Tonight for the first time I realised that I understood (on a very personal level) the phrase ‘comment box whore’.
Because I am one.
And it feels slightly *naughty* to admit it, but there you have it in plain print. Unavoidable. Un-take-back-able. And really, really straightforward.
Something about those short, encouraging, validating messages which arrive under most of my posts, has me absolutely hooked.
Last August when the blog was beginning, I remember my heart beating faster as I checked my page-view statistics. I remember being *so* excited when they reached double figures. I used to get possibly one comment every few posts, and each one was like a newly discovered gem – something I’d mined for with words and dug for with truths and ramblings. I’ve clearly been networking, because now when I see a comment count of fewer than ten (of which I know at least half are mine, because I try my best to reply to everyone. And visit their blogs, too) then I feel disappointed, as though my efforts had been in vain.
Very slowly and imperceptibly, my perspective has changed. I would now find a post with no comments rather upsetting. And page views in the 10-20 range would be downright hurtful. Perhaps my perspective has changed on account of the ever-increasing distance between my eyes, on account of how swollen my head’s become.
Seriously. Tonight after receiving so many wonderful comments on my very over-the-top-excited post about being offered the job I wanted (I’m still excited now – you can’t stop me nor bring me down just yet), many of which said lovely things like how pleased the commenter was for me, how much they felt I deserved the good news, how excited they were for me, I told Husby how well it was going and that he should take a large pin and pop my swollen head if I got stuck in any doorways.
Later, he mimed just that when I forewent a third episode of Big Bang Theory with him in lieu of checking back on my blog to see if there were more affirming comments. There were, and I pointed out the list of notifications in my inbox. “See” I told him “people love me!”
He gave me an incredulous stare and mimed pulling out a pin, ‘popping’ it in the very middle of my forehead.
But it’s deeper than mere popularity, than validation, even.
The comments which count the most are from the people I’ve begun to build bloggy relationships with. We comment on one another’s posts, we’ve read each other’s’ archives, we’ve been there, in the comment box, offering support, encouragement, commiseration, celebration, and yes – friendship.
Friendship of a singular type, to be sure, but this is a brave new world, and the lines are ever blurrier. These friends; the ones who I would perhaps dare to call ‘regulars’, matter. Some of them quite deeply. I respect their honesty, I value their opinions, I love being able to catch a glimpse of their lives and show them a smidgen of my own.
I adore that we can pour our thoughts and feelings out through our fingertips into this magical world called ‘The Blogosphere’ and touch someone’s heart. It’s cockle-warming, affirming, and my own heart swells to near bursting when I see that one of these friends has left me a meaningful comment on a post I’ve really…well…considered.
So I shall pick up my new label and wear it with bemused pride.
“My name’s Lizzi, and I’m a comment box-a-holic.”