To Comment Or Not To Comment

Here are assorted musings on one topic.  Make of them what you will.


For the past few weeks I’ve made a point of reading new-to-me blogs– and then leaving a comment on the blog.  I’ve found that I’m not alone in doing this.  Many people have stopped by The Spectacled Bean for the first time during November and have left me a first time comment.

I appreciate that effort very much.


I know that I’ve seen some bloggers write about how easy it is for them to visit someone else’s blog and toss out a comment.  (Or to hit the “like” button available on some blogs.)  For them interaction via comments is a given– and they do it as a matter of course without any hesitation.

I envy their ability to get involved so easily.  I’m not like that at all.


For me, an introvert, it takes a bit of effort to leave a comment on someone’s blog.  Perhaps that’s how all introverts feel.  I don’t know.

All I know is that I’m self-conscious about inserting myself into someone else’s life.  My goal is to encourage with what I say in a comment, but I’m never entirely sure that I carry out my goal.

Good intentions, dubious results.  Perhaps that’s the reality of all earnest people.


I realize that there are always lots of people who lurk on my blog.  Through my stats info I see you out there.  You arrive here at the same time every day, from the same place, and stay long enough to read what I’ve written.  But you never interact with me.  I don’t take it personally– and honestly, I rarely even think about it.  I understand that’s how some people consume blogs– detached and anonymously.

It’s safer that way.


I’m always concerned that there will be a misunderstanding about what I say in a comment.

I try to be clear and specific in what I say in comments, but without visual clues there’s no way to know exactly how what I said is being received.  And it’s this sense of vulnerability that slows me down when commenting.  I want to tell my truth and I want to do it with grace– while honoring the thoughts of the blogger who has written the post in the first place.

It’s a delicate balance to do.


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Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Charmingly cynical. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Fond of words.

15 thoughts on “To Comment Or Not To Comment”

  1. As another introvert, I relate to most of what you’ve posted here. I feel utterly stupid leaving a comment, especially the first time. Why would this stranger care about anything I have to say? But, as a long time fairly anonymous blogger, I’ve met some great people through the conversations we have on our blogs. I have a few rules for comments on my blog (which I haven’t gotten around to updating since I moved hosts and lost my archives) which pretty much boil down to treat me the way you’d treat your friends and family in real life. Remember there’s a real person on this side of the computer. I try to approach commenting on other people’s blogs the same way.

    Oh, and I share the worry that things I say in comments will be taken wrong. I know that what I say does not always reflect what I meant to say. When people comment on my blog, I intentionally take what they write in the best possible light. Not being the kind of blog that garners hundreds of comments generates controversy, it’s extremely rare that I get rude or hurtful comments. Although some of my best friends will tell me to get over it or happily point out when I’m posting bs!


  2. I so agree with you an leaving comments. The tone of voice when talking face to face reveals a lot about how the comment can be taken, which we can’t do when writing.


  3. I love your comments on my blog and look forward to them. I appreciate the effort you go to in commenting, especially as that has been most days this November. I hope you will continue to visit and to leave comments, if you find anything interesting, even after November. Polly x


  4. la p, I still get worried when I comment… even after all this time. Although not on your blog, of course. We’ve been at this together for way too long!

    Zazzy, well said. I love your line: “When people comment on my blog, I intentionally take what they write in the best possible light.” I do the same thing. I wonder if this makes us the norm– or the weirdos?

    Beth, it’s so strange to not hear the tone of voice. I know what mine is as I type in the words, but am not sure that the receiver will hear the same thing.

    PollyBurns2, thanks. Of course, I’ll continue to visit and comment on your blog after this “glorious madness” is over. I like what you have to say– and clearly you’ll know to take my comments in the best possible light. 😉


  5. You always leave very insightful comments on my blog, but I didn’t realize that it was at a cost to you in time and mental energy. I’m an extrovert and leaving comments is not hard at all. However, I often dislike what I’ve said and want to go back and change it; that’s my perfectionism rearing its head. 🙂


  6. Margaret, at this point, I don’t have any worries leaving a comment on your blog! But, in general, I have to give myself a pep talk before I start commenting anywhere. I feel it’s important to comment because I like ppl to comment here, so I figure that I have to comment there. And I know what you mean about the perfectionism; I re-read what I’ve written a few days later and think “well, I could of said that better!”


  7. Exactly!! Even this comment I put on here sounds like I’m bragging about being an extrovert and I didn’t mean it that way at all. I think I was trying to say that we all have stresses(different ones) about leaving comments.


  8. Margaret, I didn’t take what you said as bragging at all. I took it as self-awareness and reality. I think that the bottom line about commenting is that there’s so much room for misinterpretation regardless of who writes the comment.


  9. I’m an introvert, too. And like you, it usually takes me a lot of time and energy to leave a comment on a blog where I haven’t already established a conversation with the blogger. I sometimes feel ridiculous about how much time I spend thinking out and editing my blog comments. (And in spite of my editing, I all too often see a typo just after I post the damn comment!)

    I also have a bit of inhibition about commenting based on not wanting to write the same thing as someone else. I’ve had the experience of reading a post in my feed reader, having a comment come to mind, and then clicking through to see that someone else already wrote what was in my head. My self-image as a unique thinker gets majorly threatened. But also there’s the whole stylistic/pragmatic notion of not wanting to say what was just said.

    Sometimes, though, the comments just roll from me. Like now, apparently. Possibly because I haven’t read through all the comments here. And possibly because I am procrastinating, and this feels easier to do than the writing I’m supposed to be doing.


  10. alejna, like you, I spend lots of time working out exactly what I want to say in comments– finding the wrongness of what I said one second too late. *humph*

    I know what you mean about not wanting to duplicate something that has already been said. Yet often times I want to say something to the blogger to assure him or her that I am paying attention to him or her.

    So for me it becomes a decision about: what to do/ what to say /does this really even matter if I say anything at all? Sometimes deciding this makes my head explode!


  11. interesting thoughts on comments…i think comments are changing. i’ve put quite a lot of thought into it and i think it’s due to mobile devices like iPhones and iPads – it’s easy to read on those, but harder to comment. and like you, i’d like to leave a meaningful comment (and receive them as well), not just one of those “nice blog, come and visit mine” kind of comments (which are thankfully fewer and farther between than they once were). i often read something via flipboard on the iPad (which admittedly makes it quite easy to click in and comment on a blog – i just don’t like to type anything substantial via the iPad) and think, i’ve got to come back and visit this blog and leave a proper comment when i’m at my computer. i have quite a few blog posts starred in my reader to do just that. but i seldom remember to do it.

    that said, i don’t think that not commenting means that people aren’t touched or amused or whatever the appropriate reaction is, by what a blogger has written…if it’s personal, i think people don’t want to intrude, especially if they’re a relatively new reader and don’t feel they “know” the blogger that well.

    this is getting long and rambling….i think we all love getting comments, but i think we should worry less about saying the perfect thing and just reach out and interact. it’s the beauty of blogging!



  12. julochka, I think you make an excellent point about the changing nature of comments. You’d have the perspective to see that before the rest of us. Like you I’m happy to see the end of the “nice blog, come visit mine” type of comment. I never really knew what to do with those to begin with.

    I also agree that not receiving comments doesn’t mean that I’m a blogging failure. I’ve never measured my self-worth by external validation. People leave comments when it suits them for whatever reasons they have. I get that.

    And you’re so correct about worrying less about perfection– just go for connection. My heart knows you’re right, but my ego is a worry-wort about all things wordy.

    Thanks for stopping by and chiming in. I appreciate it.


  13. My “worry” comes with the fact that I don’t always have time to reply to comments. I feel like, if people go to the effort to leave a comment (and I truly appreciate each and every one!), the least I can do is reply to them. I am trying to do a better job with that: I think comments are supposed to instigate interaction.


  14. Melisa, I know what you mean. I appreciate them too and want to respond, but am not always the most timely with my response. Which worries me that ppl think I don’t care. Which I do. But sometimes real life gets in my way.


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