Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Shiny Happy People

I have a friend who reads this blog and is, understandably, surprised by the community of commenters that many mutha bloggas elicit.

"You've got some enthusiastic supporters out there, huh?" Boz mentioned over lunch this past weekend.

"Um, yeah, I guess you could say that. That's how we mommybloggers are. Supportive. Enthusiastic. Yup."

And so I got to thinking, not just about my own blog, but about this momosphere in general; and how sunshine, in the form of bright rays of light being continuously blown up people's asses, can get to be cloying.

You must know what I mean. Those long rows of comments all praising the hilarity, or the eloquence, or the heart-wrenchinging-ness, or the yes-yes-that's-exactly-the-way-I-feelingness of a given post in a given blog.

I've written my fair share of those comments, don't get me wrong. In those cases, that's the only way I can convey how powerfully someone else's words affected me. With some bloggers, that sentiment is by far my most common reaction. But after awhile it makes me feel funny, mostly because I imagine it makes them feel funny, to be balancing on a pedestal. And that's when I need to get past the fact that this person is hilarious, eloquent, heart-wrenching and/or relatable. I focus on the facts, interacting like I do with my Real Life friends, where grammar, syntax and delivery is secondary to just talking.

I don't read many non-mom blogs, but I can't help but think that the spheres populated mainly by men would have a much different tone. Same with blogs that present a more equal mix of women and men in their readership. I know that The Partner and my aforementioned friend would certainly bring a much different dynamic to the blogs they frequent. More dissent. More straight talk. Less regard for feelings. The latter may sound like a bad thing, but I don't believe it is, necessarily. Sometimes insensitivity is real, and sometimes a real reaction is what's lacking.

All this being said, I do so love this momosphere. I eat up positive reinforcement on one end; I bask in the warmth of sunshine on the other. I would become more than a little neurotic if the positivity ceased completely. I dole it out, too. I truly feel like this community of talented women sharing their thoughts and taking in those of others is largely responsible for my happiness and success as a work-at-home mother and writer.

But, sometimes, it's a bit unreal. That's all I'm saying. Am I alone, here?


Boz said...

As I read this entry, I couldn't get the song "Let the sunshine in" from The Fifth Dimension out of my head. I'm not sure if this is a positive or negative comment. It is a happy song, so we'll go with positive. Yes, positive.

slouching mom said...

I think this is true. You've exposed the soft underbelly of the mommyblogging world.

You whistleblower, you!

Thank you for your honesty. It's refreshing, and this is an important topic for discussion, I think.

Mrs. Chicky said...

Nope, not alone. I really hate leaving a comment on a particularly touching post that says "Beautiful"... And that's it. Just "beautiful". But this little comment box won't let me expound on my feelings about one's words like I would like to.

With that said, I do like how you find that one thing, that small detail, and pick it out to comment on. I appreciate that. And that's all the sunshine that's coming out of my ass tonight.

the-new-girl said...

Yes! Yes!
You totally get me!
We're the same person!
This post was...


Tracysan said...

Most writers enjoy getting specific comments on things they said rather than just favorable generalizations. This is something I have to teach my students before they start peer-workshops...nobody wants to hear "I liked it. It was good." That doesn't help anyone improve. Blogs, however, are not assignments. I guess the question is, does the blogger want constructive criticism, dissenting opinions, and advice on the subject at hand? Or do they only want to hear "I liked it. It was good."?

Lauren said...

But then we have to think, why do we blog? Sometimes I blog something just to get those "you are not alone" comments. And I like the occasional compliment. I hear what you are saying, though, mommy bloggers are weird. Especially when they are named Binky and have the most adorable baby in the world. :)

jen said...

this post sucks. shape up next time. blah blah mommy blah.


how was that? you sunshine ass magnet, you?

ps. love you. and seriously, believe it or not, i was thinking about this recently, too. is it real if it's always good? maybe the answer is yes.

Julie Pippert said...

No, not alone. Excellent point (and I mean that straight-forwardly, not in a sunshine up the ass way, LOL ;) ).

I try to personally avoid being a sycophant. If I can add something relevant, I will. If I can only echo "faboo!" then I will likely remain silent. Generally. ;)

I also am unlikely to comment, regardless of how moved I am, if there are already 20+ comments.

On my own blog, while I am ecstatic with any comment, the specific ones mean the most. Sometimes I marvel at bloggers who get 50+ comments, many of which say something very simple, such as "Cool!" That's awesome. I'm satisfied though, with the quality I get, over quantity.

Some of which is dissent. Much of which is straight. And even includes a mix.

Yeah you got to the heart of it for me.

Mrs. Chicken said...

Here comes the sunshine ... this is great.

Here comes the real part ... I get comments on my posts about my struggles with The Poo that are pretty tough sometimes. And I like that. I need it, you know? I need someone like Wordgirl to tell me that my mom is right. Because I trust her.

You got to the heart of it. And maybe this is why my comments are declining! :)

You know, not that I care about that. :)

Michele said...

I have stopped commenting on most any post that has 10 comments or more unless I really think I have somethign unique or important to say, hence, never.

But I'm not fawning when I say. "great post" or "cute kiddo" "well said" - I just have other shit to do and still want to give a shout out.

"I love your shoes and your hair looks great like that!" - now that would be fawning.

Andrea said...

Not alone here. And it's not lost on me that my first reaction to this post was a resounding, "Me, too! I so get that!"

Lawyer Mama said...

I don't like saying the "me too" thing either, so of course I'm going to do it here!

I love getting specific comments. But sometimes I write posts where I'm not really looking for advice, just the knowledge that other people are listening.

Still, sometimes I just leave a short "this was wonderful" comment b/c I don't have time to do more. Or there are already 25 comments saying exactly what I wanted to say, but it's a blog I read regularly & I just want the author to know "Hey, I read this & I really liked it."

nutmeg said...

And I so obsess! On days when I get like three comments, I know I'm wasting my seven bucks a year on this blog thing. Days when I have twenty comments I feel overwhelmed with the weight of commenting back! And I get so sick of myself when I comment, I just go on and on and on like now and I say absolutely nothing and yada yada yada...

Ruth Dynamite said...

This whole gig is about personal expression, connection, and being heard. For stay/work at home moms, blogging can be a lifeline.

Sure, who doesn't love stroking? (You're so right! Amen sister! Beautiful!)

But is that so wrong?

binkytown said...

I agree. I think it's all about the blog choice. I tend to not comment very much on the so-called "popular bloggers" because I find it disparaging when I see 25 you are so funny, comments already there.

I probably did a lot of that in the beginning, but now, I'm above that sort of thing (note heavy sarcasm) and I leave it for the newbies.

(PS How did the inspection go?)