Breaking the Unspoken Agreement

So I’m just going to say this. I know it might be an unpopular opinion, and that’s fine, but I feel really strongly about this so I’m going to put it out there. (I’m also going to assume that the people I’m referring to aren’t reading this blog (you understand why in a minute), so that makes it a little easier to just say it).

I think it’s REALLY FUCKED UP when people just walk away from their blog with absolutely no explanation. I think that is a shitty thing to do. I think it’s inconsiderate and thoughtless and selfish and RUDE. I think it’s just plain WRONG.

I dare you to try to convince me otherwise.

You see, what happened is this. I’m getting ready for BlogHer in two days. I’m now part of a group of Bay Area bloggers on Facebook and I asked them all to introduce themselves and say where they live and link to where they are writing. I want to add them all to my reader for a bit so I can see who interests me. But the idea of adding all these random blogs to my list, which is still about 90% ALI blogs, felt wrong. So I decided to create a folder for them (and, while I was at it, a folder for all the other blogs of women I meet at BlogHer) so I could still read just the people I’m used to most of the time, and then delve into the new people when I feel like it.

That was a fine plan except 95% of my blogs were not categorized in Feedly (because they weren’t in Google Reader), so I had to go through them all and put them into an ALI folder. As I was going through them, I realized that I hadn’t gotten a post from some of them for ages. So I started yet another folder. This one was titled Ghost Blogs?.

By the time I was done sorting everything I had about 80 blogs in the ALI folder, 30 in a Miscellany folder (yes, I was also surprised by this) and 50, you read that right, FIFTY in the Ghost Blogs? folder.

One by one I went through the blogs in the Ghost folder. Most of them hadn’t been updated in over a year. Some hadn’t been updated in THREE YEARS! I couldn’t believe it. For almost all of them I clicked on the final post and read it over. One post was about concerning NTU results. One was about a slow rising BETA. One was about a baby who was due in the next few days, but was expected to take his time. One was about a third rising BETA and first hopeful pregnancy. One was a, hey I haven’t written in five months but SURPRISE! I’m 20 weeks pregnant and all is going well! ALL OF THESE WERE FINAL POSTS. The blogs were NEVER UPDATED AGAIN! Who does that? Who doesn’t let their readers know what happened? How they are? If their babies were okay?

Reading some of them I was reminded of wondering what had happened, of thinking about that blogger for weeks and months afterward, going back to the url to make sure I hadn’t missed anything, commenting on the last post to check in. Sometimes I even emailed. I remember wondering for so long, WHAT HAPPENED?! ARE YOU OKAY? I was worried something went wrong. I assumed the worst, because WHY ELSE WOULD SOMEONE JUST NEVER COME BACK TO THEIR BLOG?!

Looking back through those blogs and reading those last posts made me mad. Remembering all the emotional energy I wasted on these people who never cared enough to return to their own space and give their readers a little closure. I think that is so incredibly rude. If you write a blog, you are asking people to read it. If people comment in your space, you know they are there, reading. IF YOU KNOW PEOPLE ARE READING A BLOG YOU OWE THEM A LITTLE RESPECT.

Yes, I believe that bloggers do owe their readership something. I believe they owe their readership an quick, simple update to let them know that they are done. I don’t think they have to explain why they are stepping away (though I would very much appreciate some understanding), but I do believe they deserve a simple, “Hey, I won’t be back here. You can stop waiting and wondering and returning to this space.” Even a, “Hey, I don’t think I’ll be back here, other shit came up and I might be back, but I might not,” that’s fine too. A blogger doesn’t owe her readers explanations or certainties, but she owes them some basic information, even if that information is, “I just realized I haven’t written in three months, it might be another three months before I write again or it might be never. Just a head’s up.”

So there, I’ve said it. I feel personally slighted by the bloggers who just walked away and never told us they were going to go. I think that was a fucked up move, especially when something big was about to happen. I think never coming back broke an unspoken agreement between the blogger and her readers, and I think everyone who read them deserves an apology.

There were a lot of other blogs I sorted through that I wasn’t quite sure what to do with. Many of the 80+ blogs I had in my ALI folder haven’t been updated in months. Some have been updated only once or twice all year, or haven’t yet been updated in 2014 at all. It made me incredibly sad to be reminded that so many people who used to be a staple in my days are just gone now. It’s not that I don’t think of them, because I do, but seeing their blogs and not being sure if they too would end up in the Ghost Blogs folder was kind of excruciating.

It’s not like I don’t know anything about all of them. I see some of them on FB, but I don’t really know what is happening in their lives and I wonder if others are on Twitter, happily tweeting away, but I still can’t bring myself to participate there. I still feel like the middle school loser sitting alone at lunch, while the popular kids bustle around the tables I haven’t been invited to sit at (or have been purposefully excluded from). Even if I could get over that feeling, the pace is so fast and the connection so fleeting. I feel like it’s just another thing compelling me to open my phone a million times a day, and I already have enough of those.

I know this is what happens, people drift apart, they stopping seeing each other and eventually realize they aren’t friends anymore. I know it’s an inevitability, but it still sucks. I wonder if part of what feels different, and almost hurtful, about it is that I’m still here, writing. I’m still doing my part to keep the lines of communication open, but so many people aren’t anymore. Maybe it kind of makes me feel left behind, like they have moved on to something else and I’m still here, plugging away, even though these people who were so important to me don’t seem to care anymore.

I’m sure that sounds supremely self-centered. Maybe it is. Honestly, I don’t even care if they don’t read me. I just want to read them. I’m sad they don’t write anymore. I’m sad I can’t comment. I want to know how they are, what their kids are up to, if they are happy.

But I suppose we all have to learn to let go. We have to let go of the people we read who abruptly abandon their space with no explanation, and we have to let go of the people who disappear slowly, over months and years. We have to let go of the people who tell us they just can’t write anymore. I’m pretty bad at letting go. I’m a sentimental person and if I can keep someone positive in my life, I will do it. But sometimes you just can’t, and that is part of life too. It seems that is a defining part of motherhood.

So if you’re still reading, and still writing, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, because I love you and DON’T WANT TO LET ANY OF YOU GO.

And you if you decide to stop writing, or realize it just kind of happened, please consider providing some closure for your readers. I promise you, they will appreciate it.

What do you think of bloggers who abruptly leave their space with no warning? Are there bloggers who are disappearing slowly that you’re sad to see go?

75 responses

  1. I started blogging 9 years ago. (Jesus, freaking nine years.) When I first started, there were few enough of us that it felt like a real community, a tight group of women. And of those bloggers, few remain. I ended up taking my blogroll down because maybe 90% of the 50 blogs I had in that list stopped blogging. And yes, it made me sad, mostly because I didn’t feel connected to them, to a community, any more. So as a reader, I totally get what you’re saying.

    As a blog writer… I have struggled with writing on my blog for a long time now. I know that I was disappointed when people stopped blogging, and and I felt strongly for a number of years that there was space for story on the internet. And a big part of me feels like yes, I have a responsibility to my readers.

    But there’s only so much you can write about the same themes before you even bore yourself. My current job “crisis” is pretty much that – it is a huge energy suck for me right now, but I have no answers, despite the fact that my readers seem to think it’s cut and dry and I should just quit, and wow, my headspace is so exhausting! Unfortunately, for me, those aren’t helpful comments, because yes, I’m exhausted, but it’s not as easy as quitting a job. If it was, I’d have quit and never looked back. So I can’t write about it, because I have no answers, and nothing is clear to me, and yet I still feel the same gaping hole in my soul whenever I consider spending the rest of my life doing what I’m doing. I’ll be posting the same posts again and again and again. Rinse, repeat. No one wants to read that shit, you know?

    And then there’s my son. We are struggling with some parenting issues with Lucky now, too, I find myself in a place right now where I dislike writing about them. Because even though my blog is anonymous, I’m still putting things online about him, and how would he like it if someday he discovered his mom wrote a blog about really personal stuff he did when he was a kid; that it’s on the internet and he can’t do anything about it? The struggles we have parenting right now is another huge time and energy suck, but I don’t feel like I can write about that either.

    What else does that leave me with? Mundane stuff, running (which everyone thinks I’m already obsessed over) – nothing that seems true or real or ME.

    So I don’t write. And maybe that’s irresponsible of me, as you say, because I owe my readers more than that. But it’s definitely not because I’m a cool kid moving on to bigger and brighter things. I just struggle with my reality right now and don’t feel like writing about it.

    And I suspect that there are more bloggers out there who have the same issues as me, they stopped writing because it just got really, really hard. It’s so much easier to click away from the “New Post” page than spend time and energy struggling to write about something that isn’t authentic. At least for me, anyway.

    xoxo

    • I feel like my words are being misunderstood. I don’t think it’s irresponsible of you to do what you need to do. When you left your ALI space you told us all you were doing it and why. You said you were writing elsewhere, you said you may be back. You did come back to your ALI space and you’ve said that it’s hard to write there. You are keeping a dialogue open about where you are in your writing process. You are making us all feel included (not that you even have to do that, but it’s really nice that you do). I don’t wonder if you’re okay when you don’t post for months. You said you were having a hard time writing and so I get that you’re not writing. That IS NOT irresponsible and it’s making me sad that people are reading my words that way. That was not my intent.

      I love when you write but I get it when you don’t. Please don’t think I judge you for doing what you need to do. I get it and I appreciate you always being so honest about how you’re feeling about writing and posting. It is very much appreciated.

  2. I actually (feel scared to write it but…..) agree with you. I also feel personally slighted when people leave! I don’t care if people leave per se but just TELL me you are going so I don’t wonder what the hell happened to you. I always (not so much now) got really upset when I was still deep deep deep in the trenches and people I supported and celebrated with to get their babies didn’t even stick around to support me trying to still get mine. So yes, a one post saying you know what I don’t need this space anymore would be nice – so long, farewell and good luck on your journey’s. Yep, agree with you.

  3. With only one or two exceptions, I am always disappointed when someone disappears from cyberspace. Usually it is gradual, and I am prepared for it – posting slows down, the reasons that brought them to blogging or messageboards become secondary and other things in their lives take priority. I don’t blame people for that, even if I feel sad that I might have lost them. However, I have known a few people who have suddenly vanished. Some of them say “I’m off!” with an explanation. Others say “I’m off, because I’m not getting anything back” and leave in a fit of pique. Then there was one blogger (non-ALI) who was part of a very small but tight-knit group of bloggers who had followed each other for years. Overnight he vanished from the internet. No explanation, just a message to one of us that he was going. “No correspondence, please,” was his request. It was shocking, and it hurt. One of the other men in our group was angry, he felt so betrayed. We never knew what had happened or why, but he’s slowly reappeared. However, it is hard to trust again.

    All that said, I am guilty of this too. I have a travelblog that I’ve neglected for two years. (Though I’m hoping to resurrect it soon.) Most if not all of my readers were also readers of my other blogs, so they know I’m ok. But now I feel guilty.

    • I think the travelblog thing is different then. It’s much like my public space. I didn’t write there for 16 months. But all the people that ever commented there were people who linked over from here, so I figured it was fine. Plus, that space wasn’t about giving support, so it feels a little different. But maybe I’m splitting hairs. My thing is letting people know you’re okay. If everyone from there reads somewhere else to know you’re okay, then it’s fine.

  4. I so totally agree. I read, I comment some, though not as often as I should, and I get invested in reading, and I get genuinely worried when someone just disappears with no warning. What happened? Was it something awful? Sometimes it haunts me because I’m just the kind of person who worries, so I’m with you Esperanza!

  5. Sometimes what seems abrupt has been crushing the blogger in question for a long, long time. Sometimes people need to put their mental health first for there very survival. Sometimes they write that goodbye post while sobbing on a bench in the mall…I suspect many others just stare at a blinking cursor every time they try to say goodbye. The GUILT in this community can be so, so damaging. The break I took from reading, from commenting, from tweeting away happily did me so much good. I need to go back to that place.

    • But you told everyone you were going and you were even considerate enough to tell us why, in your own way. You didn’t disappear, instead you very much honored that unspoken contract by saying that you had to go, and I absolutely respect that.

      Am I sad to see you go? Absolutely. Do I miss you and your words? Very much. Do I respect your choice? Yes. Or take it personally? Not at all. When people say they are leaving I understand. It’s when people just slowly disappear from both their blog and comment sections that kind of hurts. And that is my thing and not on the blogger. I only get frustrated and angry when they leave their readers hanging in the middle of something really big or important. That is when I think it’s just not okay.

      You didn’t do either of those things. I totally respect your choice to go.

      I didn’t intend for this post to upset you. What you did is not what makes me mad. If you had written a post one day about decluttering something and then just never came back, that would have been different. But that is not what you did. At all. I hope you can see that difference.

      • I hope that you can understand that this attitude in general (and this delivery specifically) has the potential to create silencing guilt and shame. I honestly believe many people “abandon” their blogs because it is so difficult to navigate the “unspoken agreement” and rules in this community. Just be grateful, but don’t brag. Be real, but never complain. It was a single comment that was the tipping point for me. I just couldn’t take it anymore. Silenced.

      • I’m sorry one comment silenced you. I’m glad you still can find the support you need on other forms of social media. I guess in the end, that’s all that’s really important. That you are doing what you need to do to feel safe and supported. I am sorry that this post was hurtful. I will take responsibility for that.

      • I’ve been thinking about this a lot, what you said about how you hope I can understand that my attitude (and specifically my delivery) has the potential to create silencing guilt and shame. I don’t really understand how it does. How can I silence someone who has already chosen not to write? And why should I be assuming that people who have stopped writing and commenting are still reading my blog? Especially if they specifically said they were not going to be writing or reading anymore?

        Honestly, even if I knew those people were still reading, I don’t think it’s guilt inducing to say, hey, I’m bummed you don’t write anymore. I really appreciated it when you did and I miss your words. I don’t see that as placing guilt or shame, but as asserting that a relationship was meaningful and it hurst now that it’s gone. THAT is what I was saying about the people who just gradually fade away, or explain an abrupt ending. I feel like what I said about the people who stop writing in the middle of some big transition, like a baby being born or concerning test results, is being applied to the people who just fade away gradually. That is NOT what I was saying. I do not think that it is wrong for someone to stop writing, for any reason. I don’t think they owe their readers an explanation. I just think a little head’s up is the decent think to do. I thought I made that clear but obviously I didn’t. Or maybe I did and you get what I’m saying perfectly and you still think I’m creating silencing guilt and shame. If so, I have to accept that you read my words that way, and take responsibility for that.

      • You’ve missed my point. This overall attitude of what, when, how to write… These unspoken rules that are community-wide are damaging. I wonder how many people feel it and stay silent. Please re-read your post, especially the all caps and understand the impact they may have. It reads very different from what you assert in your responses. Frankly, this type of guilt mongering is why I’m done with the community for good.

      • I don’t mean to be rude, but if you are done with this community for good, why are you here, in this space, trying to tell me I’m guilt mongering? I didn’t think you read me anymore. I don’t know why you are here, getting upset over what is going on in a community you have said multiple times you don’t want to be a part of.

        And I will ask it again, because this is why I had all the caps and the vitriol, as it has been called: Is it really so much bad for me to get angry when someone I’ve read for years and supported through many things, writes, “Hey, my baby is due in a few days! I’m really excited! and then never lets us know if the baby arrived safely? Am I really being so horrible and awful but getting upset by that? I think that is a pretty shitty thing to do, and if that makes me the asshole, so be it.

  6. Esperanza, you always write the most thought-provoking posts! I always find myself saving them to read because I know I am going to have to sit & think about them for awhile — & then they don’t get read &/ or commented on, & then I get behind & (yes) feel guilty. 😉 Hopefully now that I am going to be at home more (and thank you for your supportive comment on my most recent post) I will have more time for blog reading, writing & commenting.

    Not sure I can say I get angry when my favourite bloggers stop posting (or when people would stop posting on the bulletin boards I used to frequent, pre-blogging) — but I certainly feel sad & disappointed. And yes, curious.

    As just one example, I started posting on a board for childless women (which no longer exists) shortly after we stopped infertility treatments in July 2001… then came Sept. 11th, and one of the women on the board worked just a few blocks away from Ground Zero — gave us an amazing eyewitness account of what life was like in New York that day & in the days afterward. She had a hugely positive attitude about life after infertility and a vision of what that life could be like for herself & her husband. After a few months, she stopped posting (for whatever reasons) & we never heard from her again, but I still think of her & wonder how she’s doing, especially every year around 9-11.

    A couple of years ago, I temporarily took my blog offline when a relative stumbled onto it (& posted a link to a post I had written about my grandparents on a family Facebook group, erk!). I did reach out to Mel & some other bloggers, privately through email and FB and through comments, to let them know what had happened, & that I hoped it would just be temporary while this blew over (and thankfully it was).

    • I totally understand leaving a space unexpectedly for a while. That is not what bothers me. It’s when it’s been years and they never bothered to come back and say, hey, I’m actually done here. I’ve had a lot of people do that and I appreciate it very much. I have a public blog that I didn’t write on for 16 months. I GET IT. Of course I don’t think anyone who read that didn’t read my blog here, where I wrote that I was having a hard time writing there, so I didn’t feel the need to update that blog and say I was taking a break. But maybe there was one or two lone readers of only that blog. And if I disappointed them by abruptly stopping my posts, I feel bad about it and apologize.

  7. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep on saying it until this ridiculous blogging culture finally cracks and changes: the online IF community is the only place I’ve ever found where you show up because you have a need for support and you get it in abundance, but the second you need to pull back– because of a shift in priorities, a need for emotional protection and privacy, circumstances, whatever– the SECOND you dare to claim your right to always put your own needs ahead of the greater community’s, you are vilified. G-d help you if you have a baby and dedicate too much of your energy to that new person than to blogging.

    This is why I backed the hell out of the IF community and am never ever ever going back, even if our eventual try for another child warrants a need for support. I found the IF community long enough to find some reasonable and kind friends. I found a lot of crazy and irrational weird “you signed us for this, you’re ours for life” too. No thanks. I cut my losses and ran. My real friends came with me to Facebook and twitter. No one else is owed the privilege of knowing any more about my life than I choose to share with them– especially if they think they somehow deserve it.

  8. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep on saying it until this ridiculous blogging culture finally cracks and changes: the online IF community is the only place I’ve ever found where you show up because you have a need for support and you get it in abundance, but the second you need to pull back– because of a shift in priorities, a need for emotional protection and privacy, circumstances, whatever– the SECOND you dare to claim your right to always put your own needs ahead of the greater community’s, you are vilified. G-d help you if you have a baby and dedicate too much of your energy to that new person than to blogging.

    This is why I backed the hell out of the IF community and am never ever ever going back, even if our eventual try for another child warrants a need for support. I found the IF community long enough to find some reasonable and kind friends. I found a lot of crazy and irrational weird “you signed us for this, you’re ours for life” too. No thanks. I cut my losses and ran. My real friends came with me to Facebook and twitter. No one else is owed the privilege of knowing any more about my life than I choose to share with them– especially if they think they somehow deserve it.

    • I’m assuming I’m one of the “crazy and irrational weird “you signed us for this, you’re ours for life”” people though I don’t really understand how that is what you are reading from my post. I was very clear that it’s not when bloggers stop that upsets me, but when they just stop in the middle of something big and never let us know how it ended up. Or just stop and never give any inkling that they aren’t returning. You can judge me as crazy and irrational for thinking that someone owes it to readers and commenters who helped her through years of IF and loss to just let them know if their baby was born healthy and happy, or they are just feeling done with writing before stepping away forever (and if that happens after an unexpected year hiatus, THAT’S FINE, as long as it happens eventually). I’ll take that label if that is how it’s being applied.

      • Sorry for commenting twice– obviously signed into the wrong account before (a site I was going to make and, clearly, never ended up using) and I can’t seem to delete the other one.

        I don’t understand the need for other bloggers to always have blogging be a priority. You know as well as anyone, having had two kids now, that sometimes life happens and your brain and body get so fully consumed with caring for a baby– in the example Deborah gave, for those “smug” moms having a baby and never blogging again– you don’t even know what you’re thinking half the time, let alone have the brain power to compose those half-formed thoughts into a series of paragraphs for the edification of a bunch of people to whom, in at least SOME cases, you are a character in a living book that gets updated chapter by chapter. Like I said– my real friends have some combination of my Facebook, twitter, phone number and address. They know where to find me if my blog disappears.

        Real friends– especially the ones who are TRULY invested in a person’s well-being– know to back off and accept that online friends are not next-door neighbors. You may lose them and never see them again. You can’t just pop your head out the window and catch them as they walk back in from buying groceries. There’s nothing you can do about that. If you’re not close enough to have any other means of contacting them, then it’s a shame to lose contact but that’s life. Value your friends enough to respect their need to back away and not update, even if you don’t understand why.

      • I absolutely agree with you. 100%. My issue is not with people stopping. And I don’t think that any blogger owes it to her readers to keep blogging. I don’t believe I said that anywhere in my post. Sure, I can be sad when someone stops blogging, that doesn’t mean I don’t respect that they need or want to stop. That doesn’t mean I can’t support them 100%. It’s like if you have a friend in real life you has to move. You can be really excited for them to be moving, but still sad for yourself but you won’t see them anymore. I absolutely understand why the people who gradually fade away do so. I don’t fault them for doing that. make me a little sad? Sure.

        And to address your confusion as to why some women keep blogging even after becoming mothers, I guess for some of us is just provide something we don’t find in real life. Maybe we don’t have many friends we can work things out with in real life. Maybe our spouses aren’t available to help us through some of this stuff. Maybe we have an especially isolating job. Maybe we just love to write. There are a lot of reasons.

      • I really don’t understand your comment here at all. I think you’re way off base with what you think I’m saying. I have zero confusion about why someone would want to keep blogging, and it’s a logical fallacy to assume that saying I understand why someone would stop means I don’t understand why the opposite would be true. That doesn’t make any sense.

        If you can’t accept that someone stops blogging without having you in mind, then no, you don’t respect the decision. You can say you do, but hats not what real respect and friendship look like.

        For real, this is pretty wild to me. I’ve never had any friend ever require of me the sort of intense neediness you’re describing here. Do I live in a works where everyone is unreasonably laid-back? Is it possible you’re viewing this through your lens and not understanding that other people’s view of blogging might be a lot more relaxed than yours? Truly baffled.

      • So I re-read you comment and I see where I misunderstood. When you said “I don’t understand the need for other bloggers to always have blogging be a priority.” I thought you meant why a blogger might keep blogging a lot, even after having kids. I read it wrong. I see that what you meant was you don’t understand why bloggers feel the need to make blogging a priority for others, or assume it should be a priority for others. Is that what you meant? That was my misreading and I apologize.

        Did the top part of my comment not make sense at all either?

      • It’s one thing to say you feel sad when someone stops blogging. It is entirely another to throw around the ferocity & vitriol you did in your post (but seem to be contradicting in your very measured and agreeable comments), blaming others for being “rude” by not giving you what you feel us appropriate closure. That feels ridiculous and juvenile to me. Bloggers are separate individual people who write in (often public) spaces online, and if you happen by and decide you like a blog, it makes that person no more beholden to you than they were five minutes before you showed up on their site. If you become friends, but not good enough friends to have established any other means of contact, and not enough to notice when they stop posting until much later, then yes, it is absolutely an overreaction to get this upset about it. Behaving that way inflicts your needs on another person who has no responsibility toward you. If even your tenuous blog interactions cut so deeply when they end, then I’m sorry to sound harsh but you need more solid friendships to lean on and you need VERY much to work on building up your resilience. This is a really intense and demanding emotional burden to place on people who are strangers enough that they didn’t take you with them when they left.

      • Wow. Okay. So now I’m going to admit that I’m feeling a little personally attacked. I don’t really understand what you are doing here and why you are saying these things to me. (In fact, I think it’s really interesting, since you don’t read me (that I know of) and you clearly don’t comment (because I had to approve your comment this morning) and yet I read you and even leave supportive comments (at least that is what they are intended to be, maybe they aren’t because clearly we don’t understand each other very well) so it feels really strange that you are here, for seemingly the first time, (or one of few times) to attack me about something that I wrote, when you don’t even read me. I just don’t really get that.

        The beginning of my post was filled with ferocity and vitriol. I do think it’s rude for a blogger that I’ve been following for a while, and commenting on, to say, “Oh my god, I got these really concerning NTU results and I’m really scared,” and then just never write again. If that makes me “ridiculous and juvenile” then so be it. I don’t think it’s asking for too much for someone to say, “hey, I’m out.” Even if they never give the stupid NTU results, just letting us know that they won’t be back so we don’t have to worry about them (and keep trying to contact them in the ways we are able–which I said that I did).

        I also don’t think I’m “inflict[ing my] needs on another person who has no responsibility toward [me]” by saying, hey, I’m bummed you stopped writing because I really appreciated your words (which was what the end of the post was about and which was NOT filled with ferocity and vitriol because it was about something different). Actually, I really like your writing J, which is why I follow you. I don’t think we are friends (now I know for sure we are not friends) and I don’t think you owe me anything but I can be personally disappointed if you stop writing. That doesn’t mean I’m making you stopping about me, I’m just bummed out I can’t read you anymore, or follow what is going on with your awesome kids. I don’t really understand how that is putting pressure on someone of asking them to be beholden to me.

        I clearly made a huge mistake talking about the blogs that just stopped writing in the middle of big transitions (that I spent weeks and months wondering and worrying about (I guess I need more solid friendships, but I’ve mentioned that many times here before, if you read me you’d know that) because I did care about them and did feel invested in their story after supporting them for so long–and no I didn’t just realize they stopped writing years later, I was just reminded of that shitty waiting and wondering time years later because I guess even I have enough of a life not to obsess about this shit for YEARS) and the bloggers who I “know” and consider friends and just gradually stop writing because of well, life. Clearly that was my mistake because some people are reading it differently than it was intended–and are still attacking me for it in rather painful ways–despite repeated attempts to clarify myself.

        Clearly you don’t agree with me on this, but I would ask you to stop attacking me personally in my own space. Thank you.

      • I’m not attacking you. I’m speaking frankly because that’s how I roll.

        You do know me. This is my newer blog. I had a IF blog a while back and wrote for PAIL. And you only commented on my new blog once– while is fine. You’re free to comment or read without commenting or not read at all, your choice.

        I don’t comment on or read many blogs these days for precisely the reasons happening here. I write my blog and people comment if they want. I read the blogs of friends when I happen to remember to. Sometimes I post three times in a week and sometimes I don’t post for over a month. *shrug*

        This is going to be my last reply here, for what it’s worth.

        I take issue with people guilting other bloggers into posting for any reason other than their own desire to post, which is exactly what you’re doing when you expect them to post just to communicate to you that they’re okay. (Frankly, it’s concerning that your anxiety about whether others are “okay” is the dominant thing here determining if someone else is being “rude” or not.)

        You’re undoing a lot of the points you made in your post by commenting to people who strongly disagree with you saying you “100% agree.” It feels like backpedaling. Your attempts to “clarify” are not clarifying at all. I would imagine the prolonged conversation would have illuminated that.

        Feeling invested in a story is not the sake as the story’s author owing you a wrap-up. I was bummed when the Harry Potter series ended. I sent JK Rowling exactly 0 letters about it. Even if that story drops off with no warning, that’s their call. You can be bummed, but it’s weird to complain about it like they owed you closure. Yes, that is exactly what you’re saying here.

        It’s odd to me that you perceive my strong opposition to your point here as an attack, but I often find people react that way when they don’t get the supportive response they expected when they posted. I have said that I believe certain things you’re referencing and describing are juvenile or unreasonable things to expect. If you choose that I’m saying YOU are juvenile or unreasonable and then convert that to a person attack, so be it, but I am only accountable for the things I say, not your reworking of them.

        Like I said– giving you appropriate closure here– this is my last comment,

      • Thank you for your response. I’m glad this dialogue is over because it is clearly going no where. You clearly blog and participate in the blogging community for different reasons and in different ways than I do. I have certainly learned that some people have very different reasons and expectations when writing a blog. I hope you’ve learned that some readers have different expectations when they read one.

    • I’m assuming I’m one of the “crazy and irrational weird “you signed us for this, you’re ours for life”” people though I don’t really understand how that is what you are reading from my post. I was very clear that it’s not when bloggers stop that upsets me, but when they just stop in the middle of something big and never let us know how it ended up. Or just stop and never give any inkling that they aren’t returning. You can judge me as crazy and irrational for thinking that someone owes it to readers and commenters who helped her through years of IF and loss to just let them know if their baby was born healthy and happy, or they are just feeling done with writing before stepping away forever (and if that happens after an unexpected year hiatus, THAT’S FINE, as long as it happens eventually). I’ll take that label if that is how it’s being applied.

  9. I love that you wrote this. I don’t know that I’ve taken it personally when people stop blogging, although I do wish they’d update like “hey, my baby was born healthy, but now I’m super-busy. thanks for your support!”. I do get irritated when people stop blogging after they have babies, like all their life is perfect now because infertility was the only problem. It seems so smug.

    Personally, I find I have less and less time to blog, and I don’t post as often as before. But there are so many posts in my head, and I know there’s so much I want to say. So I’m not stopping!

    Regarding Serenity’s worry about repeating herself, Essie the Accidental Mommy wrote a post a few years back that said she was going to stop blogging regularly because she was sick of repeating herself, but she would continue to post occasionally if something big/interesting/unusual came up. So I kept her in my reader, and she posts every few months. And that’s fine, because she told us. I kind of liked that.

    • Not to get all meta (or something resembling that), but Deborah!!! You’re one of the people I’ve been worrying about because your blog suddenly went invite only.

      Sorry for the stalkerish comment, but I’ve been wondering if something bad happened and I’m so glad to see it didn’t.

      • So, my thumb done how slipped and posteda link to my twitter page, and I got an email from a close friend who’d read it and was worried about me. I sent invites to everyone whose email address I had. If I can click through your name here & find yours, I’ll send you one. It’s not the same with only 9 readers!

      • Oh, shoot! Your name doesn’t link anywhere! What to do??

        I’m in the process of creating a new blog, new pseudonyms, etcetera and will definitely share that when I do.

  10. I understand how you feel, but I disagree with you. It’s not ideal to just stop writing, but sometimes that is just what happens. I think a lot of times, it’s not a conscious decision. A blogger doesn’t write for a few days, then that becomes a week, then a few months, and then it just seems overwhelming and she doesn’t come back. (Versus making a decision, i.e., today I’m done with my blog but I’m too lazy to close it out so eff my readers.)

    I also don’t think that non-monetized blog writers owe their readers anything. I view blogs less like online friends to get invested in (which is the view I got from your post, though I might be wrong) and more like stories that I have been gifted with, and the blogger is under no obligation to give me any more. I don’t know if that makes sense though.

    • A couple of things here. I get what you mean that a week becomes a month becomes a year. I get that. I guess I would hope that maybe if that person realizes it’s been a year they could quick check in and be like, hey! still alive. Just busy and not into writing. TTFN!

      Also, if they are still commenting in my space, or others, then I know they are okay. And that also feels different. Again, maybe I am splitting hairs but I just thought I’d put it out there.

  11. I agree! By sharing your story with your readers, they become invested. It doesn’t take more than 5 minutes to post a quick goodbye. I had an adoption blog before we switched to our IVF treatments and I posted a quick goodbye letting my readers know I’d be starting a new blog. I left it up for a week or so before I deleted the blog (I still regret doing that. I wish I had kept all my writing in one place.) and I received a few emails from readers who missed the goodbye post and just found my blog was gone. I felt bad that they thought I just up and left!

    Anyway, I’ve been a reader of yours for a while. I don’t often comment but I’m here and I’m glad you aren’t going to leave without a goodbye 🙂

  12. There are a lot of people I wonder about and those I wish would check-in (sort of like bumping into them in a coffeehouse and getting the two-second version of their life), but I usually think that most people don’t know that their last post is going to be their last post. They didn’t walk away from their blog knowingly, but then time passes and that last post becomes their last post.

    I never delete a blog from my reader, even when they haven’t updated for years, because I’ve often been pleasantly surprised by an update far down the road. It just happened a few weeks ago: a blogger who hadn’t written for years popped up with a post.

    • I know what you mean Mel, but don’t you think that if they realized later that it was their last post they could come write a real last post? I’ve had a few people do that and I appreciated it immensely.

      I’ve also had people pop in years later and update, sometimes with amazing news. I was glad I kept them in my reader. I guess I could keep them forever but I think something has changed and I want my reader to be a place where I know who I’m following and why I’m following them, not a depository for old blogs that haven’t been updated in 1000+ days. (That is how feedly describes the last post, in days. It’s kind of hilarious when someone hasn’t posted for years.)

  13. I feel like we need to be very careful before castigating people who have quit blogging without notice. Just like we all started blogging and continued blogging for a myriad of reasons, most people will eventually stop blogging for a myriad of reasons, and who are we to judge how that happens? I disagree that we “owe” it to anyone to give a goodbye when we close up shop. That’s not to say I’m not disappointed (and yes, sometimes frustrated) when that happens, but if I was close enough to the blogger to really care or notice that they’re gone (as opposed to noticing only when I go through my reader), I probably had other ways of reaching out to that person to check on them anyway. A simple email could give you that chance to find out they’re okay if they’re so inclined to share. But honestly, though I do love the interaction and support that blogging gives me, I still don’t “owe” my blog space to anyone. I really like Amanda’s viewpoint of blogs being stories that we are gifted with and the writer being under no obligation to give us more. Though I HAVE become close friends with many people I met through blogging, the vast majority of them no longer blog, and so our relationships change and we find new ways to interact (or not). Like you said, all friendships & relationships evolve and change over time, both URL and IRL. It’s just part of life. Saying that people owe you something in their blog space honestly gives me a bad taste in my mouth – it’s projecting you YOU feel about YOUR blog space onto others, and that’s really not fair to them. 😦

    • Like I mentioned above, for many of these women I DID think about them, A LOT after they abruptly stopped and I did try to reach on the avenues that I had at my disposal, and I never got a response. And while I understand that you and probably many others don’t agree with me, I think that is an inconsiderate thing to do. To support a person through YEARS of infertility, hear they are finally pregnant and then never hear if their baby was born safe and healthy? It seems the least they can do to just check in when they baby is born and then say “peace out.” That is when it makes me mad, when they are in the middle of some huge transition and they just never let you know that everything worked out okay.

      It’s true people gift us their stories. But we also gift them our support. Sometimes for years and through very difficult situations. I think it’s inconsiderate to not give the people who supported you the peace of mind of knowing that everything ended up okay, or not.

      The bloggers who stop gradually–usually long after the trials of their journey are over–that is a different thing and I thought I made that clear and was sure to say that my sadness or disappointment about that is my own thing. I feel like people are putting all blogs who stop together and that is NOT what I said. I hope I’m clarifying myself here and in response to other comments.

      • Oh no – I actually agree with you that it sucks when a blogger you’ve supported forever leaves you hanging on the cusp of a big transition. It makes me feel… lost … in a way I guess. Unresolved? Worried?

        At any rate, I think the part some ppl are taking issue with & reacting so strongly about in this post is the harshness of your opening statement:

        “I think it’s REALLY FUCKED UP when people just walk away from their blog with absolutely no explanation. I think that is a shitty thing to do. I think it’s inconsiderate and thoughtless and selfish and RUDE. I think it’s just plain WRONG.”

        You’ve definitely clarified in the comments that you meant this more towards people who left you hanging at crucial moments, but the original post didn’t read that way at all (at least to me), and it unfortunately often incites strong responses to read such strong assertions because people feel attacked on both sides of the fence.

      • What I needed to do was make clear in the first paragraph that I was talking about people who leave for YEARS, not months. I do think I made that clear later in the post but obviously some people didn’t register that, and that is my bad as a writer. I needed to be more clear.

        And honestly, I stand by my original sentiment. If a blogger has participated in continuing dialogue with her readers I think it’s wrong to abandon them with no explanation. If that expectation is guilt or shake inducing or juvenile or whatever else it’s been called then so be it. It’s still what I believe. I know I might be wrong, but I’m not backing down from that belief.

        Thank you for responding in a considerate and measured way. I appreciate it.

  14. I actually do agree with you—I don’t care a bit if a blogger stops blogging, but when they COMPLETELY disappear without notice (not even returning emails, etc…) it seems a bit rude, like a complete disregard for the relationship you may have built, the obvious interest of some readers in their life & well-being. Its like texting and calling and emailing a friend and getting no response, no update, not even a quick “yeah sorry really busy/going through something/need to step away”. Or when someone you consider a friend just MOVES or changes jobs and doesn’t say goodbye. It feels like a slight.
    I don’t think a blogger “owes” it to their readers to keep blogging, or to even give a detailed heartfelt goodbye post, but at least SOME acknowledgement of what I believe is a true interpersonal relationship is appreciated.

  15. Going to keep it short because I whole heartedly disagree. If you invested so much time, energy and support into those blogs that disappear I am curious just how many you went out of your way for to check in via email or another avenue? You said you found 50 ghost blogs and I can’t fathom how there really was a deep connection to all of them. If I’m totally wrong – I apologize but seriously…did you connect? Did you find out if they were ok? I’m betting some were fine and were just sick of blogging and some probably had the rug pulled from them. It just makes zero sense to me how upset you are about this. People blog for a variety of reasons just like people read them for a variety of reasons. If your energy is being wasted on trying to figure out why strangers are done blogging I feel for you. Slim down your reader…find connections that can be real!

    • You are right. I definitely did not have a big connection with most of them. But there were about eight or so that I remember being really worried about when they just stopped writing. Those were the ones that I went back and checked on, and left comments on, and emailed. And those were the ones that it really hurt to never see again. For the rest of them, I just think it’s kind of rude. Clearly some people disagree with me. And that’s fine. I get it.

      • So this is where I’m confused…your post *reads* so heated!! Why?? The 8 that you were genuinely concerned with – I get. The 42 others??? Who cares???!?!? They obviously weren’t invested in blogging anymore and you were not in reading them (as you said you hadn’t realized they were ghosts until just now and some hadn’t posted in a year or more!!). Your post just reads so heated and angry about blogs you admittedly weren’t reading regularly anyways!

      • It’s true that now, years later I had forgotten about a lot of them, but in the months after they just abruptly quit writing I hadn’t forgotten. And seeing the blogs again reminded me of all that waiting and wondering I did. And that is where the heat came from. Mostly it was about those 8 that I really worried about. That sucked. A lot. And I feel like I have a right to be upset about that. If you don’t agree that is fine. We can agree to disagree.

  16. Wow, the comments here were a bit, um, just wow. I actually agree with you. I don’t have a problem with telling us you’re walking away or reducing your output to occasional, but it makes me uneasy and curious when people just disappear too. And there were blogs where I felt a real connection to the author but for one reason or another, they were not relationships that made it to another form of social media. They may not have an email address on their site. I may not know their real name. There may be no way to contact them other than a comment on an old post (which I have done many times.) I guess it boils down to: I CARED, damn it!

  17. Wow, I guess I didn’t even realize this was such a heated topic. I can understand your thinking. If you’re blogging, you have a specific audience in mind. If you don’t want to “owe” your audience anything and just walk away with no explanation, why don’t you just buy a good old-fashioned diary and write for yourself? Maybe that’s what J should do 😉 Of course the readers of a blog become personally connected to your story. Isn’t that the point?

  18. Wow. Surprised at the vitriol here. I am probably one of the few people who have commented who is not a blogger. I do read a lot of blogs, and I think when people decide to publicly blog, they know/think/expect/want that people will read and follow their story. Especially when it comes to IF blogs, where readers are often on pins and needles with you, I therefore do agree that it is somewhat careless and rude to not at least spend 5 min giving an update before you sign off. I don’t think E was saying you have a duty to keep blogging. But I don’t think it’s asking too much, especially when you consciously decide to publicly blog (if you did not want readers why not just type a private diary on your computer) to give a quick update and goodbye.

  19. Wow! I read this in my email this morning and then chose to come back later to comment. You started a little shit -storm, E. But… I’m not surprised. I knew it would bring forth these comments, and I’m not surprised to see the audience.

    I agree 100% that it sucks when someone just disappears. I have seen this time and time again, so it doesn’t upset me so much anymore. But the first time it happened, I was very upset and worried about the person. Heck, I just went back to her blog last week to see if maybe my reader missed an update – but nope. And I get it, life happens, or someone gets hurt, or someone takes something so personally that they “just can’t” anymore… I get it. But I also get that the people who supported you for so long would like to hear that you’re ok.

    These comments got so damn personal, I’m surprised you’re not closing up shop because you “just can’t.”. I’m glad you’re the brave woman you are who puts her words out there so courageously, even if they offend once in a while. I’ve learned with age that you can’t please everyone, and someone’s bound to get upset by the words you probably carefully selected to convey your message.

    Onward and upward.

    And I promise to never leave you hanging!

  20. I think the question some of these (very!) angry people need to ask themselves is, if no one ever commented on one of their posts, if no one ever said, “I’m so sorry” over a negative test or, “Congrats!” to a pregnancy, or added a meaningful thought or advice or word of commiseration, would they blog? I imagine the answer is no. It’s just as Krista said, if we wanted to write solely for ourselves, we could all buy a journal or type into a word doc in a file marked PRIVATE. Once you admit that comments are an integral part of blogging, you’ve admitted that starting a blog (and yes, at the risk of “guilt mongering”, especially an IF blog, where people tend to get so intimately involved with each other’s stories) is, in essence, a conversation. If you hung up the phone or walked away mid-way through a real life conversation, it would be rude, right? I don’t think blogging is all that different. I totally agree with you, Esperanza; once someone invites people to interact with them via a blog, they’ve started a conversation, and when they drop that conversation without warning (while of course that’s their prerogative) it seems silly to go into a state of high dudgeon because it’s suggested they hung up without saying goodbye.

      • That’s what I was thinking. I get people don’t want to blog that’s fine but if you’ve invited me to your world and we’ve shared imaginary glasses of wine as we celebrate and commiserate to simply shut down, walk away without a goodbye (and this excludes those that do) then to be honest it’s just rude.

    • I hear what you are saying here but imagine if 8 of the 50 blogs that E is referring to had something just absolutely HORRIBLE happen in their lives and they just couldn’t fathom coming back to a space where they had bared their souls. It’s entirely possible that *that* happens and could very well have happened her with the blogs she is referring to. The angry commenters here are pretty justified in being angry given the heated post that E has written. Who are we to judge why people stop writing? Life happens and how we chose to deal and move on is up to us.

      • I don’t want to get into a whole tit-for-tat comment war on another person’s blog, all I will say is this: It’s crazy to say we can’t or shouldn’t make judgements about things in the world as we experience them; it’s part of life. And frankly, if that’s really how you feel, your presence in this particular conversation makes no sense. Who are you to judge what Esperanza, or anyone else, says on their blog? Same logic.

  21. it seems like you make a deeper connection than the people writing the blogs. If it was a valued reciprocal relationship, it would continue over/spill into real-life, not just comments on a screen.
    It’s a virtual support group, take it for what it is. If people left and left you hanging, then you simply weren’t important enough to update on.
    The people who do are the ones you have a more than superficial connection with, its like that in all aspects of life, just the way things are.

  22. As a blogger who has not posted in 6 months let me defend myself:
    1. My life turned into a broken fucking record. Like I could not write we lost another baby One. More. Time. But we did. And it was a surprise pregnancy and there were so many superstitious this one will totes work out! moments. But it didn’t. As usual.
    2. We went to an ivf dr and they were like tests tests tests, huh. You guys are completely healthy. Where do I go from there? Anything I blog makes it Real. Forces me to analyze there’s NO EFFIN REASON to have lost all these babies. And to accept G may be my one and only. Which makes me feel like that corner over there is calling me to curl up in it to weep forever.
    3. G STOPPED NAPPING. Which one would think would add hours to our day. IT DOESN’T. Now anything I do all day long is taking quality time away from my daughter. Because she’s there, in front of me, in her glorious current self, who she will not be tomorrow, begging for me to help her form new neuro pathways in that awesome brain of hers.

    As someone who has blogged for 9 years, I realize my posting has it’s ebbs and flows. When I was pregnant and G was a newborn, I didn’t post much at all. I then received a comment about how much someone loved reading my posts! If only I would post more! Making me realize the opportunity I had, to do something I enjoyed so much, that people actually wanted to read my words. So I posted regularly. And then I dried up. I’m lucky if I can post a Facebook status. I just don’t have it in me.

    However.

    G is starting kindergarten. Maybe I will have some free time? Maybe I will unostrich my head from the sand and address real issues in my life?

    My point is, it has never been my intention to abandon my blog. It’s just something I’ve had to put on the back burner for now. I will return.

    And I agree, I miss the majority of the first group of bloggers that drew me into this world so much. There’s not many of them left.

    • I don’t know if I made it clear in my post, but I think it’s different when someone gradually stops posting. It’s not like you were posting daily and then suddenly, BAM! And you weren’t around anywhere. Not posting. Not commenting. You posted here and there for a while, then stopped for a long while. You still commented. You were around, if sparsely. And it wasn’t like, Hey! I’m pregnant again! And then… crickets… And then I emailed you and you never responded.

      Do you see the difference? I totally get that some people just don’t want to write, or can’t, for whatever reason. i’m not trying to guilt anyone into writing when they don’t want to. But can I ask you, do you feel like I’m guilting you when I say, honestly, that I miss your writing because you are a kick ass writer and I love to hear what you have to say? (ALL TRUE.) Is that guilt mongering, in your eyes? I honestly want to know. If you feel like shaming or guilt-tripping, I will shift me thinking on this, because clearly it’s more important how others who have stopped blogging feel when I say that, than how I feel when I say that.

      • No, no, no. I feel like the guilt is all mine, not that I owe my readers something, more like I owe myself something.

        I honestly get a lot of joy from writing, and I miss it when I don’t. My current life is the exact opposite of intellectually stimulating, so writing does fill in some pretty important gaps in the neuro pathway department. Also, I’m kinda shit at addressing the glaring issues in my life, blogging did help me in that department, so it sucks for my mental health I’ve stopped.

        My comment was just meant to illustrate how quickly 1 month of not writing can inexplicably morph into holy shit it’s been forever. I had no intention to stop writing, so I didn’t post a ‘crickets shall be chirping here’ post, it just fucking happened. And I’M not ok with it so why the fuck should you be?!

        I get your point of view, I have a plethora of blogs still in my reader that have been YEARS untouched because I do have a vested interest in how their story might end. What if they do that final post? I need to know.

  23. Hmmm…this very weird! I actually came back to blog land after almost a year! I had stopped reading blogs…it had become way too painful for me. And with time, I kinda forgot about my blog! I made it private and forgot all about it! If it hadnt been the guys at work asking for my blog url, I might have stayed away for good! But I am glad to be back. I get what you are saying. I used to feel bad when people stopped blogging all of a sudden but I never took it personally. Life is tough as it is, why make it tougher?

  24. I randomly read this post early yesterday (before the comment section imploded) and agree with it so much that it made me add you to my reader. I made my blog private suddenly last fall and when I reopened it I actually wrote, “I always said I would never be one of those bloggers who simply disappeared, because I believe that we do make true connections online and we do have a certain level of responsibility to the friendships we’ve cultivated.” I very much like the comparison someone made to a blog being a conversation and someone just walking away in the middle. Of COURSE sometimes that person might have suddenly gotten some terrible news that rendered her incapable of thinking about anything else, but more often I think there probably IS time at least for a quick note of departure. And while clearly we don’t all have to agree on this point, I personally believe we have a responsibility to our readers as well.

  25. Hi E

    As you know I returned to blogging more regularly two weeks ago when my son had a life- threatening/changing accident. Let me back up. I began blogging 2008 after I took a sabbatical and have been a year into dealing with infertility. I found Mel’s blogroll and never really looked back. I met friends initially then that are still my good blog friends now in fact I should just call them friends. One of those friends, a woman named Eden writes a blog in Australia. She wrote a blog about my son and comments just flooded into my blog. The best of what blogging can do. Selfless, supportive, loving, so full of intention of goodness. I have almost stopped blogging a number of times… When Zoe was born and was just too much, after my best friend died of breast cancer… But I always come to the space. Partly because I’m a writer but partly just because there are people in the computer who I love. I still think about people who’ve dropped off the page. I do remember wondering and worrying about some but I’ve had the advantage of never having someone who I was emotionally invested in leave without comment. I would certainly worry then. I remember a blog I love written by Niobe called dead baby jokes. She had the best exit ever announcing her departure and as far as I know she never came back. I do think there is more of a social reciprocity involved in blogging… And the best and most successful blogs do… The writers comment on the comments left maybe there’s communication beyond that. I have never been great at that. Maybe my introverted nature?

    Sorry for all the mean comments here. That just sucks.

    Xo

    Pam

  26. some strong opinions! i find it frustrating when a blog suddenly stops, or suddenly goes private. a lot of times i have been lurking, so don’t have the connection directly, and don’t have contact details.

    and when all the posts are deleted, and there is nothing but an empty shell- sad, but not as sad as the ones where the domain name has been taken over.

    thank you for expressing this frustration. There is hurt and frustration on both sides

  27. What a brouhaha in the comments here!

    I can see both sides: a) people deserve their privacy and shouldn’t blog if they don’t want to (or won’t or can’t or whatever) obviously and b) It’s true that in the 8 cases you describe, that’s disturbing. I remember one blogger wrote about self-destructive thoughts then disappeared. It made me feel responsible somehow for the blogger’s safety and I couldn’t reach them via email. It reminded me of that famous murder case where neighbors could hear a woman screaming, being attacked, but did nothing. Particularly in this community, lines can be blurred and such personal details are shared. So it is fair to wonder where responsibility lies, as a reader and a writer.

    I think your post read as a rant about this topic in general, not specifying anyone in specific. I do wonder why people got so personal (implying you need to go get some friends – ouch!) I don’t know, everyone has their triggers.

    To me, a blogging culture where questioning or debating things isn’t allowed is more destructive than one where things that may feel uncomfortable are discussed. Obviously, some bloggers want to be a part of a community that only offers unqualified support and a hands-off relationship (and I think this is true across all blogging channels – not just here). And they have been able to establish these places, it seems from comments here. So why come back to a place they don’t want to be and get so angry? That’s what truly has perplexed me about this whole thing.

  28. What stands out to me, as a sometime reader of this blog (and others), is that it’s all about your reaction, not what may be happening in the life of the other person blogging. Years ago I had a private blog that I updated regularly, to keep my distant family and friends abreast of what was happening in our lives, especially with our son. I stopped very abruptly after several members of my family were killed. Some of the people who followed my blog knew that, but many didn’t, and the idea that somehow it would have been my obligation to come back and say “oh my gosh–I’d love to keep blogging but Name and her family were killed in a horrific accident, so see you later!” is offensive at the deepest level. Sometimes things happen that for whatever reason are not compatible with updating or continuing, and it sounds like your issues with that have a lot more to do with you than they do the other person–“but I (!) need to know they’re okay!” And if they’re not? Does that help? It comes across as very needy and self-centered to me. People share what they choose, and they owe nothing.

  29. Pingback: So, that was unexpected…. | Weathering Storms

  30. Yes yes definitely. I read, Pray and check blogs. I don’t fit in anywhere. I’m 45, HFA, Adopted daughter with RAD, Who is now 25. Been reading blogs since this blogging movement started and everyone went poof. I’m still mostly bed ridden, and feel like my world was flipped over. All the infertility blogs I read disapear once baby is home. Makes me soooo sad. I gotta start reading you, your referenced a bit on 2 of my reads. Rain and Elizabeth.everything they suggest of yours I love.

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