For any long term followers still reading this, you should know that I am not particularly good at keeping my word. I will make statements like, “I will never not post ever again!” only to immediately go on a month long hiatus. But ultimately I have learned that things gets in the way, and I am but a young grasshopper making its way across the troublesome highway of life. (Feel free to quote me on that.)
Not posting as much as I should have? That’s somewhat excusable, depending on the circumstances. But you know what is not? You know what is the single most wretched and terrible act a blogger could ever perform?
I’m not going to answer that question right away. Instead I’m going to cleverly build up suspense by stalling.
Then I’m going to stall some more.
And a little more . . .
la da dee, buh duh dum . . .
Man, I bet you’re dying to know the answer now, huh? Well, here it goes:
The worst thing a blogger — nay, a human being — could ever do is not reply to his or her comments. Sure, there are some cases where this is acceptable: if you’re one of those famous bloggers that get over 200 comments a post, then sure, no one’s going to blame you if you skip a few of them. But I do not average an obscene amount of comments each post. Most of the time I manage a perfectly manageable amount. Sure, there was that one week after I was freshly pressed where I was getting hundreds of comments a day, but since then this blog has really gone downhill.
(Excuse me while I weep and pray for the return of my former glory. Is this how the British feel when they think back to all those colonies they used to have? Those poor fellows.)
This is a view of mine that I have held for over two years now, and I always looked down at those people who never reply to their comments. “Pfft,” I’d say to them, metaphorically, “You are below me. I would never not reply to any comment on my blog, of any sort.”
But then today I was looking at an old post of mine, and scrolled down to the comments’ section to find this particular gem, which I’d forgotten about:
Your genius humor is what I’ve searched for my entire life. The way you present your content is so raw and uncensored (not in a dirty way). I’m a teen who’s loved writing and my passion for correcting my friends’ grammar has finally found appreciation. I first read your TCWT post and I’ve struck up an interest with the novella you have. I’ve been following you ever since. Keep up the great work!
This might just be the nicest and most heartfelt comment I’ve ever received, and no, I am not making this up. Scroll through my November 2013 posts and I’m sure you’ll find it. I’m simply protecting said person’s privacy in case he didn’t want me to name him.
Anywho, while I was reading it yesterday, my heart swelled with more pride than most hearts could hold. That is, until seconds afterwards, when I scrolled down to see what my reply was. “I wonder how Past Me responded,” I thought to myself, only to gasp aloud when I found out that Past Me never did. And worse: below it was yet another comment in which I had completely failed to write a reply.
(In fairness though, that second comment was pretty weird: “My first book was about a drug addicted porn star charred alive in his car, living in Dante’s 9 circles of Hell with a snake slithering up and down his morphine addicted spine.” There’s really no proper way to respond to something like that.)
My first thought was to write a comment apologizing to him, but I was two years too late for that. Instead I felt a chill run through my spine as I wondered, “how many other comments have I ignored over the years?”
The answer, as I soon found out: too many.
There was even a fairly recent post where I just sort of skipped one comment and replied to all the rest, for no apparent reason. I didn’t know the commenter, but I wouldn’t blame him for feeling neglected. I could hear his thought process now:
“Wow,” he thinks to himself. “Matt has the time to write a stupid post pretending to be a child rapper, but not enough time to respond to my one and only comment? So rude.” He clicks the unfollow button, and proceeds to form an anti-Matt fan club.
Honestly, I wouldn’t blame him for responding that way. Well, I would’ve been a little annoyed that he started his own club, because that seems a bit excessive, but still. I have wronged that commenter, just like I have wronged several others, and so if there’s anyone reading this who I have hurt in the past, I believe I owe you an apology.
I am sorry for not responding to you. You see, even if your comment was kind and uplifting, I still might not be entirely sure how to respond. My first instinct is to shrug and say, “I’ll answer it later,” and usually I do, in fact, answer it later, with a reply written from deep inside my soul. But sometimes I forget about it, and in the end, feelings are hurt. Lives are lost. Tornadoes are formed. And though this wasn’t my intention, I must still take responsibility for my actions. I am sorry.
Although, there is a slight chance I intentionally ignored your comment simply because I didn’t like you. I have done that from time to time. But you should just assume I did it for the first reason, because that’s the more likely of the two causes.
Now excuse me while I end this post in an unnecessarily explosive fashion.