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I’ve been thinking about comments today, in terms of blog comments as opposed to real-life comments (that’s a whole other post).  I read a pretty rude comment on somebody’s blog and it got me thinking of that saying “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”.  Is this always the case?  Or do you sometimes have to be cruel to be kind?

Is there an etiquette to commenting on blogs?  If there is, I’m unaware of it, so please enlighten me if so because I may well be making a fool out of myself.  (I don’t mean etiquette in terms of “Is it ok to be openly abusive to somebody on their blog?”, because it’s clearly not!)

I go through phases of commenting, sometimes I’ll comment on a lot of posts I read, other times not so much.  I’ve been thinking about why I comment and have come to the conclusion that it really depends on the blogger, subject matter, and selfishly – my experience.  There are so many blogs I’ve read which have resonated with me in some way, and I really feel I need to comment and let that person know something they have said has had an affect on me and they have made a difference in some way.

Other times, I may have had a very similar experience to that blogger, and if they’re asking for advice and I feel I can give some I will do.  Similarly, if they have written something particularly informative which I can relate to my own life, I’ll thank them for doing so.

There are those who are seeking support, reassurance or justification and I often chip in my two cents.

Sometimes I comment because I think it’s important to show that somebody has read their words.  Some people pour their heart and soul into their blogs, their posts are heartfelt, painful, touching, saddening and a whole range of other emotions.  It takes a lot of guts to write some of the posts I’ve read and feel it’s only right to show some appreciation, even if it’s just ‘liking’ the post.

There are times when I don’t comment on blogs.  This isn’t because I haven’t enjoyed reading, far from it.  Sometimes I haven’t commented because there are simply no words I could say to make that person feel better.  I find it hard to be articulate sometimes, and if somebody really seems to be struggling, I don’t know what to say so rather than look like an insensitive fool, I say nothing at all.  In situations like this, I also feel bad ‘liking’ a post which has a sensitive subject matter because it feels a bit rubbish.  “I know you’re really struggling right now, I like this” (I know that’s not what it means at all – that’s just how my brain occasionally interprets it!)  In reality, it’s more like “I know you’re really struggling right now, I don’t know exactly how you feel but I’m thinking about you.”  Or something.

In relation to comments on my own blog, I won’t lie, I like ’em!  I like them because people can, and do, tell me:

  • If I’m being an idiot
  • If I’m overreacting
  • If I should be proud
  • If I need a kick up the bum

Basically – they are a huge comfort!  I like the conversation and feedback element of comments, and they’re great for receiving advice from people who know what they’re talking about.  I’m not sure if that’s the case for everybody, but I definitely find it helps.

I never started this blog to speak to people, I started it for me.  I started it as a place to talk openly, about things I can’t talk to my friends and family about.  I had no idea this whole blog world existed to be honest, I knew blogs existed obviously, but I didn’t know specific Eating Disorder Recovery blogs existed.  I wish I’d found them years ago.  Initially I didn’t comment on anybody’s blog, I lurked and read a lot, but never felt brave enough to comment.  I loved the anonymity, and feared looking/sounding like an imbecile.  As I’ve got into it more though, I’ve started commenting a lot more.  I do still lurk, and there are a lot of blogs or posts I’ve read which I haven’t commented on but that’s not to say I didn’t find it interesting or don’t care.  I really appreciate all the comments I receive on here, but don’t know how I’d feel if I received a particularly abusive one.  I’ve been fortunate so far.  I think it’s important to be honest and if you think somebody is kidding themselves or have said something you disagree with in a blog then you should say so, but there’s a way to say it.  There’s no place for rudeness and nastiness in the blog world in my opinion.

So, is there a blog etiquette?   Do you comment on blogs or do you prefer to lurk? Do you read and reply to comments on your blogs?  Should comments on blogs be concise or as long as necessary?  Because if it’s the former, I’m definitely in breach of blog etiquette because I waffle.  A lot.  If I comment on your blog and get on your nerves, please tell me.