Shaky streaming quality for a while- on my relationship with WordPress

Before I address the content implied by my title, I offer this video as small mice-present-left-by-cat-on-doorstep. I think it’s a form of showing my affection for readers. 🙂 :

I like to show this video to my students, and to view it myself as a reminder one should be invested in the effects words may have.

Interesting linguistic note: “Sorry” is widely used in Germany right now as an expression of excuse without the same sentiment of culpability the German equivalent “Entschuldigung”carries. “Entschulding” is an expression that asks the target at whom the phrase is directed to relieve the speaker of the guilt s/he feels or should feel for whatever transgression s/he committed. I have a feeling, if our word had the root “guilt” in it, we would want to replace it, too.

But I do mean it. I am sorry that I stopped being very active on my blogs without at least providing a “pause” message. What I really want to apologize for, though, is for suddenly disappearing from other people’s posts. I was very active for a very long time in communicating with my small blogging community, and then, from one day to the next, I just stopped.

I would like to explain this.

I have a bad track-record with social media. I know that the millennials run on social media, and many of us spend an hour or more on social media sites posting, editing, updating, commenting, whatever. I’m not one of them. I got Facebook two years after all my friends did, and then quit it sophomore year of college. I haven’t looked back. I had MyFitnessPal for a while, and used it as my social media site for a while too, until I recognized similar patterns in myself that I had with Facebook. WordPress became a new start. Initially, I used it purely to get my ideas out, and that was it. After a month or so, I noticed though, that one way of getting more interaction was reading, “liking,” following and commenting on other people’s posts. So I did it. I became very active on WordPress because a) it was a great way to procrastinate on daily school/house work, b) I thought I was being a good community member, and c) I started to become addicted to the feedback I got in my comments and on my posts.

See, while we all say that we post for ourselves and would write whether we are read or not, a part of us does feel good when we see people react to what we write. Even the small “like” is a mini-high that, like with any other addictive substance, we look for more and more. What happens when no “like” appears? Some of us end up doubting the value of what we post, especially when we see how much feedback other bloggers get.

I can’t speak for everyone, nor do I mean to. I suppose there are people out there who really don’t care whether someone reads their posts or not. I mean, they really. don’t. care. However, a lot of us share our work for a reason, and we do want our writing to make a difference, somehow, even if it just prompts someone to think a millisecond longer about something that they otherwise would not have. Then, we also want to know about it.

Still, my issue really lies more with the way I participate in the blogging community. WordPress is a great idea. Bloggers can read each other’s blogs, find new ones to read, see what’s “Freshly Pressed,” and so forth. Then, though, one can follow a blogger and be updated on all his/her posts. One can “like” and comment. Through this, one gets to know the blogger, is updated on his/her ups and down and the cool things he/she is doing (most of us don’t blog about the bad things). I got to know other bloggers more and created a social network that’s not as easy to check out of as when I decide to stop reading the Washington Post for a little while. Thus, while 108  days of not posting on my main blog site is something I feel bad about, I feel even more guilty when I don’t hold up the communicating I do with other bloggers. It gets to the point that I’ll read a few posts, but be afraid to “like” or comment on any, because I won’t comment on all, and I worry that someone who reads the same blog I do, someone on whose blog I usually comment, will wonder why I commented on blog “A” but not his/hers.

It would be easier to run a blog site that has no “like” or “comments” section, and then just keep writing and posting. However, I am someone who feels a responsibility about my presence on the internet and to my readers, and I like the interaction and support fellow bloggers give. But sometimes, I need to check-out, and so that’s what I did. The good news is, unlike Facebook or MyFitnessPal, I feel more invested in my writing on my blog than I did with my shorter communications with friends or fitness mates, so I can’t just delete my blog. Recognizing my weakness, I am going to take a few leaves out of the books of fellow bloggers and not feel bad for reading without “liking” or “commenting.” If, in the future, you notice that I’m not being active again, it’s not that I don’t read your posts or like what you write. It’s just that I think it goes without saying that I was intrigued by your title and enjoyed the post. I hope this makes sense. Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way, but because I feel this way, I also felt like I had to write this post.

Thanks for reading this far!

In other news, for a while, I really was too busy to keep up with WordPress. While I read my Reader at least once a day for almost seven months, I just didn’t have time to even log-on at the end of April; end of semester grading papers, my own finals to prepare for and pass, and then cleaning up a semester’s worth of crap on my computer and in my room took care of life through the middle of May. I also got a pretty cool mini-job assessing student’s writing and helping to evaluate my university’s writing program.

Then, I had to start preparing… packing, collecting all my research notes and info from and about books that I can’t justify lugging thousands of miles, all my doctor’s check-ups, etc.

Soon, I’m heading back to Germany, first for vacation, and then to start my PhD at the Freie Universitaet zu Berlin. It’s one of Berlin’s three main universities and the only one where I can pursue a PhD in comparative literature the way I’d like. I’m excited, but also  feel some trepidation about the project and being able to afford it (and then there’s all the self-doubt I’ll spare you from reading about). For now, I have minimal support from the university and scholarships, so until I can reapply for a better position and/or scholarships, I’m living off savings and whatever small job I can get. I know the situation will be improved by January, but right now, things don’t look rosy-pink. STILL, I’m excited and super ready to do the project.

I’ll also have more to post about, again.

After I arrive in Germany until mid-August, though, I’ll have sporadic internet access and likely won’t use it to be on WordPress a lot. This time, I hope I’m giving you enough fair warning about my “shaky streaming quality” so that you stay-tuned for when I get back! I have a few people who regularly read my blogs, and I hope you continue to want to when I’m regularly posting again.

Thanks for reading, and hope you have a great summer,

Dorothea

 

 

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30 comments

  1. This is a great post! I’m terrible at remembering to comment on blogs I’ve enjoyed reading. I now set aside an hour each week to catch up and comment on my favourites. I hadn’t realised that you will be starting a PhD later on this year. Exciting times! Anyway, I’ll stop writing waffle now. I hope that you have a relaxing summer, and I look forward to reading your next blog post later on this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And while it’s hard to make known that I’ve stopped by, I’m still enjoying your posts. I liked the journey through your running past you did a really weeks ago.

      Like

  2. I’m never offended if you’re not able to like or comment on my posts… I know you are one busy girl and when you’re able to comment, you do! I also know that when you have the chance to write, you do, and I enjoy catching up with you! So, you just go enjoy Germany and write when/if you can, and I’ll look forward to reading your posts… when you post… if you post…. hehe! ;D

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll post a lot more than I do now. 🙂 and I do reply and comment when I can… But with this post I wanted to also say that I tend to not comment even when I can, and that’s just something I feel weird about. Im not the only one, but I seem to have a problem with it more than others.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha, live, love, same thing. But this will come in handy! Thank you! I’ve created a plan as a part of my application, but this tool is more useful to break down the smaller tasks of conferences and publishing. The whole thing is exciting. And what’s actually on board for you now, that you’re a Dr.?

        Like

  3. Viel Erfolg! Loved the post. I suppose it is all a matter of balance. I find WordPress less pretentious than Facebook and it is a great place to share thoughts and just write. Never count likes, but they remind me to check out the other person’s blog in case I missed it in the reader!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. First of all — thank you for this amazing clip — I am so using it in my teaching! Secondly, more congratulations on the PhD program. hope finanicial situation will get better even before January!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. No worries Dorothea, it’s lovely to hear from you. I am struggling to keep up with various demands at the moment too, so I totally understand where you are coming from. Good luck with your PhD. Hope you manage financially. It is such a struggle nowadays finding the funds to continue in Academia. Comparative literature sounds fabulous, enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi. Yes been a tricky summer been ill twice! So unlike me… But now have my MS ready for final edit. Hope to publish in the autumn fingers crossed! Both my daughters are happy, doing fine, so that makes me smile. Though we’re waiting anxiously for my youngest’s GCSE results….

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Crossing my fingers for your MS to be ready and for great results!
        I’m sorry you were sick…twice! That’s awful. Hopefully though, those illnesses never rear their ugly heads again.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for his post! I’ve had to step away from my blog at times as well, and there’s nothing wrong with that! Also, you could always try the “no comment” feature for a bit (while you’re getting settled in to your PhD program- which sounds so interesting by the way!!) and allow for bloggers just to email you. I completely agree that keeping up with social media is stressful at times! I’ve debated quitting Facebook too! My favorite is Instagram, and I feel that it’s manageable. Anyway- I totally understood and appreciated your post. Good luck as you start your program again- very exciting! I’ll be following 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And thanks for the suggestion for no comments. I’ll look into how to do that, so that when/if I feel overwhelmed, I can do that.
      I’m excited about what I’m doing here and thanks for following!
      Instagram seems like something fun. I just would have to work up the energy to open an account. I may do that now, since pictures are fun to update people with.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello! What a great post.
    First, that is the best video comic I have ever seen. Wow.
    Second, you articulate some of my concern about social media and blogging, though I don’t know what “My Fitness Pal” means. I probably could use it, though.
    Third, congrats on the PhD. It’s hard, so be wise about social media. Like the sabbath, it is social media that should serve humanity, not humanity serving social media.
    Best
    Brenton

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I appreciate your phrase “it is social media that should serve humanity, not humanity serving social media.” I’m going to quote that in a few conversations, I’m sure. Thank you for your response. Isn’t Taylor Mali great? And MyFitnessPal is a calorie tracking service. It is useful, but it should serve the person using it, not suck the person into becoming calorie obsessed 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I should add, MyFitnessPal allows you to add “friends,” usually people with similar exercise and weight goals, to post their failures/successes on your “feed.” This results in a lot of friendly banter, competition, and communication, if you want. In this way, it is a social media site and can be just as time-consuming and perhaps a bit empty.

        Like

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