Who invited that girl?

by Ginger on September 12, 2008

in Becoming Myself, Blogging & Social Media

Sometimes this whole blogging culture brings out some of the insecurities that I’ve had my whole life. Actually, it’s not so much the blogging itself–that I like, whether anyone is reading it or not (I just pretend I have a readership, regardless of the facts). Specifically, I’m talking about the social aspect of the blog culture: social networking sites, email, memes and especially commenting.

Sometimes, it makes me feel like I’m back in junior high as a new student in a new city.

Like everyone is already friends and not so much interested in adding anyone to their clique.

Like I’m in high school walking into the cafeteria the first time and figuring out where to eat.

Like I’m showing up solo to a party where everyone already knows each other.

Well, you get the point. As I find new blogs, it takes me a few deep breaths, and a mini pep talk to leave my first (or second or third) comment. And it’s actually more intimidating for the folks who get small to medium numbers of posters but not huge ones–if Dooce opens a post to comments, I can be sure there are going to be approximately 84000 other posters, so it’s not as intimidating as feeling like I’m coming into a private conversation between 5 friends.

Frankly, it’s something I struggle with in real life too. I’ve never been comfortable in my personal life just walking up to people and introducing myself, or joining a conversation going on nearby at a party, or inviting myself to sit down to eat with coworkers without being asked (except for my last job in New York, those cats were practically family). It’s not so much that I want to be invited explicitly, it’s more that there’s a piece of me that always wonders if anyone really wants me around if it’s my idea to join them and not vice versa. I have to sort of override my neurotic, self-doubting self in those situations and push past the discomfort and just make myself do it.

It’s weird, because I’ve been reading blogs for years, but I’ve only recently started commenting–maybe in the last 4 months? As I find more and more blogs, I feel compelled to leave comments when I read something that appeals or speaks to me (or makes me giggle), even as I wonder why the author would care about my opinion. And now that I have a very baby public blog, I know how nice it feels to get comments myself–and in my head, I know other bloggers feel the same way. But even knowing that, getting over the hurdle of my lifelong feelings of being the uninvited chick at the party can be a struggle for me.

Lindsey September 12, 2008 at 10:59 am

I feel exactly the same way!!!

wendy September 12, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Just out of the blue, I decided to check the BlogHer community. I have been running Blogher ads on my blog, but never really participated in the community. It seemed too overwhelming – like a lot of sites and blogs on the ‘net.

I had recently written a post called “Autumn is in the Air” – a post about transitions and blogging. About how much time we spend at computers and our reasons for visiting the blogging community, etc. etc.

So, in this frame of mind, I clicked on your site and read “I blog to be Visible”. Bingo! That hit home with me. No matter how therapeutic writing is, no matter how many blogger friends I have, how many connections from all corners of the globe – I began blogging for visibility. Who am I? Why don’t I have a book published? Or designed a deck of “choose one good thought for the day” cards, or something….anything. I have good ideas and yet I cannot put them “out there”.

Thanks for voicing my thoughts. I totally understand where you are coming from and agree.

anna September 13, 2008 at 7:33 pm

I know exactly how you feel–though I do find it much easier to just butt in online than I do IRL. I think it’s because I have been on message boards for so long, where you’re kind of constantly butting in–makes you much more comfortable with it.

But I do feel sometimes like there’s a waiting period or something, before people will accept you as “one of them,” and I’m sure it’s just my own insecurity more than anything else.

Single September 13, 2008 at 7:45 pm

Don’t be insecure. I like your blog, though I’m not sure if I have commented before or not. Just write what you feel and the people that you have things in common with will show up. Not many people read my blog but I have made a few close friends from blogging and those people matter more than 100 not close friends combined.

Ginger September 14, 2008 at 4:09 pm

Lindsey, Anna, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who feels that way! It’s totally a function of my insecurities, but I’m glad to see that I’m not alone.

Wendy, I do sometimes feel like Blogher is really overwhelming, but the question in that post went right to the heart of what my blogging is about. I’m really glad I could voice something that other people were feeling (and really glad you found my comment!).

Single–yeah, I’m learning to just put it out there without any expectation and when it speaks to others they’ll show up. It’s an exercise in not allowing self doubt though!

Jessica September 14, 2008 at 4:32 pm

I love reading what people think on my blog. I get a lot of ideas from it. I comment a lot too. I’ve noticed my blog has made me a bit more bold in what I talk about, which is good and bad.

Hilly November 23, 2008 at 4:43 pm

I’m the total opposite, just busting in as if I’m welcome…which I’ve totally done here today. I promise, after this comment, I am totally done stalking your site. 🙂

I think the only way that I have made the friends that I have today is by being that way though. I’d love to pretend to be shy, dang it…I’m just not.

On the flip side, I am always humbled and appreciative when someone new comments on my site. It’s nice to know that people are reading, listening and have ideas and comments to share!

Hilly´s last blog post..Snackie Sunday #69: Say It Ain’t So….

Angelique December 2, 2011 at 11:29 am

This really resounds with me. In fact, it’s probably the main reason I don’t usually comment. Especially if someone else has alread said what I was thinking. I just figure most bloggers feel like it’s annoying to get multiple comments that always say the same thing.

PS Your Rocking Chair post made me cry a little. I often get absorbed by the concern that the time I spend trying to get my youngest back to sleep in the middle of the night is spoiling her – that she’s not learning to self-soothe. But I know how precious those moments are and they won’t always be there. My four-year-old is proof that they eventually grow out of it (I hope that’s true with this one) or it, at least, gets easier.

Thanks. 🙂

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