There is a blog I know where the blogger regularly has these dummy spits about people not commenting on her post quickly enough. As in, within a couple of hours of a post being posted. When she spits the dummy she posts something basically accusing everyone of ignoring her, or saying that she’s going to quit blogging. Then a few hours later she deletes that post and replaces it with a post where she apologises for spitting the dummy. It is so regular it is almost like a cycle – if I bothered to go back and look I could probably tell you exactly how many days are in between each dummy spit. Some of you reading this may know who I am talking about if you read the same blog..
There’s a bunch of people who read her blog who are essentially enabling her in this cycle – they comment with things hoping to make the blogger feel better. I spotted it as a cycle early on and I called her on it. Ever since then she hasn’t taken my comments very well. I actually stopped commenting entirely on that blog a few months ago. I kept reading, hoping that she would eventually realise it herself and get the help she needs, whatever help that might be.
But then the cycle repeated itself again, and I came out of comment hiding to say exactly what I felt – though I can’t repeat the comment exactly to you now because surprise surprise – my comment got deleted, and all the comments on that post also got deleted. In fact comments got removed from that post entirely. So I emailed her to say hey, I can’t believe you deleted those comments, I give up – now I am going to unsubscribe and stop reading. I just wanted her to know I was done. I was very surprised by one of the comments that came back to me.
She told me “Those comments were for me – and I will do whatever I choose with them”.
So I didn’t reply – I don’t think I even know what to say to that kind of ego – and I mulled this over for a little bit. I wonder what you think – once you press submit on the comment form, does your comment “belong” to the person you wrote it to? Are they then allowed to delete them, or remove them, or even edit them to say whatever they like?
I would never assume that your comments were “for me” and therefore I can do what I choose with them. You leave a comment partly “for me” and partly “for you” because you want to have your say on something. Sure, if your comment is offensive or contains swearing (which my comment to this blogger did not) then I might have to edit it or delete it as per my comments policy (which says – Snoskred reserves the right to delete any comment which is vulgar, contains profanity, or is generally offensive. Please note that this occurs very rarely – it is only if you use a swear word or if you were to use a word which resulted in unwanted search engine traffic.) But that happens so rarely.. and I would always choose to edit out the offending words rather than delete entirely.
For me, deleting stuff you wrote on your blog is a deal breaker. If you can’t stand by your own words then you shouldn’t be blogging them. I’ve also known people who have deleted things on forums and I have lost all respect for them. I have known bloggers who did it and I unsubscribed. The only things I have ever deleted from this blog were my old paid reviews – however those do still appear on the old blogspot blog where I was paid to put them, so they aren’t deleted from the blogosphere, they’re just not over here.
Sometimes it amazes me how deluded people can be about themselves. This person actually thinks that people are sitting out there in the blogosphere waiting for her to write something so they can all arrive and comment on it. I think we all know that people have lives, and they are generally living them. I’m not going to be upset when I don’t get any comments on a post. I don’t have that kind of insanely low self esteem that comments = my worth in the world.
Deleting things helps people stay deluded, because they never have to take responsibility for what they’ve said or done and people can’t go back and grab quotes and say here you are, this is where you did this before. It also helps the commentors stay and enable, because they don’t get to read what the person said and they can’t spot the pattern.
Sephyroth and I were once members of a forum where there was this lady (someone over the age of 50, I might add!) from Canada who had to have drama in her life. Once a month she would pull some kind of stunt – whether it was something she did herself, or whether she caused an over-reaction to something someone else did. It got so that we could predict the exact date that the next “drama” would occur. Both of us ended up leaving the forum in the end. We got tired of the drama.
This blogger reminds me a little bit of that situation – I think she feels the need for validation and she feels that comments give her that validation. But imagine if you were a reader being held hostage by this need – some readers would feel like they had to be there regularly to make sure they could comment on anything that has been posted. Some readers would put up with it for a while and then drift away.
Some readers – like me – would feel the need to point out the obvious pattern. But you can only point it out so many times before you realise the person involved is getting off on it – and has no intention of changing the behaviour. So I’m done reading that blog. It’s not like I don’t have enough in my reader already. :)
I wonder what your thoughts are about who comments belong to once you hit submit. The comments section is open, so feel free to comment. ;)