentence notwithstanding (I feel the same way when I am seriously writing, like, as in a book, but I do it on purpose on my blog a lot and I think it is great fun).

Heidi Ashworth said...

Oh! I just remembered I have something to add. It's probably not a good idea to rhapsodize about some other bloggist in anyone's comment box. It should either be about you or the bloggist whose blog you're reading. Not that you would ever do that--just saying . . .

Kazzy said...

I think comments are the perfect place to make a connection between what you read and your own experience. Btw, I always love your comments because they are well-thought out and meaningful. :)

Barbaloot said...

Glad to know I'm not the only who feels that way at times. I feel like I'm hijacking the post if I go on to write about my personal experience or something.

Feel free to write all you want about yourself in my comment box:)

Alison Wonderland said...

The thing is tat some of the posts I love the best leave me with very little to say. So I either leave a "loved this" kind of comment or I just don't comment at all (I do this not commenting thing more and more these days).

I don't mind comments that tell the commenter's story except when they tell a story that isn't what I was getting at at all, if you see what I mean? I hate it when someone leaves this long rambling comment that illustrates that they didn't get what I was trying to say at all which means that they're either dumb, or I didn't do a very good job explaining and I'm not really one for the comment conversation (that back and forth that you see on some blogs) so really they're never going to know that they missed the point entirely. Maybe they're better for that.

I didn't realize that I felt so strongly about this. But enough about me...

Heather of the EO said...

Yes. I've thought this too. But I think it's cook, either way. To not say anything because you just don't have anything to say. Or to ramble on with the thoughts the post helped you to think, even if they're all about you. I enjoy it when people do that. Because then it takes some of my guilt for writing posts all about me :)

Carolyn V. said...

I love the word weird too! I agree with you. I've erased so many comments (especially the long ones where I share a lot about myself).

Emily said...

You always leave the nicest comments.

I used to put great thought into my comments and write paragraphs, but I don't really do that anymore. I guess that happens when you've been blogging a while.

I love it when people write comments about themselves. It's more interesting for me to read.

Erin said...

My favorite part about blogging (I almost wrote "very favorite," but then I realized that is redundant) is finding connections with other people. So I love writing about whatever I want to write about, and then reading how other people respond, whether it is something directed toward me or something that reminded them of something else. I love getting to know other people better, and that is generally the best way. And now I'm rambling. But I really do enjoy both your posts and your comments.

Heather said...

It helps me feel the blogging connection too. I love all comments long or short.

L.T. Elliot said...

I love when people share about themselves in the comments. I feel like it's more of a dialogue--like a conversation between friends. Of course, it could be my way of justifying that I talk too much about myself. ;)

P.S. Isn't Heidi great? I just love her!

Thora said...

I do this a lot when I comment - and then I feel kind of bad, like the blogger might think that all I do is think about myself when I read blogs, when really their topic touched something in me, and made me think a lot about X topic as it relates to my own life. So, I guess it's a backwards compliment, in a way, showing that their post was thought provoking. I never delete these, not because I don't feel bad about them afterwards, like maybe they come across as, "Me, me, me," but I'm not a very good commenter in the first place, and so deleting anything I write is too sad for me.

So, I love it when people leave long comments, that are about them, on my blog. I feel like I know them better. And as Heidi says, in real life that's what women do when they get together, and it makes up a conversation, and it's very good.

Annette Lyon said...

Comments make the blog world go round! (And you do realize you've given me permission for really long, obnoxious comments . . . because I'm nothing if not opinionated and long-winded!) :D

Anna said...

I love comments! The only comments I don't care for are the ones where the commenter goes out of her (note: It's almost always a female) way to make me look foolish or point out typos or errors or be sanctimonious. I should just delete them, but I feel guilty if I don't approve them like I approve everyone else. But I love comments -- especially the ones where people talk about themselves because I'm genuinely interested.

Loralee and the gang... said...

I love when I get comments, long or short. The only ones I don't like are: "great blog, here from xyzblog.blogspot.com , come visit me". Feels a little like they are only commenting to get more traffic to monitize their blog. Not that I have a problem with someone trying to make a lil' money - I don't. But I do think that they should at least read ONE of my dang posts before leaving a comment!
ONe thing I sometimes do, though, if I am leaving a very long comment, I might copy and paste it and then one day use that inspiration for a post of my own. I have half a dozen in Draft to do that. Someday I may actually finish one of those posts!

Lara said...

I so agree with this. I think it's just about trying to relate with one another, and I love getting those types of comments because I always learn something. And yet, I often hesitate about leaving them for the same reasons that you cited.

(I just edited a whole paragraph out here) (just saying you're not the only one)

I suppose we should all live the golden rule a bit more and stop second guessing. If I love to receive long and interesting comments, certainly you do!

You're just so smart.

myimaginaryblog said...

Hi Lisa!

I subscribed to your blog a long time ago but haven't had much time to read the wealth that's been accumulating in Reader, so I just read a bunch of your posts at once and really enjoyed them. I loved the one about the older Polish attitude about free things, & especially how that led to something great for your family.

As a missionary I gave away a lot of copies of the Book of Mormon in France and Belgium to only marginally enthusiastic recipients, but I do remember one time when my sister had sent me a copy she'd written her testimony in, and when I gave it to a woman on a train I explained where it had come from and that I'd been looking for someone to give it to, and she seemed genuinely thrilled and to feel as special to be chosen as I had intended for her to feel. (Then my stop came and I had to get off the train before I could give or receive any contact information!) I probably could have done a better job of conveying the preciousness of that gift more often--but then again, some of our areas were pretty saturated with unread copies of the Book of Mormon that had been somewhat tossed hither and thither (while many other towns had no missionaries at all).

I'm guilty of very often leaving very long comments, (case in point) and yet have often also deleted long comments before posting them, so I loved hearing that at least some people like getting long comments. I know I've never minded them, but I still feel insecure about leaving them sometimes. Especially because I have a gift for free-association AND the gift of gab, and can go pretty far off-topic and at great length.

Well, I guess I'll be back to read more in six months or so, if life keeps up its pace, which it has every indication of doing. (Speaking of which, I'm a little envious of your description of Polish culture having a slow-but-steady pace. It's pretty hard to be immersed in a fast-paced culture (which I think Utah Valley's often is) and not become somewhat frenzied one's self.)

Melanie J said...

I think you made some great points. I guess I'm the same in that I feel bad when I go off on lonnnng comments, and yet I love getting them. I totally agree that it's what helps me feel more connected to people. And yet I guess I suffer from some kind of insecurity that makes me think people wouldn't want to hear from me. I need to work on that . . .

charrette said...

I love Heidi! I love long comments. Particularly for the way they help me connect with readers. I often leave long comments. And frequently delete them. And even more often apologize for leaving them in the first place. Lame.