A Voice Crying in the WordPress

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Like many of my fellow human beings,
I must acknowledge that I often feel
unacknowledged.

Supposedly,
blogging helps.
I’m told it “gives me a voice.”

Really, though,
it only makes things worse.

Before The Blog,
if I felt unacknowledged,
it was only by the select few within earshot:
the ones–you know them–
who always tell me how much they’ve missed me,
it’s been such a long time…
even though they have phones, cars, and feet…

as if somehow I were completely beyond their reach

But now,
Now
I feel unacknowledged by complete strangers
How’s that for irony?

21 thoughts on “A Voice Crying in the WordPress

  1. It’s interesting. This blogging thing. I’m not sure if what I want to say will make sense.
    I have a post sitting in drafts that is basically saying the same as this.
    It’s interesting that so many of us come here, to blog world, and do this ‘giving ourselves a voice’ thing, and yet feel so unheard. I know I’m not the only one – now, after reading this, and I think you posted something a long while ago about not quite this but something else I can’t think of it right now… And I’m fairly sure in this whole wide bloggesphere (is that the right jargon?) that there would be so many many many who feel the same.
    I’d love to comment more on more people posts. I feel insecure and unsure of myself. I’m not sure I’ll be understood. Mistaken for meaning something I didn’t mean. I don’t know how to find the right words. I’m intimidated. I don’t know enough. etc.
    Could it be that for some, this is what stops the acknowledgement?
    I like to try and tell myself that I’ve grown used to the idea that I will have the less then a handful of people acknowledging and by acknowledgeing I mean commenting. Sure there are the ‘likes’ but they aren’t the same as dialogue, I figured I just don’t post things that people can’t converse about… I am trying to work out how to change the way I write or what I write about to see if that helps… Just need to be brave, obviously I have noticed that opinion based posts can draw more conversation…
    ANyway, I’ve gone on long enough and my silly computer is having a moment and not underlining my incorrect spelling, which I know I have, so please accept my apologies in advance.

    1. JJ, it appears that we are very much on a wavelength here. I, too, have tried to break the code (thus my first post yesterday) and can’t seem to do it. Opinion, academic, poetry, photography, even stupid little jokes that take about half a second to read–and nothing seems to get across…

      Just know that I share your frustration. And you’re right–we’re hardly the only ones who feel this way. Which is why I talk about it so much. It’s a pervasive problem that few people acknowledge, because when you do, everyone sees it as a cry for sympathy or a pat on the head. It’s really not. It’s a serious problem that is deeply embedded in the social media system, and it is compromising our ability to really communicate with each other by tricking us into thinking we are when we’re really not. Somebody needs to point out that the emperor’s nekkid…

      Anyway, enough “the sky is falling.” :0)

      I hear you.

  2. Vance, I’m sorry to read you’re feeling unacknowledged here. Part of the reason might be your need to moderate every comment. It kinda interrupts the flow of dialog. I remember one time where it took a day and a half for one of my comments to get approved. You were probably busy. By then, I had moved on. I do like acknowledging other people’s voice, yours included. 🙂

    1. Maybe so…

      Must point out, though, that I’m not speaking of anyone in particular, let alone you or Madalyn or anyone like that. I’m questioning a system that creates a sense of isolation even while claiming greater connection. It’s not the few I do hear from that concern me; you, for example, may not comment for a bit, and that’s not a problem. Presumably, you have a life, and other folks to talk to, and I get that. It’s the faceless several hundred that “follow” me, from whom I’ve never heard a bleeding thing. There is no point in that sort of thing. I think, in that case, moderation is not the issue. Exactly the opposite, really.

      Pick ten or so blogs to follow, invest in them, and leave it at that. If mine isn’t one of them, so be it. But to follow, and then never interact, in an environment in which likes and comments are the only gauge of whatever connection exists, suggests that somehow what I’m doing (or whoever is doing) is inadequate, even if it’s not. That’s the argument from silence, and with maybe a (highly valued) dozen of almost 1000 supposed “followers” actually stopping by, there’s a whole lot of silence to argue from.

      This system is, to quote Whitney Houston, “whack.”

      BTW, sorry I took so long to approve the comment. Hope you haven’t moved on yet… :0p

      1. I like what Madalyn said in one of her comments a while back, that sometimes there’s nothing to say. Sometimes we just listen. I listen a lot, but I’m also quite interactive with other bloggers. I’ve gained valuable friendships which have moved outside of WP since I started blogging and I’m grateful that I had this outlet, otherwise I wouldn’t have much of a voice in my offline world due to my deconversion. I’m also quite interactive on other people’s blogs and perhaps that’s why I get consistent acknowledgement on my blog. You wrote:

        “But to follow, and then never interact, in an environment in which likes and comments are the only gauge of whatever connection exists, suggests that somehow what I’m doing (or whoever is doing) is inadequate, even if it’s not.”

        I remember not long ago when you deactivated your like button. You took a part of our voice away. Sometimes you send mixed signals. Also, moderating every single post of your regulars makes your blog feel less comment friendly. I am grateful to WP for offering me a platform for free, to share my voice. Blogging here has been a very rewarding experience and WP has an awesome community. I’m sorry you don’t feel that way.

      2. I feel that way about certain people. The system as a whole, I’m not too happy about.

        I only deactivated the like buttons on the individual comments, not on the post as a whole (and, in any case, as you yourself pointed out to me, people can still like comments, and I can still see that–it just doesn’t show up on the page for everyone to see). The reason for my doing that is that I think the “like” mentality turns all of our online interactions into little more than a popularity contest. I hardly think that’s why people don’t comment.

        Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll make it so regulars can comment without moderation. We’ll try your theory; you may be right. But consider this: if online friendship and conversation founders on having to wait a bit to get a response, how rich is it, really? (The delay, by the way, is one of the benefits of online communication that social scientists have outlined in any number of essays; gives you time to think, to respond in moderation.)

        Remember when we had to put letters in the mail and wait for a month to get a response, and friendships flourished anyway? You can’t tell me that this Internet stuff isn’t shallowing out our concepts of friendship and communication…

      3. I understand, but when we are in a debate, delay does impact the flow, and no matter what the science may say, I listen to what the bloggers say, and that is the consensus.

        When you deactivated the like button, you didn’t send the message that it was for one post only. As I recalled, you were not content with someone just liking — you wanted them to comment, and felt as those the like button gave people the excuse to not comment. Well, as I mentioned in my protest, we sometimes don’t have time to comment, and no one likes feeling pressured to comment when they don’t have anything to say.

        I just get the feeling that you have a disdain for social media and see it as shallow. Well, maybe it is to an extent, but there are valuable gems within the system, and I love treasure hunting. I don’t, however, have to look for long before I come upon yet another gem.

        I’m grateful our paths crossed, Vance, I consider you one of those gems.

      4. I’ll say this: social media is to me (to an extent) what Christianity is to you. I suspect we’ll never see eye to eye on either issue, but that’s okay. I have a lot of good friends and a great spouse with whom I don’t see eye to eye on a lot of issues.

  3. The curse of blogging? I’m not sure how much acknowledgement is enough. You know what I mean. If you were use to 100 comments but suddenly one day you only got 50, are you less acknowledged. I have several people following me but I only hear from a few for the most part. I follow many and rarely comment. 😦

    1. If I got fifty comments, or even five, on a regular basis, I’d be partying in the streets. Even if they were negative. At least then, I’d know someone was paying attention.

      How much is enough? It’s really a matter of proportionality: if I had ten followers, I’d expect ten folks to stop by (at least from time to time) to say hi. And that would be fine. But I’ve got, according to my counter, 977; to have that many “followers” and absolute silence…

      Social media induces us to connect so extensively that we end up being incapable of connecting at all, for sheer lack of time.

      1. 977! Wow. Geesh, that’s a lot. I have less than 50 I think but no way are they still hanging around. If they are I don’t know it. My old blog (back before WordPress had the follow option) was busy enough but then I moved and removed the search engine option. So I don’t expect traffic. I know for me, fatigue plays a roll. I’m interested but often don’t feel up to the discussion.

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