There’s no doubt about it — for most of us, blogging is a two-way street. It’s about give and take. Sure, there are a few bloggers who don’t have to engage with other bloggers, but they are few and far between. (And a little stuck-up, if you ask me.)
But after blogging for over 6 months now, I’ve noticed something else — the most important thing for some bloggers is the amount of hits or likes they get. I’ve labeled these kinds of people as Selfish Bloggers. Usually, they pop up around the time they’ve made a recent post. They will like one or maybe two of your recent posts, but they’re really not interested in what you have to say or what you’re going through. You can tell by the posts they decide to like when they drop by. They’re only interested in getting your attention so you’ll visit their blog to hear the latest thing they have to say.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting attention and to be popular, of course, but it can get a little irritating. In the beginning, I didn’t mind supporting those who don’t support me, but now that I have some followers who have shown me what support really consists of, well, keeping up with Selfish Bloggers can just be… exhausting. And this last pain hurricane has wiped me out. Even though I’m exhausted, I’m also busy cleaning up after the destruction the hurricane left behind. Yes, the wind has died down, but the flooding hasn’t receded. And it’s still raining. For chronic pain patients, it’s always raining.
My blog is for all chronic pain patients, not just for me. For instance, I don’t suffer from depression, but I know that a lot of chronic pain patients do. I have never suffered from an eating disorder or bipolar, but mental illnesses are common in chronic pain patients. I’m not a veteran, but I know that many veterans suffer from chronic pain. I don’t suffer from fibromyalgia, but I know many other women do. I’m not gay, but I support gay rights. I’m not black, but I know that the drug war is mostly about racism. I don’t suffer from drug addiction, but I know that some chronic pain patients do, and that finding treatment is hindered by discrimination and shame.
I learn about all these issues and post about them because they are all important to me. But I know that to many bloggers, they are only side issues, holding little interest. After all, if you post about photography or food, these issues may not be interesting at all. However, everyone is going to age, so the issue of chronic pain will likely become compelling at some point.
I give out “likes” freely because I believe it’s a form of support. But I don’t need a like or a comment on my blog to be interested in yours. For instance, if someone is talking about suicide, giving support is more important than being concerned about whether the support is mutual. But, as I said at the beginning, it really is a two-way street. Otherwise, it’s just… exhausting.
Unfortunately, as a chronic pain patient, I have to be selfish. I’m the only one around to take care of me. I can only offer the support that’s left over after I try to take care of myself. And while most people like to have a lot of friends and be popular, I just don’t have the energy to do that. But I will always find the energy to support those who have supported me. It’s called friendship, and friendship is unhealthy when it’s one-sided.
And on WordPress, friendship and support boil down to “likes” or comments (usually on a daily basis), not a weekly visit to get attention.
And that’s all I have to say about that.