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An Extended Pause

Posted by Sue on January 14, 2007 in Deep Thoughts |

(Sit down. Get comfy. This is gonna be a long one.)

I’ve noticed something in the past couple of years I’ve been doing this “blog-thang”. There seems to be a natural ebb and flow to the collective creativity. Even people who blog with an almost 100 percent productivity rate, that is to say daily, have days when they resort to memes or a pictorial or a one-line blurb about how they are sucking stones trying to get the creative juices flowing again.

Then there are the burn-outs. People who have lost the feeling and just can’t seem to get it back. They write with such an outpouring of emotion that when the end comes it comes with an empathetic thud. One such person that comes to mind is Darrell. Such a prolific poster he filled day after day with sharp observations and thought-provoking images, only to stop abruptly… now only a trickle of words trip across his blog. The “mad murmurer” has become the “shy whisperer”.

Most people give notice they are leaving the blogosphere. We get a short paragraph stating they are “taking a break”, “burnt out”, occasionally “we are getting out while we can” or “found” by some “real world” people they would just as soon not have peeking into their minds. My own child can be held as example. My eldest had a lovely little blog that several of you visited – but because of some actions by a “real world” former high school classmate it made her uncomfortable and she decided she’d rather just read ’em than write ’em. I miss some of the insights I got into my own daughter’s life, but acknowledge her right not to share.

That brings me to the drop outs. The ones who just stop and fall out of sight. They appear to be going along on a normal course of day-to-day living and sharing said life with us when one day – they don’t. Ever again. Leaving us asking “where are you?” “are you okay?” “is everything allright?” in comment sections and possibly even in e-mails. Mr_g comes to mind. He had a pretty prolific blog which increasingly became disturbed as he realized his wife was having an affair. It continued on until he became paranoid that she (and her lawyer) had found his blog wherein he created a new site and continued to let us faithful readers know how he was doing embarking on his new role as ‘single guy’. Oddly enough, his last post was about him getting “visitation” with his dogs. This begs the question, “What happened?!?!” No reponse to e-mails or comments for months. Did his ex kill him and bury the body? Did the dogs eat him? Did the lawyers find him again and he felt the need to “get out of town” cyber-speaking?

I have a valid reason to ask. A few months ago I had a comment from a new person and being the perfect blog hostess I immediately went to visit and say thanks for coming by. Oh, who am I kidding? The truth is, I didn’t notice this person had commmented on an older post so it was a couple of months before I contacted them. Trust me… I learned my lesson. As I am prone to do, I went to their blog and started at the beginning. I like to do that. Go deep into the archives and read chronologically, getting to know the person before I commit myself to opening the door of blog friendship. His blog went back a couple of years and in reading it I found him to be well-written, funny, warm and sensitive. In other words, someone I would like to keep reading. Abruptly, a month after he’d posted on my site, his stopped. I searched frantically to see if there was a clue to why. None. He’d talked about only good things happening in his life and I couldn’t see there was a cause to leave, unless, like some of the rest of us, a busy life just got in the way. In reading over the last comments I started to be alarmed when I started seeing “he’ll be missed” showing up. Stepping bravely into the unknown, I sent a couple of e-mails out to some regular commentors who appeared to know this person in real life. Bless their hearts, they responded. He’d had cancer (which he had never once indicated on his blog) and had died while being operated on for it’s removal. I was stunned. Speechless. Someone that to me I’d just “met” was gone before I even had the chance to thank him for his kinds words on my site. Needless to say, I’m a little quicker on the responses now.

So, what do you find in your blog life? (Don’t kid yourself – it is a whole ‘nother life out here in the blogosphere. We have friends we’ve never met who we become attached to and for whatever reason have bonded over words. Just words.) Have you, too, had experience with people dropping out of sight and wondering “what happened?”. Have you been that person who took an extended break and came back only to find the blogosphere had moved on without you? Am I putting too much thought into this?

…maybe I just need more sleep.

10 Comments

  • Amy says:

    Mr. G is busy dating and getting his life in order. We email each other sometimes. As far as I know, he’s fine. I wish he’d post again, too. I’d like to know how things are going. Sigh…
    He didn’t drop off the face of the earth. He’s just in blog limbo.

  • ms. sizzle says:

    I hate when people leave without saying good-bye though I understand why they would do that (we’d probably try to talk them out of it). I feel abandoned! These blogs represent people, many of whom I consider friends, many of whom know me better than some of my real life pals. It makes me sad when people quit though I know sometimes its necessary.

  • Andy Land says:

    Most people just stop visiting me, but keep blogging. That’s OK, I’m way bad at getting to everyone else’s blog to comment. It’s all fake internet nonsense anyway so it really doesn’t matter.
    I always announce if I’m taking a break for whatever reason, just in case anyone gets concerned.

  • Brad says:

    I found people who were willing to take me as I am today, without the bother of a long history between us which defines me. It was refreshing, and provided a way into changing who I appear to be, into the person that I really am.
    Wow, that’s a mess of deep thoughts, but that’s the truth.
    I also found some real friends. Not just bloggy friend, but real people with real emotions who really want to spend time with me. I like that.

  • michaelpipes says:

    I must confess to not being a very committed blogger. I enjoy the contact, I like to put my feelings out where they can be seen, and a blog seems like a good outlet for that, but some days I am the smooth pebble that wasn’t tossed into the pond…

  • Michael says:

    Maybe I read too much into this too but I wonder about it as well. I wonder if people come to this world because they are missing something in the other world. When the visits stop I wonder if it is because they found what they were missing or decided that this wasn’t the place either…
    I do wonder.
    Take Care
    Michael

  • Miss Bliss says:

    I too am sad when people just stop blogging, but also try to keep in mind that everyone has their own motives for being here. I’m not the most consistent blogger or blog reader these days but the process and the people still fascinate me and enrich my life. That’s a pretty good deal all in all.

  • Sally says:

    Just the other day one of my blog buddies (who I’ve known online for nearly four years!) just disappeared, her blog link now brings an error page! It’s very dismaying, no warning, no goodbye and no clues leading to her disappearance.
    Sadly, I’ve grown accustomed to this and a recent Minneapolis Star Tribune article discusses the fact blogs will be seeing a decline this year as the novelty wears thin.
    When I first began blogging, I was thrilled to “meet” new people and make new “friends.” But many factors made me realize that, on the Internet, things are not what they seem. One of my first and dearest blog friends abruptly dismantled his blog and refuses to respond to my emails, yet he posts comments on another former friend’s blog. I refer to her as a former friend because she removed me from her blog roll and stopped leaving comments, and some other sad reasons.
    I do not know what is happening in their real lives and don’t really know these people, despite the fondness I’ve developed for them over the past few years. I’ve learned to not allow myself to care so deeply anymore because it’s all so tenuous, these blog relationships.
    As for myself, I’m burning out on posting and strongly feel anytime spent posting and leaving comments is time away from my novel writing. I’m dismayed with myself for this.

  • Cindi says:

    I wish I could write in my blog every day or at least more than once a week but my brain just freezes up and I don’t know where to begin. A lot of times I would really love to be able to open up more about things going on at work but because I work in a hospital and with HIPPA laws and also a fear of somehow being “found out”, I don’t get too specific. Most of what I would want to write about my work doesn’t really have to do with patients but more to do with my boss (rants) and I certainly wouldn’t want to put my job in jeopardy so I best keep my mouth shut. I haven’t told anybody that I work with that I even have a blog.
    I am really bad about getting around to all of the blogs on my blogroll. I go in spurts and most of the time I am just lurking when I do make it to my favorites.
    I can really relate to everything you said in this post. When I first discovered blogs several years ago, one of the first ones that I grew to love so much and I read it faithfully was one called serenity-quest.com and it was written by a woman named Trish. She lived in Tx and was divorced and raising her son.
    She was so witty and had many other faithful readers. Then right before Christmas about 4 years ago she just disappeared. Her blog was completely gone. I discovered some comments from her on a couple other blogs about a year ago and found out she had deleted that blog because of a child custody dispute and she has a new blog apparently but there was no link for it. I still miss reading her blog.

  • Becky says:

    I find that whenever I’m busy and can’t post as much (but mostly when I can’t read others as much) is when the comments/readership goes down. AS soon as I start to comment on everyone’s site again, it picks back up. It may just be coincidence that I’m on the same busy cycle as everyone else, but it has happened so much that I can’t help but think the pattern is related to my comments more than my own posts. I haven’t gone more than a few days without posting b/c I usually do it because I feel the need to “share” something, whether it be a rant, a funny story, a review, etc.

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