There is one comment I feel bad about leaving. I haven’t thought about it in some time. Now I realize that tucked into the guilt of that experience is a lesson.
The comment I left was on a post about a personal sort of declaration. It was fun to read and quite inspiring. Subjectively, I felt that if it was my declaration, I would have added one more thing, so I of course left a comment about it.
I failed to mention If it was me writing this for myself, I would add.. and instead, started the comment with I would add… and really, that gave a whole different impression.
I saw a few potential responses that the person made before they deleted them and the comment. It was clear that what I had done was unintentionally sound like exactly the kind of person I don’t want to be.
So why did it happen?
Short answer: I wasn’t thinking.
Longer answer: I wasn’t taking the time to empathize and imagine myself reading those words from the point of view of the blogger.
Some posts invite input or advice; others do not. It is too easy to just dribble out my first thoughts; it was bound to lead to trouble at some point.
There are many benefits to thinking through a comment. Some of them include:
- You might make that blogger’s day.
- You might help another reader see something cool that they wouldn’t have otherwise noticed.
- You might entice people to find your blog to guzzle up more of your unique knowledge or sparkling wit.
- You might learn something because you are taking the time to think, rather than just verbal-diarrheaing on that person’s comment space.
Had I stopped to actually think about where that blogger was mentally when writing the post, I would have probably realized that my little subjective thought wasn’t useful to anyone but me. Sometimes, it is best to keep things to ourselves.
Other times, it is best to share them. You might have something useful to add, or the blogger is asking for your reflections and reactions. In that case, here are some tips that can make your comment useful, or at least, un-hurtful, in my humble beginner’s opinion:
- Mention something from the post that you enjoyed so that the blogger ends up knowing what they did right; especially if they are a writer.
- Answer whatever questions or prompts they left you with.
- Take about 60 seconds to actually reflect on the post if it was a potent one for you. Let your body feel how it impacted you. Write sincerely.
- Perhaps read the comment when you are done and see if it makes sense.
I’m not in any way saying that every comment should be some work of literary genius, although that would be nice. If you are like me, the feeling that you perhaps caused a negative reaction in someone is a bit unpleasant bordering on painful. You didn’t want to do that. You just wanted to help.
I’m as guilty as the next person of scrolling through the blogs I follow, reading the posts that catch my attention and writing out a quick comment to tell the person that I liked it. But maybe, at least sometimes, I can do more than that. That is my intention.
What about you, how do you feel about the comments you give and receive? I feel as if my blog has attracted people who are masters at leaving comments, and I always love what you guys have to say.
Have you ever left a comment you regretted, like me? Or is it one of those Jen-thinks-too-much kind of situations?