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Blogging Affects My Mood

I recently said something in a Twitter chat that didn’t seem radical but got a big response. I admitted that blogging sometimes affects my mood.  Like in a bad way.

Sometimes it also affects my mood in a good way — actually, more often than not, I would say blogging is a positive force in my life. But there are also times when I find it difficult not to carry feelings from blogging into the rest of my day.  On certain days, it affects my productivity because my mind is elsewhere, such as on a negative comment or lack of engagement.

I was surprised that people were surprised that I said it mostly because I THINK WE ALL SAY IT.  Okay, maybe not directly, but what about all of the posts out there where people have written about feeling hurt by a comment or a lack of readership or having their words misunderstood?

Of course it hurts!  Of course it would affect your mood.  Blogging is just a form of communication.  What if other forms of communication operated in the same way as blogging?

What if you were telling someone about how you felt watching the news and they looked you in the eye and responded, “You are such a stupid, fucking idiot.  I hope you rot in hell.”

Or

You were standing in a group, explaining how scared you were to try something new, and all the people silently stared at you for a bit and then walked away with no response.

Or

You were talking about how much you loved your child’s teacher but you really wish she’d include instructions with the homework so you could help your child at home, and the person you were talking to snarled, “So you hate all teachers and hope that they drown?”

That would be weird, right?  People understand that interactions like that affect your mood.  If that happened to you at the grocery store and you came home and told people about it, they would give you a hug.  Because when it happens in the face-to-face world, it’s remarkable.  But when it happens online, you’re expected to just shrug and move on.

Sometimes I do.  Shrug, I mean.  Sometimes I’m really good at shrugging and moving on.  And sometimes I’m terrible at it, and I think about something said to me online while I wash the dishes and drive the car and try to work.

I’m a human being.  If you say rude things to me, I will have my mood affected by those rude things.  If you say kind things to me, I will also have my mood affected by those kind things.  I hold certain expectations in my head.  When they’re not met, I feel unhappy.  When they are met, I feel happy.  It all feels pretty simple, you know.

Sometimes people forget that there is a human being on the other end of each screen.  But if you remove the computers between the individuals, all you have are people communicating.  Sometimes well, sometimes poorly, but communication in the end.

online world is the offline world

15 comments

1 Catwoman73 { 01.20.16 at 8:31 am }

This is precisely why I make an effort to comment regularly on the blogs I read, and to make those comments as positive and helpful as possible- I sometimes feel hurt by lack of engagement, too. Fortunately, I have never had to deal with anyone being downright mean in my comment section, but I can certainly imagine how awful that would feel. There have, on occasion, been prickly comments that have stuck with me, though. You’ve really nailed with this post, Mel- anonymity is not an excuse to behave in ways that you wouldn’t in everyday life.

That being said, I suppose that rejection and negativity is part of the risk we all took when we decided to put our lives out there for the world to see. We had to expect a certain amount of crappy behaviour on the part of other people. I sometimes have to remind myself that for every person who fails to comment, or who says something that doesn’t sit quite right with me, there is another amazing person that I’ve managed to connect with who, without my blog, I never would have encountered. To me, it’s worth the risk.

2 Lavonne @ *Our Wish* { 01.20.16 at 9:56 am }

I totally understand the sentiment here and this was very well written. I have definitely been feeling the scenario of standing in a crowd, spilling your guts, and they all slow blink and walk away without saying anything. Just know there are lots of us out here who enjoy your blog and have only nice things to say 🙂 ((HUGS))

3 a { 01.20.16 at 11:12 am }

Now, I have to try all those things in real-life conversations and see what happens.

I do try to comment on things where I can see that it is a topic of some import to the writer – especially if no one else has said anything.

4 Twangy { 01.20.16 at 11:38 am }

a (above) is a stalwart of engagement. She deserves a trophy.

Sorry about any mean comments you’ve been subjected to, Mel. It’s so disheartening.

So far I’ve been lucky – only because I don’t make myself easily found and I’m not public or famous. I don’t look forward to the possibility though.

5 illustr8d { 01.20.16 at 12:22 pm }

I’m having a lot going on IRL, and it’s meant that all things blog are slipping at the moment. So I read, but I don’t always comment, even if I’ve loved the blog post and have something to say. (Like yesterday, I actually read your post aloud to my brother, who is an early-morning movie person. When I got to the part about the 7:00 am movies, he said, “Where is this heaven on earth?” Life got in the way before I could comment though.) So I apologize about that. I promise it’s on my radar to get better about, although that may be a month or so away!

As to the other, I do not understand why people seem to feel free in venting their spleens. I’ve had it happen a lot in person as well, and I do not get it. I’ve come to the conclusion that many people are feeling powerless and so they’re angry and they just spew that anger everywhere. It’s a huge waste of energy, they could be using it to change whatever it is that’s making them so cranky. I am at the point where I just block them on Twitter and is why all blog comments have to be approved. The blog is my home and no, they don’t get to be nasty to me in my home. If it’s someone I know & it’s out of character, then I’ll think there’s something going on for them and ask if they’re okay. (Which we tend not to do online either.) This is my biggest complaint about the online world, one that I’ve had since the early 90s when I first got online: that it is forgotten that there are people behind these screens, and I wish we’d be gentler with each other.

6 Mel { 01.20.16 at 12:28 pm }

I’m less concerned with comments because the way we read blogs has changed. It is hard to comment from a mobile device. Which makes it all the more puzzling when people leave a shitty comment: it takes work to comment! I totally get disagreeing with someone, but the words that are written solely to be hurtful? Those are the ones I wonder about because someone chose to spend their time writing them instead of doing something else. What did they give up to write that comment?

7 Ana { 01.20.16 at 1:17 pm }

oh absolutely blogging affects my mood! Mostly in a good way (which is why I keep doing it) but also in a negative way. I’ve definitely felt hurt & stung by a mean or even just prickly comment, and lost sleep over a discussion in the comments that I felt left me misunderstood. I agree completely that it is no different from another conversation IRL and I don’t imagine any of us have THAT thick a skin to never be affected.

8 nicoleandmaggie { 01.20.16 at 1:36 pm }

I don’t think comments generally affect us negatively– our readers are pretty awesome, and the occasional MRA fly-by gets made fun of for having a tiny penis. But blogs I read in which people make themselves unhappy or are crushed by the patriarchy or have horrible husbands etc. etc. are really depressing. I’ve been using leechblock more and more because I hate watching train wrecks, but often have hope that this time it will be different, so I click anyway.

Negative comments IRL are much more affecting to me. Even if all that is between me and the rest of the world is a computer. But anonymity means I can disengage if it gets scary, whereas negative situations at work are much harder to leave and much more important to deal with. I can’t block a colleague from future interaction with me. Plus IRL, it’s often because I really have done something unintentionally stupid.

9 apluseffort { 01.20.16 at 3:23 pm }

I wish I was better at shrugging things off, both online and off. People shouldn’t get to hold such sway over me, but they do.

10 Valery Valentina { 01.20.16 at 4:03 pm }

new job new boss similar insane comments. Some people make it their business dragging other people down. Can’t leave good enough alone. This time the boss got fired though, not me.
hugs!

11 A. { 01.20.16 at 4:17 pm }

Spot on. It reminds me of the way people treat each other when they have their cars as buffers. Do we seem less human when machines intercede, or does it offer enough protection to the abuser that they let loose in a way they’d never have the courage to in-person?

12 Mali { 01.20.16 at 6:16 pm }

Oh, I love love love this post. I 100% agree. Blogging definitely affects my mood. I don’t get (so far) many nasty comments, and in fact, having had (only once) the Huff Post experience, I found them much easier to brush off than fearing I had offended someone in a post. That gets me worrying and thinking (and talking) for days! The misunderstanding issue is a big one too.

I do try to visit bloggers who comment on my blog, and comment in turn on their blogs. And I’ve stopped visiting (or commenting at least) on some blogs because there is never any acknowledgement that I even visit, and never anything reciprocal. I don’t expect comments on every post of mine, or replies to every comment (far from it), but – as in normal conversation – I don’t expect to be totally ignored either.

13 torthuil { 01.21.16 at 1:03 am }

I am sorry that someone’s comments made you feel bad. Your examples make a strong point.

I was at a baseball game once and happened to be sitting in front of sone people that kept up a constant stream of commentary throughout the game. Now, I know very little about baswball and was only there because my in laws planned the outing. I had no strong feelings whatever about either of the teams or the game. Still, after being forced to hear this constant twaddle, I wanted to punch those people in the face. I remember thinking that I understand why people start fights or riot at games. At least maybe I do: never actually been in one! My point is, I think social media can start to feel like being subjected to constant chatter you don’t want or need to hear, and people respond by lashing out. And it is much easier to do online (I did not do anything violent to the people sitting behind me). So in addition to practicing basic decency and restraint, I think it’s a good idea to limit social media exposure. Do we really need to know or respond to the ideas or random thoughts of people we don’t know (or even people we do know).

14 Lori Lavender Luz { 01.22.16 at 11:39 am }

Definitely, blogging affects my mood. Sometimes improving it and sometimes dragging it down.

Why were people surprised at this?? I’m surprised by that alongside you.

15 Katherine A { 01.26.16 at 12:32 pm }

Oh, I think you hit the nail on the head here. What people say (or don’t say) definitely affects my mood. 100%.

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