Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Shadow Knows


Could I be turning into a geek?

Today I slept until noon and then took a nap. It's because I'm exhausted. I stay up 'til all hours on the computer almost every night. I never have time to read a book any more, and I haven't been shopping online for months. I am becoming concerned. I check my email before I brush my teeth in the morning, wondering if I've been validated sometime between 2:am and 8.

My friend Kris and I usually have same-track of mind thinking, so I was interested in her post about comments. I've had thoughts exactly opposite of hers. I've decided lurking might not be all bad.

Fred Thompson is a lurker. Not on my blog, I'm sure, but in his presidential race. He sits on the sidelines, and because he's not really in, he doesn't have to be responsible. He hasn't declared himself yet, and therefore he can watch everybody else fall on their face, and wait to see what happens.

In Blogland, lurkers get to observe but they aren't responsible yet, either. They can comment if they feel like it, but nobody expects them to, so they don't feel guilty if they don't. They never wonder what they're going to write about, because they haven't declared to the world that they're posting opinions on a daily basis. And they don't worry that they'll hurt some one's feelings or lose a reader if they don't respond to a comment within 24 hours, because they have no readers. It doesn't seem fair. I realize, however, that I have put this responsibility on myself. Nobody is making me stay up all night....this is a hobby!

So, I'm going back into lurkdom. I'm still going to post whenever I feel like it, which will be almost daily, but I'm not going to stress about it if it's midnight and I don't have a topic. I'm going to comment when I have time, but not respond to every comment. I know that sounds lame, but you don't know what I go through when I compose a comment. I come up with a great paragraph or two, then realize I'm plagiarizing either the author or the other commenters, so I rewrite it. Then I check my spelling, and because I haven't figured out how to use spellcheck on comments, I'm using a dictionary. After re-reading it, I decide it's a dumb comment anyway, and usually change it to "Great post!" I start the exercise all over again on the next blog I read.

I always check the blog of anyone who comments on mine, and in order to leave a sincere comment on theirs, I read several of the former posts. I've usually spent a couple of hours on the computer doing all this before I even start writing my own article (which is how I think of my post.) I've stopped surfing the web, because I don't have time to find anyone new to feel responsible towards. I have a list of blogs in my bookmarks that I saved for a time I had time, and I've never even gone back to them.

So, if I've been commenting regularly on your blog and you don't hear from me for a while, just know that I'm still reading it every time it lights up my bloglines. If you comment on mine, you can be assured I'm thrilled to know I said something that connected us, although I might not get back to you. I just feel like I need to back off a little bit, and get some sleep! I can't become a total geek! But, I'll be lurking in the shadows.

11 comments:

kenju said...

I can understand that. I have seldom answered every person who leaves a comment on my blog. Since I still read every one that comes up bold in Bloglines, and then a few others as well, I simply don't have time to answer everyone. I lurk on about 10 blogs and very occasionally I leave a comment for them. Like you, I lose sleep, don't have enough time for books and I incur the wrath of family members when I am on the computer for more than 3 hrs. per day!!

Shelby said...

ooooooh I've been where you are.. rest from it - yes rest.

happy Sunday :)

ell said...

Oh, I so relate to this. I'm a lurker extraordinaire. I just love to go into bloggers' comments and find links to new people. Occasionally, I leave comments. But even on my favourite blogs, I'm not what you'd call a regular comment-leaver.

On my own blog, I used to check comments, respond, check again -- especially after posting something I thought was brilliant (hah!). As I started posting less often, comments became fewer - of course - and I had a "eureka!" moment. I decided to relax about my posting, comments or no, and not worry about it any more. :-D

Nancy said...

Marti,

I know I am a "Lurker" with absolutely no responsibility to write a piece every day as you do.I always enjoy your posts and understand why you would feel hassled by your commitment to your readers. That's exactly why I don't have a blog. I don't think I am talented enough to carry a blog every day. I'm just not that original. I think you are but everyone gets tired and needs a rest from their duties or even hobbies. Take a break whenever you feel like it and don't feel responsible for my or anyone else's amusement or entertainment. Be kind to yourself!!!

Kay Dennison said...

I do understand, Marty! I've been where you are. And I don't always answer comments -- I haven't time! Just know that you're always welcome at my place!

Sharmyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sharmyn said...

Marty!
I've been reading m.writes for a few days (I didn't realize it was Marta)and pushed one of her link buttons and found you. I can't believe it! I'm Sharmyn Christensen from Top of the World. You used to be my YW leader extraordinaire! You have left a lasting impression on me. Thank you!

anna jo said...

I don't think you should ever feel obligated to do anything in regards to blogging (that means commenting, or responding to comments, or even posting for that matter!). that's when it becomes that bad thing that everyone says it is.

but I love your blog and your comments, so keep 'em coming (if you want)!

rp said...

I can totally understand. One's reading list alone can become unreasonably long. Commenting besides??? Well, I've done it enough to know how much time it consumes. I am a little more discriminating when it comes to where or when I comment, but not much :) That said, when I post to my own blog, it is when I feel inspired. I was beginning to feel pressured to create posts, but that really curtailed my inspiration, so I backed off...

MissKris said...

Oh, Marty, I LOVED this post! Sheeeesh...I should go back and read what I wrote about comments so I know exactly what you're referring to, haha! I've been on the same merry-go-round, especially back before I took care of my grandson and had more computer time. I have so little now, I do what I can do and leave it at that. I guess what I was trying to say about commenters is I DO like having them, just to see how others' tick, and also to see if what I was trying to convey in words came across to them. Sometimes it amazes me at how far off people can interpret things. Sometimes I'm amazed at how something I've written about that's so deeply touched me or I think is "profound" (HA!!!) doesn't register more than a "Hi..how are ya?!" I've thought many times about shutting down the ability to comment on my blog many times. The blog friends I have who I feel are truly 'friends' have my email address anyway, and they're the ones I enjoy visiting with back-and-forth as it is. Obviously, whether anyone comments or not, there are a lot of people who have me on Bloglines and several other reader services...I guess I should be flattered with that and let it go. But every now and then...that "urge" to want communication going BOTH ways hits me and I fret about it again. Aren't we humans a silly bunch?!? Oh, and sorry for another "blog-entry-length" comment...I never DO know when to shut up, do I?? LOL!

eastcoastdweller said...

I know exactly how you feel! What began innocently as a silly little blog has taken on a serious life of its own -- my reading is down, my garden is a mess, and like you, I have a ridiculously long list of good-sounding bloggers to check out that I probably never will.

Please don't feel obligated to read my blog or to add me to your responsibilities list!