Thoughts About How I Comment On Personal Blogs Today

GOING THROUGH OLD FILES I found the following that I wrote as my response to something that must have happened, but I don’t know exactly what the catalyst was for this. Nor do I know why I didn’t publish this at the time.

Perhaps I thought sharing the following was too personal? Or too snarky? Or too dull?

I suspect that the issue that prompted this thinking was the infernal eternal blogging conundrum best summarized in a question: what do you do about people who are happy to take your comments, but will not give any, or very few, back to you?

What I wrote back then holds true for me today, so I’ll toss it out here and let you, my gentle readers, make of it what you will.

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Here’s my take on the issue: while in the early days of blogging quid pro quo reciprocity was the way everyone did things, I no longer abide by that standard.

I do, however, hang onto the idea that I have bloggy friends, not merely followers or fans.

Today I follow a variety of bloggy friends who interest me, and short of them turning out to be blatant narcissists or psychopaths, I leave comments willy-nilly around the blogosphere.

I like when I receive attention back but it’s not a make or break thing with me.  I figure how I treat other people is my good karma, and how they treat me back is their good, or bad, karma. ❤️🌻☮️

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AND ON THAT NOTE I’LL end this post by sharing with you one of the underlying premises of this blog.  It’s a premise based on the idea that everyone likes to be noticed, understood, and appreciated.

This is something I believe and you might believe it, too. It is a premise that I keep in mind every time I write a post or comment anywhere.

Maya Angelou said it best when she said: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Is this not true?  Please comment below.

Bad Marketing Is Worse Than No Marketing, But Maybe Not Everyone Believes This?

“I’m going to let this go because I really don’t want to get into an argument with these people.”

I said that out loud to myself the other day after finding a webpage that had the most forked-up mismatched inconsistent product marketing I’ve seen in a long time.

It stunned me with its ugly.

To wit, there were words written arbitrarily starting with either upper or lower case letters, for no discernible reason.  There were at least 5 different uncoordinated fonts used in garish multi-colored logos that looked like a D+ 7th grade student had made them.  And the information I needed was buried in wordy, pointless copy.

As a woman with a background in communication + marketing who worked at one time as a paralegal who did oodles of proofreading, the mess this organization was trying to get away with appalled me.  As if clarity in written and graphic design communication meant nothing.

There was a time when I’d have taken this as a personal insult, feeling a need to correct the situation by calling/writing about this failed attempt to create a professional image in the world. And while I could have helped this organization up their game to the next level, you know what– I did nothing.

Because this is not my problem per se.

I only share this here today because it irritated me.  Something like this is disheartening for anyone like me who believes in the illuminating power of words and the clarifying potential of images.

And makes me wonder how it is that any organization in today’s connected world can exist with bad marketing.  ‘Cause I’m not the only one who is going to see this and think poorly of them.

Or am I?

Mercury Is In Retrograde & My Subconscious Is On The Blinketh, Me Thinketh

I’VE BEEN KNOWN TO SAY: trust the process.  I don’t know that I do that all the time because my ego gets in the way, but when I chill out and reflect upon situations it seems like a worthy goal– if you’re trying to live your life in a heart-centered way.

Thus I give you the following series of events, hoping that there is something good + insightful to be gleaned from this.  I mean, there’s nothing bad or tragic with the following, it’s just weird– even by my standards of self-awareness.

Which are low during this time when Mercury is in retrograde.

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PERHAPS YOU KNOW ABOUT THE idea of posing a question to yourself as you fall asleep at night, allowing your subconscious to give you the answer, revealed in your first thoughts in the morning?

I learned about doing this from a yoga teacher, a woman who was one of those totally centered, but not unrealistically cheerful, instructors who was all about helping other people find their way IF the other person was sincere.

I liked her classes. Useful.

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HERE’S THE QUESTION I ASKED myself last night was: what could I write about on my blog this week?  And my subconscious tossed a question back at me that is about as random and unexpected as they get.

It’s a question for which I have no answer, nor need to know an answer.  And I realize that no one is alive that would be able to answer it.

Here’s what I woke up thinking about: did my mother, who was three years younger than her older sister, know that when her older sister stepped on the train headed for a holiday in Texas, that her older sister was going off to elope? 

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THIS IS AN ODD QUESTION that has left me baffled about what is going on inside my brain.  I mean, what do you suppose my subconscious is trying to tell me?

Is it saying that I need to go on a vacation? That it’s time for me to tell stories about my ancestors? That it’s broken and needs a professional tune-up?

I dunno, but I will say I’m a little bit freaked out about what the heck is going on inside my mind.  I’ll admit to being older and more addled than I once was, but I’m usually not so far out there with the answers to my questions.

However, be that as it may, let’s blame it on Mercury in retrograde, just like I did many years ago.

The One About Beautiful Wedding Photos & Sneaky Weasel Words

Here’s a story I heard from an acquaintance wherein weasel* words created a situation that is not dire, but truly annoying. See if you don’t agree.
Photo by Pexels via pixabay

Acquaintance’s mother recently married.

Acquaintance’s mother had a lovely, perfect wedding that included hiring a well-known local professional photographer to take photos.

Beautiful photos.  Many of them.

But here’s the thing, what acquaintance’s mother did not read [or understand?] in her contract was that this photographer would not use his expertise to discern which photos were the best ones, instead giving acquaintance’s mother the opportunity to see all the photos he took of the wedding.

In practical terms this means that acquaintance’s mother has a problem.

She is now forced to sort through 3,000 photos and decide which ones she wants to keep and have put in an album.  In many cases there are 20 or 30 photos of the same thing like a bouquet… or of acquaintance zipping up her mother’s dress… or of the cake from a gazillion angles.

As you can imagine this sorting process has become a tedious burden for acquaintance’s mother.  It’s overwhelming and is an unwanted game for acquaintance’s mother as she tries to figure out which photos are the best ones.

Acquaintance’s mother is flummoxed by this situation.

It’s not as if she has the time, or the eye, to fuss around with three thousand wedding photos that she’s has contracted for, assuming the photographer would narrow down her choices.

Acquaintance has offered to help her mother, but she can’t intuit which photos her mother and new stepfather will want, nor can she wrap her head around how this happened.

Can you imagine…?  What would you do with 3,000 photos of your wedding day?  

* Oddly enough this has turned into animal week here at The Spectacled Bean.  First ducks, then squirrel, now weasel.  I didn’t plan it this way but go where the road stories take you, I guess.

If I Text “Hi!” To You, How Does That Make You Feel?

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PEOPLE BE WEIRD.  If I say that once a day I say it ten times.

So keeping that thought in mind, let me tell you what’s floating around in my brain this morning.  It’s not a big thing, but one that’s got me a’wondering…

How far out of touch am I?

Or alternately…

How self-absorbed are people these days?

• • •

HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED.  Instagram suggested that I might want to follow a new-to-me person so I went to see who this was.  In the process of doing so I came upon a long conversation in a comment section below a photo there.

The conversation in the comment section wasn’t about the photo. No, the people commenting were talking about how they hate, hate, hate receiving one specific short text from their friends and family.

The offensive text was: “hi!”

That’s it.  Nothing more.  Just this one word was enough for these commenters to feel put upon…

To the point of complaining about it.

And the people who sent it to them.

And the awfulness of such a rude text message.

When I read through these 30+ comments my first thought was that certainly someone here is going to defend the sender of the allegedly disruptive text message, but no one did.

It was universally agreed among these people that this “hi!” text was a bad. thing. to. do.  And oh the vitriol about it.  Oy vey!

• • •

I SHALL CONCLUDE.  I get that some people gotta have something to whine about no matter what, so maybe this was an example of that.

I also am aware that some friends and family don’t understand personal boundaries, so they can be a bother until you tell them how it’s going to be.

But honestly I’m confused about how a “hi!” text could make any person so miserable that this person would feel the need to bash the person who sent it.

Couldn’t you ignore the text– or answer it with a “later” reply text?  I mean if you leave it to me, EZPZ problem [if there really is one] solved.

• • •

So what am I missing here? In what way is texting “hi!” offensive? ‘Cuz to me this seems like a text tempest in a teapot. 

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Just Curious: Tell Me, What’s Your Least Favorite Holiday?

This is a question I’ve pondered lately.  Everyone I know is quick to tell me about holidays they like, but rarely do I find myself in a conversation about a holiday someone does not like.

So I made this poll, basing my answers on my Judeo-Christian Middle Class American experiences.  I know that around the world there are lots of other holidays than the ones I listed here, so if your least favorite holiday is not on my list you may add it to the poll using the “other” category.

If you, my gentle readers, want to tell me why a particular holiday is your least favorite, the comments below are the place to do it.  Certainly everyone has one holiday that bugs them while everyone else around them is enjoying it.

Tell me about it!

A Quandary Regarding Mental Health + Tattoos + Modern Etiquette

“NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness. We are the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.”

Thanks to the efforts of NAMI it’s Mental Illness Awareness Week here in the USA. This year’s theme is #CureStigma. 

In light of this theme here’s something I’ve been thinking about. I’m unclear about what I should do when I’m in situations like the following one.

I was at a doctor’s office, in the examining room, with a medical assistant who was settling me onto the examining table, getting things ready for the doc.

When she reached across me to grab the blood pressure cuff I noticed that she had a tattoo on her inside left wrist.  What caught my eye was that the tattoo was of a semicolon.

As you probably know, that is the tat one gets when you have, or someone you love has, engaged in self-harming behaviors;  OR when you or a loved one have attempted to commit, or possibly in the case of a loved one succeeded in committing, suicide.

[More on the semicolon tattoo meaning here and here.]

In general I’ve found that people with visible tattoos seem pleased when you notice the tattoo.  They often have a story to tell about their tattoos and I’m willing to listen.

However, in this particular case I was reluctant to say anything, so I said nothing and just smiled like I didn’t know what I was seeing.

So my questions are:

  • Would you consider a visible semicolon tattoo to be an invitation for conversation about what it means to the person with this tattoo?
  • Or would you not say a word about it unless the person with the tattoo brings up the topic?

Anyone got any experience with or advice about how to handle this type of situation? I feel like there might be some kind of modern etiquette involved here, but I don’t know what it is.