Comment Hangover

Well, as promised, here is my post about commenting. I’ve had a string of personal blog philosophy posts recently and this should be the last for a while.

Do you ever leave a comment on someone else’s blog, wake up the next morning, and think did I get across what I wanted to say? Or say something you thought was witty then wonder if the other person took it seriously or even took offense to it? Well, lately I’ve just been getting a bit of a bad vibe from my comments. Maybe it’s insecurity sneaking in, but I think I’m gonna take a step back for a while and be a bit more critical about my comments. Let me explain.

First, although everyone loves to say that blogs are off the cuff, fresh, and uninhibited. There is still a level of permanence that cannot be denied. It is different than a conversation in that what you write stays there and can be read and disected numerous times. Whereas, in a conversation, the memory of what you say is dependant on the listener and what they retain. I think this level of permanence demands that what is written have a bit of forethought into what is laid out there. Yes, a blog entry can be erased along with comments on other blogs in some cases. But really, who feels good about censuring themselves after having published their words.

I usually post at night after the rest of the house has gone to sleep or trying to squeeze it into my lunch hour. So either that lack of lucidity or a rush to get across a point may have been making for bad commenting. It’s true that sometimes I rush to get in a point before the conversation takes another turn. Also, I have had a bad habit of trying to be too concise to the point where the idea that I’m trying to make gets lost or misunderstood. Posts on my own blog lack this for the most part since I usually take a couple times to revise them so they are cohesive and comprehensible.

There’s a level of impersonality about commenting that I probably still have a problem with. Unless I know the person very well, the uncertainty of their reaction doesn’t allow for quick responses. I’d love it if many of these topics could be discussed face-to-face over a beer, but distance and time prevent that. Posting and commenting provide this opportunity to hold reasonable (sometimes excellent) discussions that would otherwise not take place. The comments in one of the previous posts illustrated that.

After all this said, I’ll probably give my comments the same treatment as my posts, though hopefully I that won’t mean commenting on two month old posts. In the meantime, I’ll keep reading everyone else’s blog and hopefully be able to slip in a reasoned comment once in a while.

Now back to posts about the real world.

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~ by Frank on April 3, 2006.

2 Responses to “Comment Hangover”

  1. Like you, i feel that blogs are more like newspaper articles than like real-life conversations, and so, from the beginnings of my blogging and commenting experience, i’ve always double-checked, proof-read, and thought-out my comments before posting them, and i’m glad of this since i don’t regret a single message as of this date.

  2. 1. I truly enjoy your blog. The Chicago-Montrealer back and forth, the adjustments and comparisons are all quite interesting and informative. If I had just happened upon this blog, I would probably be hooked and reading it everyday, as I generally do now.

    2. Impersonality? I think you meant “anonymity.” I very much liked the anonymity aspect, but now I see it was just an illusion. I find it particularly interesting that people simultaneously hold a wish to be anonymous themselves but wish to unmask others, it’s some kind of cognitive dissonance. Those with the techno saavy have the capability to have that variety of cake and eat it to. I for one, lack those capabilities.

    3. Tête rouge, I want to thank you for sharing your life, your views, experiences, interests, artistry, it has been facinating reading, and all the more so because you are a real person to me. I feel privleged to come for the ride. In a relatively short span of time, I feel I have come to know you far better and more deeply than I otherwise would have had the opportunity to do so.

    4. The way to become a better writer, is to do what you are doing–write. And to keep learning from your mistakes, and keep writing. You can be proud of your work.

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