A commenting problem. I often type comments on blogs. Thoughtful ones. I take my time. And then I never submit them. Mostly I just stop myself because I wonder if the person whose blog I'm commenting on will care to hear what I have to say. If what I have to say matters. Usually I decide to just forget about it. But then I read a blog post about commenting and I started thinking about it more. I started thinking about how much I love getting comments on my blog. Of any kind. Even if they are ones that disagree with me, or remind me how silly I can be, or just say hey I read this. Every single one matters. So why is it so hard to imagine that other people won't see the same value in my words?
The internet is kind of a strange place, where norms and manners are different then other parts of life. I would never sit in a room listening to someone talk and not acknowledge that they are speaking. I might not speak, given the situation, but I would nod, or smile, or furrow my brow if I disagreed. I would make some motion so that person would know I was hearing their words, thinking about them, and so they would know that I was present in that moment. Yet I rarely do that online. I can't just give a quick word to say "hey, I was here and heard what you had to say" I feel the need to have something really brilliant to add. The perfect words, because those words are being saved forever for the world to view. I get anxious about them. About how people might interpret them. About whether someone will even care that they've been written. And so I shy away from commenting.
But I'm starting to realize that this worry that I have, about my voice in a new setting and learning new norms for the online world, is really deterring from my own experience. If I want to get the most out of this, to really feel what it is like to belong to this community, then I need to figure it all out and let my voice be heard. Even if it's just a nod, or a smile, or a distant thoughtful look in my eye. I haven't gotten this whole blogging thing down yet. But I'm determined to make the most out of it. Because I feel like I've only scrapped the surface and already I am so blessed to have this blogging world as part of mine.