I do it several times a day. Or perhaps the more accurate thing to say would be, several times a day I don’t do it.
I will find a blog post or article somewhere, and get something out of it. Sometimes a lot, sometimes just a tiny bit. I will scroll down to the comments section, ready to respond with a question or praise for the piece. I’ll look at the little box for three, four, sometimes more minutes. I will type two words then stop. I’ll erase those, think another minute, and then in one effortless flow type off about a paragraph in response to the piece in question.
When finished I’ll read it over. I’ll let my cursor hover over the “Comment” button for a moment…and then I will erase the comment, and leave the website totally.
This is enhanced when there are anymore than say 20 comments on a post. Beyond that, I feel there is even less of a reason for me to say anything.
I try to be a frequent commentator on my friends’ blogs. I grow weary of getting almost no comments after year and years (and years) of blogging, so I try to help out those I know when I can with some comment love. Yet if I barely know the person, or do not know them at all, the bar is much higher. I often have to be quite inspired or quite irritated by what has been posted in order for me to get passed this little mental force field I have described.
Truth be told I am not 100% certain what the deal is with my opting so often to abandon comments. Yet I have a theory; I want to say something profound, unique, or exquisite every single time.
This feeling of, “who cares” creeps in once I form my comments in most cases. Without that added fuel of amazement and delight, (not frequent) or disgust and indignation, (more frequent), my comments feel like unflavored rice cakes to me. Sure they are there, but are they really actually anything at all? You can see, feel touch, and on some rudimentary level taste them, but once consumed do they have the slightest impact?
I’m an intelligent, witty guy and a good writer. Yet if all of that is not in evidence with every little two sentence comment I leave on a blog post with which I agree, I feel I am wasting my time, and the time of other readers as well as the author of the post.
Of course even geniuses are not on all the time, I realize that. I also realize that a comment section is not exclusive for most people. That many writers appreciate just a simple sentence expressing agreement, or at least enjoyment of said post or article. That is certainly the case for me. (Hint.) Yet when I am the one doing the commenting, I suddenly feel there is a higher standard.
Is it my usual quasi-perfectionism? Is it my subconscious belief that if I have nothing new to offer a conversation, it is better to offer nothing? Is my being an introvert somehow tied into this? Would I rather not be seen at all than be seen as being like everyone else? I hate talking to the wind, so perhaps having a comment that sounds like many of the other comments on a thread feels like I am talking to nobody because I am being drowned out by all the identical mediocrity. Or perhaps if I don’t feel the comment is ever going to be read, I am likely to not even post it. I just don’t know.
Perhaps all, or perhaps none of the above. I’m just Too XYZ to leave comments as often as I should.
How often do you leave comments on articles or blog posts you enjoy? Do you have a criteria, or do you just go for it as the proverbial spirit moves you?