Does anyone else besides me get “Comment Anxiety”?

I read so many blogs with posts that make me laugh, cry, or think somewhat deep thoughts. When I read these posts I want to reach out – respond, publicly share how the post touched me or the communal experience – but I freeze. Hand frozen over the mouse – thoughts and possible comment worthy responses running through my head.. and keep thinking, and thinking until I kind of overthink it. What could I possibly write as a comment that isn’t lame? That doesn’t take away from the writing of the post – or point the direction to a memory or experience of my own that the post triggered in my head.

Does anyone else feel this way?

Here’s a case in point. Today I was reading one of my favorite blogs, The Tiger Father. Specifically I was reading the post Grumpy Old Man Doesn’t Seek the Same – a well written post about how uncomfortable it can be to be matched up with others just because you’re in the same place in life – regardless of personalities, interests etc.

I opened up the comments section to leave a comment as I enjoyed the article so much and it got me thinking about so many things and then I over-thought it again and couldn’t leave any comments.

The same thing happens to me when people write deeply personal posts – where you can see the writing in itself is cathartic for them. Something that heartfelt is so touching – how could I not respond, reach back out over the bloggy void and say I’m here, I hear you, or I’ve been there, or I can’t imagine how hard that must be but I’m truly thankful for you sharing it.

So what am I afraid of – it’s not like someone is going to come along and redline my comments or rate it 1 out of 5 stars publicly. Is it the opening up of my life/thoughts to scrutiny – it’s a little late for that given I’m writing this on my very own blog.

If I think about from the Blogger’s point of view – who’s post I’m reading. Almost all Bloggers love comments – (expect for spammy ones about perscription drugs online,cheap rolexes, and redirects to malware) no matter how lame. It’s wonderful when people let you know they’ve been there – they’ve heard you and they “get it.” Even if “getting it” is in their own way.

Perhaps I should set a challenge for myself – no blog post read goes uncommented upon, no matter how lame I think my response would be. Is this a realistic goal – maybe. I guess we’ll see. In a way it occurs to me that it’s kind of like virtual consciousness raising. You know those exercises in the Real World – where you are supposed to pay attention and be conscious in each moment – taking nothing for granted – thankful for the experience. Maybe we as Mummy and Daddy bloggers and SocialMedia-philes should all set this as a goal.

What do you think? Do you or someone you know suffer from Comment Anxiety? How did you overcome it? What do you think of the challenge I’ve laid out?

You know what – I’m heading back to that blog right now to leave a comment. Step 1, my first babystep.

*update* O.K. I’ve taken my first step and here’s the proof…

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9 Comments

  1. Sarah

    March 28, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I totally understand this! Also there is the whole thing of no intonation in script so something you think sounds funny actually is a bit weird if not read in the same way. Oh I do worry about that! :)

    • Jackie

      March 28, 2012 at 11:47 am

      Thanks Sarah, yes good point – tone or intonation is really hard to convey in text! Harder still is sarcasm :0)

  2. Natalie

    March 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    I think most bloggers page views-to-comments ratio shows you are not alone… many people stop by and read, yet disappear without a “hello” or “goodbye”.

    I find sometimes people like to be ‘invited’ to leave comments. Perhaps they perceive that by writing on the blog of someone the don’t know, is intrusive maybe?

    As for me… I always try to leave a cheery *wave* even if I am unable to construct the most eloquent of replies.
    Natalie recently posted..Living Well Wednesday – 27th March, 2011My Profile

    • Jackie

      March 28, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      Thanks Natalie – I hadn’t thought of it being intrusive before. Great more anxiety lol :0) My Grandmother used to say about Graffiti and idiots making scenes in public “Fools names and fools faces are often seen in public places.” Now I can add blogs and blog comments to those “places”

      I like your approach – it’s always kind to say hello or give a cheery wave! Thanks so much for sharing your perspective I really appreciate it.

  3. Andy

    March 30, 2012 at 8:32 am

    I think that this is a very interesting point and one that a lot of us struggle with on occasion. I have been trying to overcome my own problem with this and making sure that I comment after reading, this may be taken as proof, but do wonder if I will ever manage to totally solve the issue myself. Every little helps though.
    Andy recently posted..The final push – Jam biscuits & cinnamon swirlsMy Profile

    • Jackie

      April 6, 2012 at 9:22 am

      I think I’m going to create a 5 step comment plan for myself – I’ll share it back on my blog with you.

  4. Vicki

    April 2, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Yep, I’m the same. I read so many blogs and am guilty of not commenting, usually because I can’t think of anything supportive/constructive/interesting to write.
    Yet I worry when I don’t attract comments on my own blog!

    I think I’m going to have to think about commenting on at least 50% of those I read…there, I’ve set myself a goal so now I HAVE to do it!

    • Jackie

      April 6, 2012 at 9:21 am

      Fantastic goal! Go for it!

  5. Pingback: My 5 Step plan for overcoming Comment Anxiety - Transatlantic Mom

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