Unfollowing

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Back in April, when I started my blog, I didn't know that there was a whole community of other bloggers out there with similar issues to the ones that I was having.  I started the blog because I searched and searched for others like me and couldn't find anyone at first.  I thought that blogging would be a way for me to write about the issues that I was having and hope that I might help someone in the future who stumbled across it.

One of my friends forwarded me the Stirrup Queen's blog URL and I was immediately intrigued when I saw that there were many others out there that were in situations that were almost identical to my own.   Multiple miscarriages with no apparent cause??  I immediately signed my blog up in the main listing and then started searching for other blogs.  I started following a few blogs that interested me and that I could relate to.  Gradually people started commenting on my blog and I got a few followers.  I signed up for the LFCA and made even more bloggie friends.  Through ICLW I have met even more amazing ladies with some amazing yet heartbreaking stories.

Over the past few months, I have gotten to be much closer with bloggers from all over the world. It has been incredible that this little blog, which just started out as a collection of my thoughts for the random user, has made allowed me to make some really great friends.  I am so grateful to Mel @ Stirrup Queen's for bringing so many fabulous women together.  

Thus far most of my experiences in the blog world have been nothing but positive and enriching.  That was until last week.  Something happened to me in the blogisphere that kind of upset me.  Maybe it is my pregnancy emotions or maybe I am just more sensitive after opening up so much.  I am sure that you are all rolling your eyes by now (and will probably laugh when you read on), but I am being honest and I have never blogged about blogging before so hear me out if you will.

I heard of another blogger who was going through similar recurrent miscarriages like I have gone through.  She was worried that her current pregnancy might end up in another miscarriage.  This is a fear that I have felt many times before and that I STILL feel.  I thought I'd got over and offer some support because I felt like I could really relate to the person.  There were already quite a few comments, but I left one anyways.  I was trying to be optimistic, which in hindsight might have been a bad idea since most of the other commenters forecasted gloom and doom in a supportive fashion.  Anyways, I left the comment.  A few days later I went back to check the blog and I saw that the author had about twice as many comments as when I left my comment and that she had (literally) posted a response to every comment, thanking everyone for their support and advice, EXCEPT for mine.  I get that not every comment warrants a response, but I was really the only comment that didn't deserve one?  For some reason I felt really hurt by this at that particular point in time.

In this rather vulnerable moment, I started thinking about all of the blogs that I have been following regularly.  There are more blogs that I regularly comment on who comment on mine too and ladies that I support who also support me as well.  I have spoken about some of this before, but I recognize that some girls who might have followed me and supported/commented more regularly when I was TTC that either stopped or do so on a much less frequent basis because they are in a bad place.  I get it.  Hearing about any pregnancy while you are currently in the trenches is tough to deal with, IF/loss or no IF/loss.  I am not necessarily talking about this situation (although I will have to admit that sometimes it stings when people that you support(ed) all the time don't support you back anymore, but I guess that is just the way the infertility/loss cookie crumbles).  I am talking more about the blogs that I have followed and commented on who's authors have never once commented on my blog.

I get that you can't follow every blog out there and you can't always comment on every comment that you get, but if a person comments on my blog more than once, I usually start casually following them and commenting occasionally and then sometimes I end up following them regularly if I make a connection.  I realized last week that there have been ladies that I have been following, commenting/supporting for months that have never (or maybe once) commented on my blog.  I started asking myself why I was continuing to follow them and offer them advice, when then have never once done the same for me?  Some of those blogs have gone post-less for weeks.  I decided then and there that it was time to start unfollowing those blogs and only keep the ones in my reader where I truly have a connection with the author.  I think at this point I owe it to myself to stop investing my time and energy into people who either don't know or care about my existence or what I am going through.

I also tried to remind myself of the reason why I started the blog in the first place.  The blog was for me to write down my feelings to share with others that were going through similar situations.  I think I got really caught up in the whole idea of followers/commenters and lost sight of the real reasons that I started the blog.

Now I am curious if I am the only one who had ever felt this way or had a similar experience or realization regarding blogging?  Am I just taking things too seriously?  Do I need to grow some thicker skin?  Has anyone else ever cleaned out their blog following list under similar circumstances?  I would love to get some honest opinions here.  Feel free to call me out too, because there is a strong chance that I am just being to sensitive.

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42 Comments »

42 Responses to “Unfollowing”

  1. I definitely get fewer comments now that I'm experiencing an uneventful pregnancy. But I also post less than I used to, so that may factor in as well. I've definitely noticed that when I do post now I don't receive comments from many of the people who used to regularly comment on my posts, which leads me to believe they've likely stopped following. I try not to be too sensitive about it, but there are times it's hard especially as I'm still reading and commenting on their posts. Then again I know that I did the exact thing they are doing many times throughout my TTC journey because being in the trenches is really hard. I also remember that BFPs/successful pregnancies used to come in waves too, so perhaps people who used to follow my blog became overwhelmed with a "wave" of success stories in their readers and it all became too much. I try to remind myself of how tough it was to watch everyone else move forward but me.
    Know that I'm still reading along and cheering you on!

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    1. That makes total sense. I guess I have also posted less than I used to when I was deep in the cycling trenches.

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  2. No your not sensitive. That applies to real life too. I have recently realized I've been in situations where I pour so much time into friendships, and never get emails,phone calls, texts in return. It shows that you have a caring heart though! Happy ICLW by the way. Keep up the blogging, there are some of us who do care!!

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    1. Thanks and you are right, this does apply to real life, too. There have been many circumstances where I have finally just had to finally stop making an effort because I was the only one doing any of the work. I really hate doing that! If the friend ever does start to make any effort again though I always start up the friendship again. I definitely am not one to hold grudges.

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  3. I think we all feel the same way. Once you open yourself up, you look for the feedback. I know I look to see if I have any new comments and am slightly saddend if I dont. Comments are away for us to feel accepted, supported and validated in the blogging world ...even if our purpose was originally to blog for oursleves. Do what you need to....supporting everyone is exhausting and draining -especially if u r in a vulnerable place and they are in a sad one...it is hard to support then.

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    1. Exactly how I feel! I know not every one can comment on everything or visit every post. That would just be silly of me. Everyone has lots of things going on in their lives, but once in a while a drop in is nice, especially if you have tried to open up to that person.

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  4. I try not to get up in the whole commenting thing...I began reading infertility blogs for more than a year before starting mine and never commented during that time. Not because I didn't care. I just didn't comment. I am not the best with commenting and seem to go in spurts myself based upon how busy I am (I read a LOT of blogs and it would be nearly impossible for me to have time to comment on all of them on a regular basis. Plus I always use my iPhone or iPad and sometimes have trouble commenting on people who have blogs through blogspot for some reason on those devices.

    Anyways, try not to take offense...you are helping more people than you will ever know by sharing your story!

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    1. This is also true. I do sometimes read from my iPad and commenting on that thing is a bitch! The captcha thing doesn't make it any easier! There are some blogs that I follow that I have never commented on. Usually they are bloggers that I don't really have a ton in common with, but find their writing style and content are interesting. I think there also comes a point in time where we just have too many blogs that we are following so it is hard to keep up with them all. Maybe the cutting back is a good thing so I can be more focused on my own writing and following the bloggers that I feel closest with. I guess it could be a win/win. :)

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  5. I'm sorry if I don't comment all that often. I do still read every post you put up. I appreciate all the comments you've put on mine too.

    I see where you're coming from. I sometimes feel the same way. If I start following a blogger and comment regularly I kind of want to see some reciprocation. I think its just human nature and the whole do unto others thing.

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    1. Seriously, please don't feel bad! I totally get where you are coming from and hope I didn't come across at whiny or bitchy. It is harder to comment when you aren't in the same place. Knowing that you are there at all is nice. So thank you. :)

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  6. I'll totally admit that I'm not the best to offer advice on what might be normal or typical, but I really don't pay much attention to comments on my blog. My blog is for me, and if other people happen to get something out it, then great. May you find peace with however you decide to take your writing future.

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    1. That is a great way to look at it and the way that I used to look at blogging. I totally admit that I have gotten caught up in commenting and need to go back to my writing roots. Thank you for keeping it real!

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  7. Clean away! I think it's a great idea. You are 100% right! And I think it's perfect that you get back to your roots and blog for YOU... This is the most important person in blogland of them all!

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  8. I know what you mean. I Have noticed things can get a little bit cliquey here in bloggy land. All you can do is open yourself up, and if they respond, cool... If not, its pretty easy to walk away.

    My life has been in complete shambles these past few weeks and I admit I've been a bad bloggy friend. I plan on doing a lot of catching up! ... And please note, I will be commenting under the influence of painkillers. ;)

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    1. Yes, sometimes I now feel like I am back in high school! Haha. You are right though. Walking away isn't a big deal, especially if you have never gotten a response.

      Girl, I am not sure how you are able to keep up the way that you do! Painkillers keep the creative juices flowing, right? :)

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  9. I have felt the same way, but then realized I didn't start my blog to get comments/followers, I started if as an outlet. That has helped me rechannel the purpose of my blog. Congrats on your pregnancy.

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    1. You are 100% right. When I started this blog I figured I might get comments from my sisters or my IRL friends who knew about it. I'll get back to that place that I was at before, where I wrote for myself and not necessarily what I thought others would want to hear. Thank you!

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  10. I realized last year that there were blogs I followed and commented on where I never saw the person on my blog. Didn't mean they DIDN't come and read, but it wasn't enough to comment on. And, you know, that's okay, for me. I had to really think about it, but I was okay with writing my journey down and not getting ANY comments. My space is for me only.

    I think it all hinges on your expectations of your blog. If it's your place to write what you're thinking, feeling like what my blog is for me, then it shouldn't matter how many comments you get. (Which, I admit: it does sometimes. I like having comments.)

    If it's to forge connection, then yes, it matters. It takes work, but you just need to find more people who will comment more regularly.

    About that particular comment you left where there was no response, you can always try emailing her directly and explaining that you're in the same situation and was trying to be optimistic? I'd feel similarly if I were you - seeing comments for EVERYONE and not yours would make me feel badly as well.

    xoxo

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    1. Thank you. So much of what you wrote here really hits home for me. I think it is my expectations that I really need to re-examine. While it is nice to get comments, that was not my main purpose here. When I go back to read some of my old posts from April, I feel like my writing was much different. It was, at times, more honest and straight forward and had no expectation of soliciting any feedback. I also like your idea about writing to the girl directly. If I can find an email address for her I might do that. Thanks for taking the time to write here. I know you are going though a lot lately. Big hugs.

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  11. I think this is part of the crazy blog journey. Sometimes people you follow don't comment. Or people you want to comment, don't. But others do. It's hard to figure out when you're on the internet. I took some time off blogging for awhile (time wise for multiple reasons) and I definitely wasn't as involved anymore. I also have less time to comment, so although I read and support many folks, I rarely comment these days. It's just part of being busy, not because I don't want to. I do think worrying about whether your comment was commented on or not is something you just need to shake off - as hurtful as it is. And if you feel like you want to unfollowing folks, feel free. It's really your choice how you spend your time. That is one advantage of blogging - you chose who your friends are. ;)

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    1. Everyone does get busy and have a life outside of this blogland. I can't really complain about that since there have been a few weeks where I have been absent due to work, family, life, etc., and I have missed some big stories from my blogger friends. Sometimes it is hard to balance it out. I really do need to try to be a little less sensitive here. Maybe it comes from being a relative blogger virgin and having such good experiences with everything. I guess I was bound to come across a situation that wasn't necessarily warm and fuzzy. Live and learn, I guess? It is nice that you can choose who your friends are though. That is a very good point!

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  12. It does seem very strange that somebody would respond to every comment except yours. Perhaps it was just simple oversight, but I do understand why you would interpret it as a "message" to you. It would make me wonder that, too.

    My philosophy on blogging/commenting is similar to yours. If somebody comments on my blog, I check out their own and try to reciprocate. If I comment a few times on another blog but feel like it's a one-way relationship, I either stop following or, if I like the writing and I'm interested in the story, I keep following but without commenting or trying to interact.

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    1. Yeah I could have been reading into it too much, but it really did seem like a slight. I almost wish that I could have just completely deleted my comment or that I had never posted in the first place. Oh well. I'll get over it. I really hope everything is ok with her though.

      We do have similar blogging philosophies. I think I need to stick with mine though...I think I started following and commenting on too many anyways. It was hard to keep up. Maybe now I can write more on my own and comment more on those that I have really connected with.

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  13. I am exactly the same way! If I regularly comment on someone and they never comment back or offer any support, I stop commenting. I don't always stop reading, but I don't feel like investing energy in commenting when the person isn't responding to me on a personal level.

    I'm sorry about the incident where the blogger responded to everyone but you. :( That would have bugged me, too.

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    1. It just gets tiring sometimes, don't you think? I guess I don't have to stop reading necessarily. I still find some of their stories interesting. I wish that you could set up blog reader with different categories of blogs. Ones that you just read and ones that you regularly comment on. Hmmmm I think that I need to go get a job with G.oogle! :)

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    2. Yep, that's a good idea! I've never liked G.oogle Reader, anyway. Just never felt comfortable with it.

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  14. Hi from ICLW :) Sorry you've found this place hurtful recently and less than supportive. I don't know but I would honestly say there is nothing malicious meant by any of it. I imagine pregnancy hormones don't help ;)
    Congratulations on the baby!

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    1. You are most likely correct. I am sure there was nothing that was done on purpose. It could have just been that at particular moment I was sort of in an emotional spot (work hasn't been helping with that!) and that was the proverbial nail in the coffin. :)

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  15. I will say that it can be more difficult to post on blogs when they have moved on and you haven't. However, if they are people that I have followed for a while and feel a great connection to, I can continue to follow them. I'm sort of feeling like I'm hanging in between both worlds right now and it's hard. I know that the next few weeks, I am still going to have a hard time believing that I really am pregnant, and that my blog is going to change. I hope my followers continue to follow me, but I understand if they cannot.

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    1. I completely agree with you there. I did find it comforting though to read blogs of women who had gone through very similar circumstances to me that were now far along in their pregnancies. I guess it gave me hope. I would usually go back and read through all of their old posts. Then once I got pregnant, I would read through all of their early pregnancy posts. I can't tell you how much that helped me relax a little. It takes a while to transition your blog from a TTC one to a Pregnancy one, but if your's is anything like mine, you'll lose a few followers, but will keep the really wonderful ones.

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  16. I'm so glad you wrote about this, because I have felt the same thing at times. There is one blog in particular that I read and comment on regularly, but in six months I have never once gotten a response or a comment from her. It hurts my feelings. I try not to let it, I try to justify it, but it still hurts because I'm human and I want people to like and care about me, I guess. But over time, I have realized it's not really about that. I don't comment on her blog for ME, in the hopes that she will one day reciprocate, but for HER...because I care about her and want the best for her, even if she doesn't know I exist. I've tried to let go of the expectations I have of her and any other blogger and realize that, as with so many other situations in life, maybe I just don't get it. And I am so thankful for the blogging friends and comments I do get, I try to focus on that. I'm sorry you're feeling a little unloved, though. I love reading your blog, and wish you only the best.

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    1. It helps to know that I am not the only one! Maybe we are both commenting on the same blog and maybe this person just doesn't comment on most blogs? You are right though, if I comment on the blog it should be because I want to offer support and not because I want feedback. I need to remember this!! I am also so thankful for all of the wonderful people that I have met though this blog. I never expected that! I also love reading your blog, too. I am lucky to have connected with you!

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  17. Hi from ICLW! It has been hard for me to comment on blogs who have achieved pregnancy when I was still in the trenches -and so I would just not read those posts on bad days and comment when I had better ones. In your case I think I would be bothered by the lack of response, too (pregnancy hormones or not). Either way, congrats on your pregnancy!

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    1. Thanks for visiting. I can totally understand where you are coming from and I like your idea. I think that regular "bumpdates" still kind of irk me, so I rarely comment on those, but comment when I feel like I can.

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  18. Looks like a lot of people understand what you mean, including me! I have had a crazy day, and tried to read this post a zillion times but got called away..just wanted to say I totally agree!

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  19. I too would feel very upset if they responded to every comment except mine, i would feel as if it was me personally they disliked.
    As for people not commenting on your stuff I don't think it means they don't support you, just some of us aren't as commenty as others. I myself am guilty of this, I will read every post some people make but I will not comment, purely because I just don't know what to say or feel like my comment is just pointless.
    I guess thinking about it no comment is pointless, but I just feel like the person won't pay attention anyway or respond back.
    Perhaps we all need to have more faith in each other, that we are all still supporting each other and that not everyone will snob you. :)

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  20. I'll admit it. I get caught up in the game. Who's commenting, who's not? What does that mean about me as a blogger and a person? I do make an effort to say something on most posts of my biggest commenters and then I wonder if they only comment on mine because I am such a nut about commenting on theirs. Oh yeah I get caught up in the game.

    Just last night I commented on a girls blog and thought - I only know about this blog because she found me a long time a go and left one comment basically talking up herself and now I comment on all of her posts and she has never been back to my blog, why bother? So I took her out of my reader. And felt bad about it....

    I think I should follow your lead and unfollow the blogs that just feel like work. There are so many that I truly love following and feel close to the women that right them. On those blogs my comments come naturally. I think energy is better spent there.

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  21. I am not an expert on this... See I started on this journey four and half years ago. Most of the girls I started in the trenches with are now mothers or moved on to other pursuits of life. When we threw in the towel about two years ago I lost many of those connections on the blog side. When I decided to come back to my little home on the web a few months ago, I had no clue what type of response I would get. What I realized was those girls that I thought were long gone were still there. In fact, just to write this comment I went back and read a lot of old posts and realized how much has gone on in these four years.

    Yet I still live by the advice of one of my best bloggy friends, she said to me when I started, "This is your story and your story to tell." Your blog is for you remember, it is your story. Hang in there. And congrats on your pregnancy. :-)

    Oh and I have had a similar experience of being the one not to get a response - it sucks.

    An ICLW Visit from #2
    liddy @ the unfair struggle (mfi, speedskating, life)

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  22. Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog! I can totally relate to what you're saying. I comment on other blogs quite often and never get a reply from them. It's incredibly frustrating and if the support is not reciprocated I suppose those people really don't deserve my time and support... but I always end up returning to the blog anyway... I'm not really sure why! Anyway, I'm glad to have come across yours and look forward to hearing updates on your pregnancy :)

    Amy

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  23. Oh I can completely relate to you on this. So much. I really try and connect and support others. It does get frustrating when it becomes a one way relationship! I need to follow in your steps and clean out some of the blogs that I follow where it is this one way relationship. You are not the only one who feels this way and I am so grateful you posted this because now I know that I'm not the only one who feels this way! :) happy ICLW!!

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  24. Yeah, I can relate to this, once in a while I take a long hard look at the blogs in my reader and do the same. Blogging is time consuming and you need to be where you get something back, somehow. In the beginning I followed a lot of blogs (had one on blogger before) but had to cut it down. Some blogs I follow but not comment on, some I comment on once in awhile and some more often. All depending on the connection. And I have noticed that if I comment on every post on a blog it is soon expected to continue that way, or that's the feeling I have anyway. Try to find a balance that works for you is the only advise I can give.

    Here from ICLW. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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