Why can I give up on some books that are really bad after only reading a fifth, but a book that has POTENTIAL to get better keeps me trying and trying, even though I was suspecting it was another candidate for the scrap heap CHAPTERS ago? In this particular case, I keep reading because a friend whose book taste I trust recommended it, but woe is me, please let it get better soon. I wrote whoa there for a moment, before snapping out of it and going back to correct my spelling. A Freudian slip telling me, AS IF I WERE A HORSE, to STOP READING the stupid book already? Hmmm...
California Fevergirl Marilyn has an interesting set of questions about blogging etiquette (amusingly titled Emily Post) today. I also think a lot about the questions she raised and wonder sometimes how I come across on the garbo/whore scale of being too aloof or too stalkeriffic when I'm leaving comments or linking to someone. I read A LOT of blogs, although less now, and much more hurriedly sometimes, than I did before I started my current job, since I have little more than a few snatched moments in any given work day to devote to anything other than work. I comment a lot too, partly because I'm genuinely interested in the friendship-building, interactive give-and-take of online relationships, and partly because I know how I feel when I write something and no one responds.
I admit to playing favorites.
I admit to obsessive checking for comments.
I admit to obsessive checking to see if YOU have updated today. And then wondering if it was something I said. And then wondering if you're okay.
I admit to wondering what is UP with some people.
I admit to occasionally listening a little too long to my 8th-grade brain before properly squashing her.
I admit to being completely floored every. single. time. I find myself on someone else's blogroll/link list. You like me, you really like me!
I admit to not being anywhere as needy or validation-craving in real life as I might come across here. :P
I admit to thinking that I started a few too many paragraphs with I admit just now.
I find the whole blogging thing hilarious and fascinating and trivial and wildly romantic and eye-rollingly stupefying and breathtaking and silly. Rather like the human condition. Hey, wait a minute...DOH!
It seems to me that the basic rules of common courtesy and the oft-forgot Golden Rule apply even more to a milieu where it is so easy to misread tone and/or forget that no one else is privy to the commentary going on in one's head that seems so self-evident when the "Submit Comment" button is pushed.
When someone takes the time to email me, I always respond. I am not always as good about initiating contact via email, however, and I'm ashamed of that slacker tendency of mine, but not enough obviously as the habit still stands. I don't, however, feel the need to respond to every comment I get, although I'm always thrilled to get them. Some comments don't need or warrant a response, but that doesn't mean that I'm ignoring them. I'm right here, in front of my screen, nodding and smiling at you. Shaking my head in commiseration. Wondering. Thinking.
There are other little "rules" of blog etiquette that I subscribe to, but I don't expect others to automatically subscribe to them just because I do. My main supposition about everyone reading this journal, whether or not you're a friend, a frequent conversation-starter, a merciless pun instigator, an occasional drive-by commenter or a lurker who remains faceless and anonymous, is that you, like me, have a life away from your computer, one that pulls you in several different directions, that demands a lot of you in both good ways and bad ways, that is always changing, and that ultimately has top priority.
Really Great Writing Out There Right Now: I, by I