Thoughts on ELT, English and whatever else comes into my head
I should possibly stay off Twitter. I don’t seem to have the etiquette mapped out. It seems you either have to be seriously, canonisingly nice or troll people. Mildly argumentative or just sort of throwing your opinion around marks you out as a troublemaker.
Or at least that’s the feeling I get.
I might well be failing to understand something about blogging too. Someone Tweeted something about not understanding why bloggers didn’t respond when a reader commented on their blog even if it didn’t seem necessary. I chipped into this just because I happened to see it and the thing with Twitter is it’s like joining in a conversation you overhear on the bus.
I thought it was obvious. If it’s not necessary, then it gets low priority because people don’t have time. Blogging, interacting on Twitter and Facebook (and I’ve got two blogs and Twitter accounts to manage) work email, personal email (massively lagging behind the others – too long form for me now I indulge in more bite size/commentary/sharing aspects of Social Media) and that other little thing I do – writing – these things all take a lot of time.
I never realised there was some expectation about responding to anyone who responds to me. Where would it stop? Do they then have to reply to my reply? God forbid do we actually have to get into a conversation of mutual pingbacks and “I love what you wrote”, “I love that you loved it”, “I love that you replied”, “I love that you love that I replied”?
When I innocently offered my time reason, the response was that if you have time to blog you have the five minutes it takes to reply. Well, er…no actually. I’m busy doing all those other things so unless the comment is an interesting point I probably treat it as the end of the dialogue that started with my post. Ten replies to comments at 5 mins each and what with cutting split ends, tidying up my desk and wandering to the cupboard where I no longer dare keep biscuits – too dangerous – I’d have not written anything of any meaningful content for a whole hour. Six more of those and you get a day like today – naff all done.
I pointed that out, less loquaciously in 140 characters and the slap down (replete with smiley, of course because this person is NICE) that I probably didn’t get that many comments on my blog.
Well, maybe I get so many comments that I can’t reply to them all and ever leave my desk. Actually I don’t and I might well have replied to most of them but I wasn’t keeping track so can’t say for sure. But is that the aim of blogging? Am I supposed to be counting the number of comments and comparing myself?
Now I do have some personal issues like this. I apparently don’t compliment friends enough – I am thinking it, I just forget to say it most of the time – and I often don’t have the correct response when someone says they’ve been to a funeral. So this is maybe part of my slightly higher than normal on the Autism scale score (I assume, never having taken such a test, but since I really hate touching people I bet I’m on it). I did not know I was supposed to reply to comments.
And I sort of suspected – cue more trouble-making – that the reason a lot of people comment is, not necessarily because blogging invites dialogue, but because they want to direct traffic to their own blog. I mean all that “thanks for stopping by my blog stuff”. People read or don’t read, as they like. Aren’t they really just thanking them so that unobservable “like” is noticed by the other party’s readership too?
Something else I never do but I wonder now if that’s part of my Social Media sociopathy is thank people for retweets. Again, it’s not a real thanks is it? It’s to get more people seeing you. And the whole FF and whatever the hell MT is. I haven’t bothered to find out what MT is because I am sure I’m not going to do whatever it is.
I guess I am not coming across quite nicely enough. That’s OK, I’m like this in real life too. You might like me if we met, you might not. I predict if you wear drawstring linen trousers often and say things like “everyone’s entitled to their own opinion”, you’ll be in the latter category. No problem; everyone’s entitled to their….just kidding. I’d never say that.
Actually, I blog because I like writing. That’s more or less it. I like that it’s public, it spurs me to write in the way a journal no longer has the power to do. If people want to comment or I want to comment on theirs, I’d rather it was because we all had something content-ful to say.Maybe it’s because, as a writer (damn I am comfortable with that now) I’m used to the fact that the vast majority of things I write will never be acknowledged or cared about by anyone other than me.
If you want every little thing you do to be noticed and praised, commented on and appreciated, make sure your mum’s on your mailing list.