And Jesus Would Say: Never Unfollow Someone Just Because They Unfollowed You

Sarah pointed me to an article in Wired that pretty much sums up my philosophy on life.

Or, at the very least, the point I’ve been trying to make in an ongoing argument with Avitable recently.*

The entire article is a long list of new rules of behavior for “highly evolved humans” – aka, people living in the age of Twitter and Facebook and Electricity.  It contains words of wisdom like “Don’t Lie With Your Facebook Photo” and “Meet Online Friends in the Real World“.  You know, real cutting edge, life changing stuff.

But I’m not here to regurgitate the list to you.  That’s what hyperlinking is for.

No, I am here to tell you how to not be an asshole at life.

Namely:

“Never Unfollow Someone Just Because They Unfollowed You”

(That, by the way, is a twitter reference.)

Adam and I have been discussing lately why we befriend people, why we read blogs, etc. etc. etc. My answers are varied and mature and include things like “because I learn a lot from them” or “they are inspiring” or “they are funny” or “I love their writing” or “I love their heart”. Things like that.

His answer is, basically, “they like me/read me/stroke my ego in some form.”**

**I may be paraphrasing this a little.  It might be that he suggested this was one of the reasons he makes friends, but not the only reason.  Or that he didn’t use the term ‘stroke my ego’ specifically.  But I contend that his insistence that ‘investing time in people who don’t like you is stupid’ gives me creative license to quote him however I want.

My next response is generally something about him being an asshole and lacking a soul and me being clearly more evolved than he is.

Unfortunately, I’ve found that Adam’s attitude about measuring someone’s worth based on how they affect his worth is actually indicative of fairly common thinking.  The first time I remember encountering it was when I was 18 years old and talking to my then-ex-boyfriend-and-soon-to-be-baby-daddy’s current girlfriend.

They were fighting and I, in true martyr fashion, was trying to help him smooth things over and win her back.  Because I wanted him to be happy, and he was just sure in that moment that having her would make him happy.  (Please include this story on any future recommendation letters for my sainthood.)

“Why do you love him?” I asked.

“Umm… well… I know he really likes me,” she answered.

“Obviously.  And?”

“Well, he loves me.  I like that.”

Final answer.

My head nearly exploded and it took everything I had in my 18 year old body not to throttle the both of them right then and there.  Instead, I sucked it up and reminded her of all the other things about him that were awesome and had nothing to do with her that she surely knew and was just having trouble remembering at time.  Right?!?!

That conversation I had on a dingy covered porch of an old farm house in the middle of nowhere immediately rooted itself into my memories and my own moral code.  People are worth more than what they can do for you. They are more than how they make you feel.  And they are much, much more than how they feel about you.

It’s the same thing with blogs.

I read blogs based on the content, or something I see in the blogger – not based on whether or not they read and comment on my blog.  Adam?  Doesn’t read blogs by people who never comment on his site.

Because he is an egotistical prick, mainly.

(Who I love, still, somehow.  Because I probably need my head examined.)

I don’t understand this way of thinking.  At all.

If I like you, it’s because of who you are. That is not automatically connected with how you feel about me.

Granted, if you are an asshole to me, I might decide that who you are is not so awesome.  But that has more to do with your behavior and how you treat people than the fact that “well, fine!  If you don’t like me, then I don’t like you!”

Are we really all that self centered?  Does everything have to begin and end with ourselves?  Are we really that incapable of appreciating the value of another human being without immediately having to wrap it up in something having to do with us?

God, I hope not.

Because if so, you’re missing out on a lot.  There are a lot of really amazing people out there who have no clue that I exist.  There are a lot of amazing people out there who totally know that I exist and just – for whatever reason – don’t “get me”.  Or like me.  Or whatever.  But that doesn’t mean that I can’t still appreciate them all on their own, even if they never know about it.

The ironic thing is, what you’re missing out on is what those people can offer you. Whether it’s perspective or inspiration or simple entertainment, there are so many gifts that people who might not know or like you can bring to your life.

And on a less happy go-lucky note – choosing your friends based on how well they kiss your ass isn’t exactly the best recipe for surrounding yourself with interesting people. Sure, you might build yourself an impressive entourage.  So the fuck what?  Really?  What the hell are you going to get from an entourage besides a lot of head nodding from people with blank expressions?  You might as well just buy yourself a goddamn Bobble Head doll instead!

And now I have ranted myself out of a point.

Or a conclusion.

Shit.

*But since both Wired and probably Jesus would agree with me, I think I can officially declare this argument WON.

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Comments

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  1. Miss Grace says:

    Get your point, and certainly read bloggers who don’t read/comment on mine, but I get Adam’s side too. And there are blogs I read simply BECAUSE the blogger reads/likes me.

  2. Get out of my frigging head. I *just* sat down to write a very similar post to this and you beat me to it.
    Score: Britt, 1 – Karen, 0.
    Hahaha
    I’m not a bean counter. I comment on blogs I enjoy, I follow people on Twitter that I like or think are interesting. If they don’t read my blog or follow me back, that is perfectly okay. One thing I refuse to be is fakey fake nice nice though. I suck at it. If I like someone, I’m very sincere when I express that. If I don’t, I just ignore them.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Karen Sugarpants, was the post you were going to write all about blogging? Because apparently, that’s what this was. ARGHHH.

      (Sorry, frustrated with my obvious WRITING FAIL).

      “One thing I refuse to be is fakey fake nice nice though. I suck at it. If I like someone, I’m very sincere when I express that. If I don’t, I just ignore them.”

      I’m the same way.

  3. I think y’all have broken your “I can’t think of a topic on which we disagree to discuss on a radio show” spell. And, there you go!

  4. KIm says:

    Britt 2. Kim 0.

    You make a great point. Just because someone doesn’t comment or read me is no reason for me to un or not follow their blog.

    I blog for me. For my sanity. If you read it and like it, yay! If you comment?? DOUBLE TRIPLE OMFG YAY!!

    And I do read alot of blogs….but I have my tops too, sometimes I comment , sometimes I don’t.

    I think it’s personal to us all. And that’s cool. But I think it’s super awesome when a blogger we respect and admire takes a minute or two to comment on what we have written…

    …and Britt, I want to thank you for that. You encourage me more than you will ever know. Adam too, I’m just afraid he might make fun of me…; ) .

    • Miss Britt says:

      @KIm, DOUBLE TRIPLE OMFG YAY.

      Exactly.

      It’s not that it’s not AWESOME when someone you read reciprocates, or someone you admire also seems to admire you, etc. But it’s the BONUS, not the PURPOSE.

  5. Angel Smith says:

    I read LOTS of people who never read me. I hope they stop by at some point, but if not, eh, their loss? Indifference elicits a different reaction than dislike, though. If you actively don’t like me, I’m probably going to avoid you. I’m sensitive, and that is kind of toxic for my emotional health.

    But kissing my ass is not a requirement to be my pal, online or in real life. No one has enough time to kiss this ass, anyway. *snort* Just don’t be a dick.

    • @Angel Smith, I think I’m going to put this on a bumper sticker: Just don’t be a dick. Or maybe on a keychain I can give my ex for his birthday.

      There are a handful of blogs I read because I know the person reads/comments on mine (like, all 7 of them), but I also happen to find the people/blogs interesting. Then again, it’s not like my blogroll is static–I’m adding and deleting people weekly. Because I’m fickle like that.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Angel Smith, I avoid people who actively dislike me as well. Actively disliking me makes me feel like crap about myself – and I don’t need that shit.

      But, yeah, just don’t be a dick and I can probably see you for who YOU are – regardless of what you think of me.

  6. gorillabuns says:

    i admit i’m a lazy bitch. i read and comment when i can (which is quite infrequent because i’m too busy drinking) but only try to read and comment on people i care to read. not because they are popular but because i like they write.

  7. gorillabuns says:

    that would be “the way they write.” i rest my case on the drinking part.

  8. I’m with Britt on this one.

    No, not that Adam is an egotistical prick. (Although, there may be some evidence to support this theory…)

    I agree that life is filled with interesting characters and in particular, blogs, and whether the blogger knows I exist or not, I will still choose to read them if I find them interesting and engaging.

    But I would like it duly noted that I have an entourage of bobble heads on my vehicle’s dashboard. My ego demands somebody in my fucking life agree with me.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Redneck Mommy, I want a picture of this bobble head entourage!

      “I agree that life is filled with interesting characters”

      Amen. That’s my point, in a nutshell.

  9. Summer says:

    You’re definitely the winner here. :) We should want conversations and discussions and relationships, not ass-kissing and yes-men.

  10. Lisa says:

    I’m torn on this issue.

    Reading someone’s blog because they commented (and then commenting in kind) is a nice thing to do… but I think I’d rather have no readers than a bunch of readers who only comment so that I’ll reciprocate.

    It’s like when you go to a blog and see nothing but ‘Omigawd, you’re so awesome!’ comments. Sometimes they’re warranted, but when the readership never has anything else to contribute, you have to wonder.

    I’m awful at commenting, anyway. Even when I have something to say, or I’d simply like to congratulate, I rarely comment.

    Oh, but Twitter? I have something like seven people that I follow knowing full well that they will never follow me back. Everyone else gets unfollowed as they unfollow me – especially spammers.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Lisa, “but I think I’d rather have no readers than a bunch of readers who only comment so that I’ll reciprocate.”

      Me too.

      And I feel like that ESPECIALLY when you’re talking about relationships vs. readers.

  11. Well…you can braid my hair and call me Polyanna, but here’s my point. For me, blogging isn’t as much about literary prowess or intellectual enlightenment as it’s about community.

    Other bloggers (and those that read them) are our neighbors. Some neighbors you know better than your own family. Doors are always open, birthdays are never forgotten. A crisis hits, and you jump in…no questions asked. With other neighbors, we are content to peer through the fences and over the hedges, giving a smile and a wave…friendly enough, but far from intimate. Some people, we just can’t stand. They are the annoying pariahs who have junk piled on their front lawns, but you can’t see it because their grass hasn’t been moved in months.

    Somewhere in this rambling metaphor is my point. We all don’t have to be best friends. Hell, we don’t even have to like each other or agree. But I value every person that visits my blog, whether they comment or not, because they took the time to look. I value every blog that I read because they took the time to share something of themselves. They are all gifts.

    Some gifts are more functional than others, but function doesn’t always determine value.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas, I like that metaphor. :-)

      And for me, the neighbors who end up being like family, are usually the ones that I love, respect and admire – even if they CONSTANTLY refuse to agree with me.

  12. We seem to be in a society that thrives on the stroked ego … hence reality shows, bloggy bling, who has the most Twitter followers. Writing is about how you can touch the soul of your readers. Blogging is a fast way of making that impact in a much faster turn around than a book without a real connected theme. We all blog for our own reasons so we can’t always touch all of our readers at the same time. I don’t follow or read to stroke ego, but simply out of curiosity and I find the blogs and tweeple who fascinate me, make me think, and make me fall in love with them.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Red Lotus Mama, that’s me, too.

      I’m curious – do you do the same thing offline?

      • @Miss Britt, I believe I am, especially at this time in my life. My divorce has shown me a lot about my time invested in people, about false adoration, and loyalty. The one thing about in real life friendship is that there a slight ego stroking, but a real friendship doesn’t require the stroking in return. I believe that life is too short, so why fill it with frivolous friendships … fill it with meaningful and passionate relationships.

  13. Well I read people who don’t read or follow me too. Geez I wonder why?

    I read and follow people because they interest me, and not always in a “you’re going to be the next entry” kind of way either.

    P.S. I agree with Karen she doesn’t hold back any punches, when I step down I think she could take over my spot.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Chicken Liver, well except for the “I just ignore them” part. That might not do well for your spot. LOL

      I’m curious – do you ever wonder if people follow back, email, befriend you or WHATEVER simply because they are afraid of being the next entry if you don’t like them?

      • @Miss Britt,
        I’m sure some of them do, the majority not. I’m sure they’re curious about me too. Honestly I get a lot of really positive, encouraging, I’m your fan but I can’t say it out in the open emails.
        Hey is that why you………

  14. best quote ever: “choosing your friends based on how well they kiss your ass isn’t exactly the best recipe for surrounding yourself with interesting people”

    Also, most of the blogs I read are people that probably do not read my blog. Some blogs I read because I hope that if I click over to them via twitter, they will finally quit spamming the shit out of me with the same link over and over. You know, the people who post the same link to the same post every hour on the hour. That’s best way to get me to NOT read a blog.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Amanda of Shamelessly Sassy, people do that? I mean – my twitter stream updates when I post, and I actually read a TON of blogs that way via Twitter. But CONSTANTLY? Ugh.

      • @Miss Britt,
        Yes, constantly. The worst part of it is that the two people that do this are the sort that would send you personal emails and ring up your phone, if they had the number, in order to ask why you unfollowed.
        On a different note, I meant to add that my husband sort of picks his friends in the ‘do they benefit me?’ manner. Granted he has friends from his youth that are around that do not necessarily benefit him. However, when picking new friends, I feel like he loves to find people that will kiss his ass and/or worship his immense knowledge of sports, furniture,antiques and real estate. He sees nothing wrong with it. It’s a frequently discussed topic in our house.

  15. Sarah says:

    I read everyone’s blog who comments on my blog. But that’s simply because you all have (for the most part) come to my blog because I comment on your blog. It’s an interesting little circle.

    But there are blogs out there that I read and they have no idea I exist, which is fine too.

    I really don’t know where I was going with this.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Sarah, it makes sense that you’ll naturally end up reading the blogs of people who comment on yours. You know they exist.

      But if that’s the MAIN reason you seek someone out – that’s what I have a problem with, I guess.

  16. I will usually unfollow people on Twitter who unfollow me. (This is for Twitter, not blogs. I read lots of blogs by people who never read mine.) And here’s why: when I get a follow notice I click over to the person’s profile, read some of their Tweets, and figure out if I think they either a spammer or insane. In either of those cases I do not want to give them the ability to send me a Direct Message. But apart from those cases I’m not overly discriminating in who I’ll follow back.

    I do a lot of interacting on Twitter via Direct Message. And because I got sick of sending DMs to people and then finding out I wasn’t following them back so they couldn’t reply and feeling like a total dick about it, I decided to follow just about everyone back. This means that I’m not following most people in order to keep up with their Tweets. I’ll catch them every now and then in the “All” column on Tweetdeck, but the point is DMs. If I find out that someone has unfollowed me I have no interest in diluting that All stream more than it already is with updates from people I was only following as a courtesy anyway. I don’t unfollow spitefully. I just don’t follow that deliberately in the first place.

    So yeah, I understand the sentiment to not be spiteful. And that makes sense if you are following someone because you are interested in their updates more than just casually; if you unfollow them you are making a bigger decision than I am.

  17. Robin says:

    I read people because they interest me…it’s as simple as that. And to be honest, most of the people I read DON’T read me on a daily basis….and I am alright with that too. I have been lucky enough to meet most of the people behind the blogs I love to read, and a small few of those have become my friends….that’s the biggest bonus (and best part, IMO).

    I blog for myself….it’s my little corner in this huge world where I can truly be myself and love every minute of it. I am just happy that someone cares enough to read it. I think if we cared less about ego and more about community, the PRB would be a better place than it already is.

  18. Faiqa says:

    I agree with you. Big surprise.

    HOWEVER, although not the most important factor, a big consideration as to whether or not I like someone has a lot to do with whether or not they like me. Because I like smart people. And people who DON’T like me? Are obviously idiots.

    I further suggest that the same (that people who don’t like you are idiots) holds true for you.

  19. califmom says:

    I believe what Adam is engaging in is called a circle jerk. While I support and participate in the practice of reciprocity in reading the blogs of one’s loyal followers, limiting oneself to reading solely those bloggers who blow smoke up one’s ass might result in an emperor sans clothes.

  20. avitable says:

    It’s not that I refuse to read someone’s blog if they don’t read me. It’s just that I would rather grow the community of people I know through blogging by focusing on people who already know me to some extent by reading my blog, and I don’t have the time to go seek out brand new blogs written by people who don’t read me when I have new blogs presented to me every day by people who took a minute to comment.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @avitable, I cannot believe YOU of all people commented solely on the blogging aspect of this post.

      Fucker.

      • avitable says:

        @Miss Britt, if you want me to comment on the friendship aspect of it, it’s a rather boring comment.

        I agree with you. Friendships that begin solely on the fact that someone likes me are not exactly healthy friendships. Can they occasionally grow into a normal, healthy one? Yeah, but it’s very unlikely.

        I do have friendships that aren’t healthy. Everyone does. But all of my true friendships – my deep, trust with my life, tell my secrets to, friendships – those are based on an appreciation for who that person is.

        And I still think it’s a waste of time to invest time in people who don’t like you. Not in people who are indifferent towards or unaware of you. But investing time in people who do NOT like you? I’d rather make the world a better place and share the love with people who actually like me.

        • Miss Britt says:

          @avitable, I think you and I see “investing time” differently.

          Or rather, I think you hear me say “appreciate someone” and in your head it’s “investing time – chasing them around trying to get them to like me.”

          And…

          “I’d rather make the world a better place and share the love with people who actually like me.”

          Are you taking medication this morning?

  21. Kelley says:

    After I had a medical issue in March I couldn’t comment on blogs as much as I used to. I found that quite a few of my commenters dropped off the radar and even DELETED me from their blogrolls. They were just commenting for the comment back.

    Meh. Whatever. Glad to see the back of them.

    I read many blogs that I know don’t read mine for whatever reason (usually my potty mouth) and I comment when I feel the desire.
    THAT is the way the internet should work. Not you scratch my back I will link to you shit.

  22. seeing as how i didn’t have a blog for years and just read because some of you guys are better than a book, imma have to say that i read who i read because i enjoy them. seems i am all selfish like that!

    (although adam’s comment made a bunch of sense to me. maybe it is way too early to be commenting.)

    • Just Me says:

      @hello haha narf, Thats me too…I don’t have a blog but I have blogs (like britt and adam) that I read daily because I like their writing.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @hello haha narf, actually, when Adam and I were having this discussion (and later when my mom and I discussed this today) – there is a SPECIFIC example involving you that I mentioned.

      I have so much respect for your ability to see & appreciate people for what they are – regardless of how they feel about you.

  23. SciFi Dad says:

    I don’t use twitter, so I cannot speak for the follow/unfollow thing. However, with blogging, I will say that I am more likely to follow Adam’s approach (as stated in his comment, not how you presented it in your post). There are some bloggers I read/comment on that rarely if ever comment at my site (case in point: the both of you), but a lot of my google reader is filled with people in “my” community or my circle.

    I have, in the past, stopped reading people when they stopped commenting at my site. However, in those cases, I had only added them in the first place because they started commenting at my site regularly and I wanted to reciprocate (or build my community).

    • Miss Britt says:

      @SciFi Dad, “However, in those cases, I had only added them in the first place because they started commenting at my site regularly” – and I think that’s what happens. You find that if the most interesting thing about someone is how they feel about you, treat you, respond to you, etc. – that can only hold your attention for so long.

  24. Hallie says:

    Love that you addressed this. I’ve seen it happen. And taking it a step farther…a blogger that I may have read only once before, took it upon herself to write a nice post about my fundraiser…why I was doing it, my Dad and his new heart, how great it was, etc. I had no idea she did this because I don’t really read her.

    Got a very nasty comment from her about 3 days later informing me how rude I am for not publicly thanking her for doing so!

    I was blown away. It was charitable of her to write about it but isn’t the definition of charity that you don’t expect anything in return??

    And yes, she defriended me.

    Hallie

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Hallie, DaaaaaaYUM!

      • nakedjen says:

        @Hallie,

        I’ve seen this happen over and over again. It really makes me so sad and I’m sorry that it happened to you.

        Again, I believe that we should live our lives online with the same decorum we would off line. Would that same blogger have created a lovely poster for your fundraiser and put it up all over town out of the goodness of her heart? Probably not.

        My question is always, “Why are these folks willing to jump in for strangers on the Internet when they won’t even help their own next door neighbors?”

        And, yes, I do know that we create lovely relationships with folks across the globe because of our online communities.

        Still, it’s a conundrum for me (or a really interesting sociological study) as to the willingness of people to “give” online when the very same people will slam the door in your face should you actually truly knock.

        I know as a society, and as humans, we want nothing more than to be loved and appreciated. However, we should remember that we are, at the end of the day, not the persona we have created for ourselves through the keys of our computers. We are real people, with real lives, hearts, souls.

        And because the coffee burned my mouth and I’m not exactly truly awake yet, I have no idea where the actual THOUGHT behind this went?

        Just remember citizens of the Internet. You are all human beings first, then you are your blogs and blog traffic and followers does not necessarily equal love and adoration.

  25. whall says:

    It makes him happy, and noone gets hurt in the process. Win win.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @whall, I would argue that people do get hurt in the process, actually.

      Not necessarily if we’re talking strictly about blogging. But friendships and relationships in general.

  26. Robin says:

    So, what I really want to know is, is it okay to un-follow someone who doesn’t follow you back and never has? Ever. The jerk.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Robin, OF COURSE!

      (Wait a minute – do I follow you? LOL)

      I think if someone is constantly ignoring you and you don’t feel like you’re getting ANYTHING from the interaction, it makes sense not to continually invest in the exchange.

      BUT – my point is that in some cases what you “get out of it” might be a lot more than simple reciprocation.

  27. “I was trying to make a point here”-FAIL aside, great post. ;) The value of a relationship should never be based on the masturbation of one’s own ego.

  28. steen says:

    Ahhh, conditional love. :D

    • Miss Britt says:

      @steen, YES! EXACTLY! That’s what it is!

      • Robin says:

        Conditional love – exactly. I’ve realized over the last couple of years that I have too many relationships in my life that hurt me because of that conditional nature. And then, too, there’s a lot to be said for quality over quantity – in friendships as well as blogging.

  29. Robin says:

    People are worth more than what they can do for you. They are more than how they make you feel. And they are much, much more than how they feel about you.

    Yes, I do try to remind myself of that. I try not to comment on blogs just because I feel I should but only when I have something to say. It’s frustrating though to feel nobody cares what you have to say, when you get only a comment or 2 and others get a lot, but then my self-esteem is at an alltime low (ok not as low as maybe when I was 15 but you know). It’s hard sometimes also giving another blogger attention, commenting and they never even seem to bother looking in your direction. It seems kind of like having a face to face conversation with someone and instead of them saying something back they just walk away. Maybe just maybe, I need a break lol.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Robin, “It’s frustrating though to feel nobody cares what you have to say”

      Of course it is. And, I would argue, that is actually a completely separate issue. Maybe. Although maybe it’s easy for me to say – online or off – hey, it’s OK if you don’t know I exist or like me, because I already HAVE a great support system to draw from.

      Hm.

      I have to think about this.

      • Robin says:

        @Miss Britt, Well I think maybe I’m just in a different place than others. I’ve had a pretty good following before but it’s dwindled for whatever reason. I still will write for myself and probably should not push to write everyday anymore but I think I feel this need to because that’s how I’ve always had the greatest energy online. I haven’t been able to meet too many people because not many I know live near me. I don’t have the luxery (no offense, you deserve it) of having so many friends around. I have a few really amazing online friends though that I cherrish. Maybe I’m just coming to a cross in the roads. It just makes you lose steam if you make your way around other blogs everyday and get little in return. I know it’s not about comments, I don’t care about that, it’s about making connections. I’m in a place in my life where I’m unsure of a lot of my real life friends so the online thing has been really important to me.

        • Miss Britt says:

          @Robin, I actually do understand what you’re going through. I’ve been at those points in my life, too.

          It’s horrible to feel like no one hears you or cares or that you’re giving way more than you’re receiving in life.

          I’m sorry you’re at this point right now, babe. :-(

          • Robin says:

            “It’s horrible to feel like no one hears you or cares or that you’re giving way more than you’re receiving in life.”

            Ugh. Exactly.

            -Another Robin feeling much the same way

          • Robin says:

            @Robin, another Robin feeling the same way, that’s some wicked coolness.

  30. nakedjen says:

    This quote: People are worth more than what they can do for you. They are more than how they make you feel. And they are much, much more than how they feel about you.

    Beautiful. I do think this goes far beyond blogs and twitter and the Internet. This is about life, honestly.

    I have over 1,000 blogs in my blog reader. I know without a doubt that the majority of those amazing writers have never even heard of me. And that’s totally okay.

    I really do try to live my life online exactly as I live my life in real life. I love people. All kinds of people. And I really do find folks who are so far from my life’s experience the most interesting because I feel I can expand my small brain by sharing their world.

    My blog is my therapy. My twitter feed is my entertainment. If you want to follow me, fantastic. I am really happy and feel blessed that you’d care enough to do so. But guess what? I’ll keep writing naked no matter who shows up because words are also some of my best friends.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @nakedjen, I want to hump your naked leg right now for this validation and affirmation of what I was trying to say. LOL

      “I love people. All kinds of people.”

      That’s really the heart of it for me.

    • @nakedjen,
      i tried to leave a comment on your site, but the fucker hates me. as does typepad. know that i am reading and have lots of comments regarding your posts, but just can’t comment as i am somehow blocked.

      • nakedjen says:

        @hello haha narf,
        a lot of people have issues with typepad. i’m so sorry. you can always email me directly. i really do read all my email. and i reply!

  31. I agree with you on this (as I often do).

  32. Nenette says:

    Okay, talking strictly twitter, I follow people I know and like, regardless of whether or not they follow me back. But I do get a little sad when my follow count goes down. Then I get weird and obsessive and check if it’s someone who I’m still following. If it is, I still think long and hard if I should unfollow, because I approach Twitter as more of a place to have conversation, not just to tell people what I’m doing. If not, I don’t feel as bad.
    Now I feel bad about not feeling bad. :)

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Nenette, I think the MAJORITY of what I’m doing on Twitter is conversation.

      Just like the MAJORITY of my relationships are a two way street.

      But not exclusively. Naturally, yes. But that’s not what brings me or, necessarily, keeps me there.

  33. I’ve never quite understood the logic of liking/loving someone simply because they feel that way about you. Especially in the dating world- I mean, do they interest you, do you have anything in common? It’s just kind of doomed to fail you know?

    Although admittedly, something like that is bound to at least make you notice a person that perhaps you wouldn’t have before.

    As for blogging? I don’t think it’s THAT prevalent ( And looking at it from Adam’s point of view, perhaps he is really generous in taking the time to read everyone who reads him).

    I mean I have people that I would LOVE to have read my blog, but they just don’t. And I’ve tried to read people who comment at my blog often, but if I just can’t relate to them I simply give it up as a lost cause…

    xo

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Princess of the Universe, EXACTLY in the dating world. Because one day that person wakes up and goes – hey, wait a minute, do you know ANYTHING about me except for how I feel about you?

  34. Finn says:

    As you so aptly pointed out, “The ironic thing is, what you’re missing out on is what those people can offer you.”

    Yes, it’s selfish and self-centered, but in the end it’s what we do. We gather people around us who have something to offer us, even if it’s just comfortable companionship.

    If someone has nothing to offer me they usually end up just taking from me — even if it’s just energy.

    But.

    People can offer you something quite unintentionally and without their knowledge. That’s no less important. It’s probably one of the reasons that celebrities exist. Of course that’s not a relationship but that can be a good thing.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Finn, “People can offer you something quite unintentionally and without their knowledge. That’s no less important.”

      Yes, I guess that was my point. That people have more to offer than their loyalty to you. Or something.

  35. Margo says:

    as far as social and business etiquette, blogs and twitter etc. are so new, that there is no absolute right or wrong way to handle things. It seems to me that as with everything else in life when we’re in contact with new, unique individuals to remember we’re all bringing ourselves, with our own way of doing or looking at things that seems perfectly fine to us. This is a given, as is the fact that we all have egos. This is why for my own sanity I’ve learned to always remember that NOTHING is personal – it’s just where the other person is coming from – their crap. and clearly (and unfortunately?) the golden rule means different things from one person to the next.. even though I always have the feeling I’m the oldest person on the interwebs, if I forget this for a second, I go all eighth grade on myself. Could babble longer, but I’ll spare you. Thanks for a provocative post :) (first time commenter, a twitter follower)

    • Nanna says:

      @Margo, this is really really good

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Margo, soooo.. I shouldn’t let it bother me when I see my friends do this, then? :-)

      • Margo says:

        @Miss Britt, I think it’s okay to have it bother you by choice – if no one speaks up, those who appear to have been raised by wolves will take over the world…just for your own sake, not to take it personally – to “let” it bother you… because people handling things in different styles is inevitable. There’s a subtlety in there somewhere.

        I’d also say it depends on how good of a friend a hypothetical friend is as far as expecting a certain behavior… “Friend” doesn’t mean the same thing to everybody… my daughters have a 800 of them on Facebook, where I can count the real, lifelong ones I’ve had so far in my life on my fingers and toes.

  36. perpstu says:

    I have found that many of the bloggers I read daily are also people I follow on Twitter. It adds another aspect to the relationship. Do I read blogs of people who soley read and comment on mine? No.

    I can see my stats and there are oodles of people who read everyday but don’t comment and that’s fine with me. I put my shit out there for fun and my own amusement.

    I had a comment that I deleted from someone the other day bitching about how I don’t comment on their blog. I don’t like their blog so why would I bother to read and comment? Whatev, more room for my fun friends!

  37. Amen and Hallelujah!

    I have something like 180 blogs in my reader, and according to a google search I have about 32 subscribers to my blog. Clearly, I’m reading a LOT more than I’m being read. And thats perfectly fine with me!

    I will say that most of the blogs I read, I’ve never commented on, and I’m trying to change that. Trying to get better about having conversations, rather than just reading someone’s words.

    (See this de-lurking comment? that would be my latest atempt!)

    • Miss Britt says:

      @IdleMindOfBeth, HI and YAY for de-lurking.

      I think there are a lot of places I go where I’m just kind of there in the audience. And I’m cool with that. And then there are other places where it’s more important to me to actually BE in the conversation.

      Online or off.

      • @Miss Britt, I agree, there are those places that I’m just another audience member.

        But, I know how good *I* feel when someone pipes up that they’ve been reading, and something spoke to them enough to comment. So, I’m trying to get better about doing the same.

        As far as following because I’m followed (or the “un” to both sides of that equation), that’s crap. I dont have to like you just cuz you like me, and you don’t have to like me just cuz I like you.

        Who’s got time to keep score like that?

  38. Nanna says:

    Hmmmm. I’ve been thinking about this since we talked.

    I definitely read way more people than read me, because I don’t post very often, and because there are some amazingly gifted people out there who will never know I exist. Like Barak Obama for instance. :)

    But IRL there are definitely people that I really like and admire and WISH I could be friends with, who obviously have no interest in befriending me, for whatever reason. And truth to tell, I probably don’t have the time to nurture deep friendships at this point in my life.

    There is one person in my life currently who HATES me, and I have no idea why. I was interested in figuring that out for a while, and then I lost interest. And her behavior has gotten to the point that, while I DID have some respect for her abilities, etc., she’s such a nasty old thang that now I can’t even see her without my lip curling.

    Hmmmmmm

  39. Hilly says:

    Crapetta, why did I not reply to this last night before there were so many comments? Sheesh!

    Anyway, with regard to Twitter…I’ll admit that I am the first person to unfollow someone for the dumbest reasons like that they cross-talk too much or spoil my TV shows. It generally has NOTHING to do with whether or not I like them and/or they like me. You know, you just never know what is going through someone’s head.

    As for blogging, I rarely comment these days, if at all. Again, this is all about me and not the other people. I’m going through a rough patch in my life and I’m sorry but I don’t care about other people’s frivolities half of the time. Also, sometimes I just don’t have the time to comment anyway. I’ve noticed people that don’t come around to my blog anymore because it’s been ages since I’ve been to theirs. It’s like that thing when someone hasn’t commented at your blog forever but as soon as you find time to comment on theirs, oh look…there they are at your blog.

    I read people who don’t even know I exist and I don’t get upset when they don’t acknowledge me because yanno, I’m pretty sure the world doesn’t revolve around me. Uh, YOUR world does, just in case you forgot…but not theirs. ;)

  40. Dawn says:

    Maybe I don’t have a blog because I’m afraid that you won’t read it and/or comment. ;-)

    Just kidding. I’d force you.

  41. Becca says:

    I totally agree with you. I have two (yippee!) followers on my blog. One is a lady I have read for almost two years now, and one is a lady who found my site through Aunt Becky and followed me immediately.

    That kind of confused me, because really she doesn’t know me and once she does she might not like me. But, oh well!

    I have probably 20 blogs that I follow and comment on a regular basis that don’t follow me, and that is fine. Although, sometimes the little voice in my head wonders if it is because I’m a lesbian or if my writing just sucks. Meh… don’t care, will keep writing because I need to.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Becca, you’re a lesbian??

      I actually didn’t know that. And I kind of feel bad, because it seems like I should have.

      • Becca says:

        @Miss Britt, Where have you been? I even made the whole darn comment about Jared being right about cotton candy and everything. And then I worried that I had offended someone, oh my.

        Positive confirmation every day, that it is not all about me. Thank you, I am laughing my ass of in my office right now. That is frickin hy-larious as my daughter would say.

  42. I only read and interact with the pretty people. It helps with my self-worth issues.

  43. Suzy Voices says:

    I just found your blog a couple days ago, and not because you commented on mine! HA! If I only read the blogs of people who comment on mine, I think I would have three blogs in my reader. ;-)

    I agree with you wholeheartedly on this. I read blogs because I like what the person has to say, whether they’re funny, insightful, silly, etc. And when I leave a comment, it’s because I want to, not to generate comments to my own blog.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Suzy Voices, thanks for wanting to leave a comment here!

      I leave a comment – or talk to someone in real life – because I feel like I have something I want them to hear. Or something I want to say. Whatever.

      What they do with it from that point isn’t on me, I figure.

  44. B.E. Earl says:

    I kinda agree with Adam in that I tend to gravitate towards those that gravitate toward me in real life and in bloggy life. There have been exceptions. Sure. But I think it is human nature to crave acceptance from friends and strangers alike. And once you get it from strangers, well…they become friends. Or could become friends.

    As for blogging, I view it as an interactive exercise. If a blogger doesn’t respond to my comments or come to my blog to comment, I feel like I did what I could but obviously I haven’t made an impression. So I move on. I may still read them in my feed reader, but I probably won’t visit their blog because they have shown that they aren’t interested in interacting with me.

    One of the very first blogs I ever read was exactly this way. Every post I would leave a comment and she never would come to my blog or acknowledge my comments. And it’s not like she didn’t acknowledge other posters, she did. So after a while I stopped visiting her site. Then a while after that I dropped her from my reader. Then, out of the blue, she sent me an email wondering why I stopped visiting and commenting. Very odd. I told her exactly what I said above. And I have visited once or twice since, but I had moved on in my heart already.

    So like I said, I kinda agree with Adam.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @B.E. Earl, I can pretty much understand that if that’s what blogging is for you.

      I just hope that people have some things in their life where they don’t always have to be getting something in return.

    • Hilly says:

      @B.E. Earl, You know what is weird? I don’t comment on your blog much but play your trivia every day. For some odd reason, I think that counts, LOL.

      • B.E. Earl says:

        @Hilly, I don’t really comment on your blog very much either. But I think that each of us knows that the other one is right there. Peeking in the windows, so to speak. ;)

  45. Elaina says:

    Jesus would be totally mad at me because I’ve done some of the stuff you mention in this post. Reading this makes me realize I’m rotten for doing it. Whether it’s in the blogging world or Twitter. Which means now I’m filled with all kinds of guilt and shit. Thanks a lot. Haha. Seriously though. Great post. You have some really important points about the self centered worlds we can live in sometimes. That is so nice to read. Truly. Gives me some things to think about.

  46. dawn says:

    Great post, Britt! I agree with you completely. And re your comment to Adam… appreciating someone does not mean investing time or trying to get them to like you. Appreciation can be a pretty passive thing. You can also appreciate and like someone but not want them to be an active part of your life.
    I had a boyfriend once when I was much younger, and when I asked him why he liked me he said because I liked him. Not only is that a really bad reason to like someone it is also not a fulfilling way to be liked.

  47. Robbin says:

    I feel weird commenting just to comment. Sometimes what I would say has been said by someone else. Or sometimes I just don’t have anything to say. But maybe if I said more more people would comment on my blog. Not that my aunt isn’t a great commentor but you know.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Robbin, I’m not sure how long you’ve been blogging for, but it takes a while for people to get around to finding you and commenting and stuff. :-)

    • @Robbin, and sometimes, even though a previous commenter (or is it commentor?) has already said what you would say, having the poster hear it more than once may make it “stick”, or resonate more. I know it does for me.

  48. Jay says:

    I read and comment on lots of blogs by people who don’t comment back. Generally if they never comment back I stop commenting on theirs, but I keep reading it. Why should I take some precious time out of my busy day to comment when they can’t? Okay, so that’s probably a little immature, but I don’t care. pffffft

    Twitter is a little different. It’s much more interactive and if people don’t want to make any effort to connect with me, why should I continue to put out the effort to connect with them?

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Jay, you don’t have to. I’m not even suggesting that I do that – either by way of commenting or going out of my way to try to build a friendship with someone who, for whatever reason, doesn’t seem to be jumping up and down to be friends with me at the moment.

  49. TSM says:

    Personally, I have fought the urge to unfollow people who are suddenly no longer reading my blog or following me on Twitter, but not because “they weren’t doing anything for me”. It was all emotional to me. I was hurt. I thought we were ‘friends’. I thought we bonded. I’m idealistic like that.

    I read lots of blogs but don’t comment on all of them. Sometimes because they stopped following me on Twitter.

    But hey, I still read them.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @TSM, ironically, I don’t follow a lot of my friends on twitter – or a lot of people whose blogs I read. It’s kind of like my best friend not reading my blog – she just doesn’t enjoy that part of what I do. But she still loves me.

  50. Hilly says:

    I forgot to add that sometimes you can love a person to death but their blog? Not so much. Of course, vice versa too. They may give great blog but be horrible in person.

    It’s just a blog.

  51. Steve says:

    I’m with you on this. I write about a fairly narrow topic. Within my own sphere, I have a solid group of readers and get a fair amount of traffic. But I don’t expect anyone to care much about brazilian jiu-jitsu, or necessarily want to read my tips on how to get bloodstains out of a white gi. If I used avitable’s standard where I only read blogs written by bloggers who read mine, I’d miss out on a lot of good blogs.

    • Steve says:

      @Steve, I’ll just add that I’m not sure why I read your blog. I’ve wondered about that many times. I don’t think I’m in your target demographic. :D

  52. NaysWay says:

    I’ll have to agree with you. I read sites because I like them for whatever reason. More than half of these sites have so much traffic, they’d probably never know who I was. Or care. And I’m OK with that. And, yes. Adam’s thinking IS fairly common if not the gospel.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @NaysWay, I think it’s soooort of understanding when people think that way about blogs. It’s when you see people do it with REAL ACTUAL PEOPLE that it’s alarming.

  53. Headless Mom says:

    Funny. I’ve been thinking about this for a while.

    I agree with you for the most part but I wonder? What about someone that you’ve reached out to (for whatever reason; you like their writing, start a conversation, try to befriend IRL)? What do you do when they don’t reciprocate? Do you continue reading their blog/twitter stream just because you like them? Or if your feelings have been hurt, do you then drop them? What happens when the lines of blog/irl have been blurred?

    Wow, how’s that for cryptic rambling?

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Headless Mom, hmmm….

      You know – I know someone who likes another person. A lot. They reached out to that person, and finally realized that person was never going to reciprocate.

      She decided she was going to go ahead and continue to enjoy that person and do whatever felt natural to her. If that meant commenting or whatever.

      I was AMAZED by that.

      I’d LIKE to be like that.

      But I’m not sure if I always could.

  54. Poppy says:

    He continues to insist that I commented on his blog first, I maintain that he did so on mine. But, really, if he never starts a dialog first then I must be wrong.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Poppy, oh he’ll start a dialogue first.

      If he sees something about you that’s intriguing for whatever reason and he decides you guys should be friends.

      And as long as you accept his offer of friendship -

      wait a minute. I might be crossing the line into “about to get my ass kicked” here.

      Email me. Heh.

  55. Sybil Law says:

    I just read people I like – if we start some sort of friendship, great. If not, well – I’ll still keep reading their blog, unless they’ve offended me terribly. I think what I’m trying to say is, I agree with you, but then Adam commented and I got all confused and there’s like, a gazillion comments that I started out reading but then I stopped.
    Oh – and this might’ve been a good show topic! ;)

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Sybil Law, “I just read people I like – if we start some sort of friendship, great. If not, well – I’ll still keep reading their blog, unless they’ve offended me terribly.”

      Yep, that’s pretty much what I was saying. :-)

  56. If I only read the blogs of those who read/commented on mine…..I would have a very short list! lol

    I read those that interest me. I comment when they say something I can really relate to, or strongly disagree with, or really amuses me.

    Incidentally I’ve found that if I’m tipsy I comment more, but if I’m flat-out drunk I get all “Eff that, typing is WORK!” and don’t comment.

  57. ali says:

    I totally get both sides. I definitely read blogs and follow people on twitter who would be all “ali who? oh, are you alli worthington?” because I like people who write good shit. plain and simple. People who are funny and provocative and interesting interest me…and I don’t really care if they know who I am. I’d *like* them to, but I’m not insulted if they don’t reciprocate.

    but I do understand the idea of building relationships…you don’t really get to build those online friendships with people who don’t know who you are or read your blog and know a little bit about what’s going on in your life or ENGAGE back on twitter. There are definitely blogs I read simply because we are “friends” no matter how good or bad their content is.

  58. Jennifer A says:

    there are a lot of days I read blogs all day but don’t comment much. its like a lot of days I’m on Twitter watching for the next 80′s icon to go, but don’t have a lot to say beside my migraine and no caffeine sucks.
    The only people I unfollow on Twitter is porn, work at home scams and the one person who would not STOP debating me on my abortion views.

  59. Jessica B says:

    If everyone did what Adam proposes, no one would ever take the first step to read someone else’s blog or get to know someone else. Someone has to take the first step for a relationship to form, and the always expect the other person to make that step is selfish.

  60. Mr Lady says:

    You know what? I agree with you.

    You know what else? Adam left the first comment between us. So he’s a liar. And I love him for it.

  61. I love you even more. I would totally read you even if you unfollowed me.

  62. I read you and Adam and a shit ton of other blogs that I rarely or never comment on. I read them because I enjoy them and don’t expect reciprocation. I don’t comment as much as I’d like to because a). I just don’t have frickin time (read: 78 posts in my Reader to catch up on) and b). because if I can’t come up with something witty or insightful or original, why comment? The standard “great post!” only cuts it so many times.

    BTW “Great Post!”

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Employee No. 3699, and if I only took the time to get to know people who were always “OMG YOU ARE SO AWESOME”, I would totally have missed out on meeting and getting to know you more!

  63. Share says:

    I read your blog not because you follow me (cause I’m pretty sure that no one knows I even have a blog), but because you are HILARIOUS! On top of that, I love to read about your & your husband & how you deal with your arguements. It makes me feel like my marraige might not be a huge failure!
    Thanks!

  64. Neil says:

    This question has made me anxious for a long time, and I go back and forth, using the techniques of both you and Adam. Blogging is one of the weirdest thing I have ever done, because I really cannot compare it to anything I have done in my past. I have never known 2000 people at one time. I love to read, but it was usually a newspaper or a book, one at a time, not trying to catch up on the daily lives of more people I can handle. At times, I just said, screw it — I’ll let the market decide who I should read. If the person reads me and comments, then I’ll read them. Of course, then you miss out on all the excellent writing, and the opportunity to make new connections.

    On the other hand, if I just followed the list of Five Star Friday every week, and tried to read the best posts out there, I would not connect with those I care about, or who care about me. Dooce is never going to take me to the airport.

    From a writing point of view, it is probably better to just read those who interest me. As a social activity, other factors come into play. Blogging also tends to get groupy, not always in a bad way — and each group develops its own inside jokes and lingo. I read a lot of bloggers just because I always hear everyone talking about them, and you want to participate in the conversation. I would feel out of the loop if I didn’t know who Avitable or Miss Britt or Redneck Mommy was in relation to my friends. I’m sure there are plenty of wonderful blogs out there that I am not going to bother with, because that person has not yet become a name that I can gossip about with others.

    So bascially, I haven’t come up with a good method for myself. I try to read interesting blogs. If we become friends I tend to read them more. I read certain bloggers because they are “well-known” or gave a keynote at BlogHer. I have no idea if The Bloggess is the funniest women on the blogosphere, but everyone said so, so I started to read her too. People were right about her having a great blog. But it would be interesting to see how I would feel if I came across her blog not knowing who she was at all. Would I come back or think she is “weird?” I’m sure some people take one look at Adam’s Hitler photo and leave immediately. But if someone I trusted told me that “I gotta read this funny guy,” that would change things. Word of mouth and recommendations and peer pressure have a big part too. I have just started to read some new blogs, mostly from people I met at BlogHer, or have written a book. But there are only so many hours in a day, so eventually, you lose interest in someone if you have no personal contact with them, so you start mostly reading those you connect with, even if the blog is not as literary or well-written.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Neil, I think what you’re dealing with is the fact that BLOGGING has many different avenues and motivations.

      There’s reading and writing.

      And then there’s the relationship aspect.

      For me, blogging is both. There are bloggers I “know” or “know of” purely because I enjoy READING what they RIGHT. Those blogs go in my “read any time because I don’t have to comment because they don’t know I exist and I’ll probably enjoy their stuff even if it’s 2 weeks old” folder.

      And there are others who I know and read and like because I have a relationship with them. Those go in my “read daily because I want to know what’s going on in their LIFE as it happens” folder.

      Except the actual names of those folders are shorter. Slightly.

      And -

      WHO THE HELL IS TALKING ABOUT ME?!?!?!
      :-)

  65. I read blogs the way I started, long before I had a blog, by jumping around and reading what I want to read at any given day. My feed is full of those that interest and impress me, and that is my starting point, but I read tons of people that aren’t interested in my stuff at all. And actually a lot of people I’ve met and love IRL, including bloggers, don’t read me or many other bloggers anymore either, and I totally get that.

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Deb on the Rocks, I SO do that. Anissa and Izzy and I always laugh about the more you know someone, the less you read their blog.

      Of course, those bitches just might be shitty friends. :-P

  66. amber says:

    I’m with all those that said they’d never get to read anything if they only read the blogs of those that comment on their site!

    I blog because I love to write…even if it’s equivalent to singing in the shower while alone in the house.

    I read blogs because y’all are smart, funny women who make me feel less alone. Plus, I don’t have time to read actual books anymore.

    And that is that.

  67. Beth says:

    I think the difference between you and your husband is more gender related. Men do have a hard time thinking outside of their own bubble.

  68. Issa says:

    I read a ton of blogs (and sometimes comment as well), from people who probably don’t know I exist. Truly, I’m okay with that. I read for all of the reasons you stated. When I write, I generally write for me, or for a small group of friends, who I know do read.

    However, on the other side of that, I don’t always read people who comment at my blog, even if they comment on every post. There are too many blogs and not enough time in the day, for me to fake it. Visit a few times, I can do that, but if their blog doesn’t interest me, I won’t go back.

    Twitter? Hmm. I follow people who may never follow me back and sometimes I still tweet at them. On occasion I even get a response. I guess in general, I am on Twitter for the entertainment value. If someones tweets are only, come read this, or retweet this and some random person may someday win something, I tend to unfollow.

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