Warning: This is sort of a rant. This is me, venting out.
Regular readers of mine might be wondering about my radio silence today. I just took the best part of my Sunday (my only day off) to clean out the spam and trash folders of my blog. I managed to rescue many of your comments that had been lodged there for several days altogether. I don’t know why WordPress gets it wrong when it comes to spam. Anyway, I have rescued all your comments. Also, I am making a mental resolution to check my spam and trash folders everyday… from today onwards.. hopefully!
I came across many comments that were rightly classified as spam, These include but are not limited to:
- Shamelessly self-promoting their blog through comments on my blog without even a single reference to my posts:
Dear spammers, please know that each blog post is published with a lot of effort and care. It is downright insulting to any blogger when you use their comments section just to drop your links without even reading the said post. Don’t get me wrong. There’s a difference between leaving a thoughtful comment about my post with a request to drop by your blog, and simply dropping a link to your posts in the comments. Earlier, I used to call out many of them but now I have decided to go ahead and delete such comments. They don’t deserve to be there. Call me out if I’m wrong. The comments section is all yours.
- The follow for follow culture:
This December, I will reach my six-year milestone in the blogosphere. And I have come across a lot of people who simply follow multiple blogs in a single day just for the purpose of gaining followers. I try to check back on almost everybody who follows me. But recently, time constraints have kept me from doing so. But I think that bombarding any blog with huge number of “likes” and a follow just for the sake of getting a “follow back” is too insincere. If you genuinely like a blog, you should follow it. There shouldn’t be any ulterior motive!
- Leaving insensitive and absolutely random feedback:
I get it, the joke’s on me. My blog is called “My Random Ramblings” after all. But that does not mean that random comments that are not related to my post in any way are welcome. But Akismet does a lovely job of catching many such comments. Here’s a sample comment that I had received for my post – tiny tale #74: A Sight to Behold.
“Next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not disappoint me as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I genuinely thought you would have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you could possibly fix if you weren’t too busy seeking attention.”
I don’t think that tiny tale deserved such a comment. It was well received by everyone other than this particular person. And no, it was not a proxy or a bot that goes on publishing spam comments. This was written by an actual blogger! Feel free to read the story and correct me if I am wrong when I say that this comment was totally random.
But that being said, constructive criticism is always welcome. And many bloggers have been kind enough to offer that and I have always welcomed it. But the above comment does not fall under that category.
- If you don’t want to read, say that. Don’t come up with lame excuses:
Feedback has a lot of effect on my ability to write. There was a phase when I had all but given up on blogging. There was a time when I used to bug my friends till they read my posts. That stopped when I had a few bad experiences. Some people, who were close to me and knew me really well led me to believe that my tiny tales were worthless. They didn’t believe that a story could be compressed and told in so few words. Some didn’t understand the concept of my six word stories. Some thought that the stories ended by the time they got interesting. Further more, one person even told me that the beautiful comments left by my fellow bloggers was only meant for formality as “those bloggers” didn’t feel like breaking the truth to me. What truth? You may ask. This person told me that my tiny tales were not really up to the mark. Was this person a writer? No, no. Definitely not. But I chose to believe their hurtful words and I stopped writing tiny tales for a long while. The fact that such a comment came from some of my friends made it even more hurtful. I should have heeded the words of my fellow bloggers but the hurtful comments had all my attention. They eclipsed everything else. I simply lacked the confidence to write flash fiction. The ones who love my blog will keep reading. The ones who have other priorities never will. It took me a long while to get over those hurtful comments. And I don’t want to go through it ever again. So I took the decision to not send out personal links to anyone anymore.
Sidenote: I would like to give a shout-out to a favourite blogger of mine to help me see the fact that my tiny tales aren’t that bad after all. Thank you, Pranitha Menon chechi for your love and support when I needed it the most. I will never forget all that you have done for me. Also, a huge thank you to all my readers and fellow bloggers for always encouraging me, for lifting up my spirits when I am feeling low. You guys are the best
Okay, the next one isn’t as huge as the others, but still that can’t be totally ignored either.
- Getting my name wrong 😦
If I had a dollar (or even a penny!) for every time someone had got my name wrong, I would be a very rich girl. As someone who has faced a lot of bullying/teasing/annoying comments over the spelling of my name, it’s difficult when all those feelings surface again after so many years. Yes, my name is spelled S-H-W-E-T-A. It’s not Swetha, Sweta, Swatha, Sweda, Swathi, Shreya, Shruti, Shewta or Shaeta. I am someone who strongly believes that a name is a critical part of someone’s identity. Forget about spelling, I have no words for people who change my name altogether! Just because someone thinks my name should be spelled in some way doesn’t mean that should be the case. Yes, I know it happens by accident at times but every time this happens a tiny sword permanently lodged in my heart takes a slow painful turn. But then again, they haven’t gone through all the experiences that I have had. So I guess they will never understand where I am coming from. So these days, I smile on the outside and let it go with a fake laugh. Any attempt to correct them would only end in a lecture with why they think my spelling is “wrong”. And I am sick and tired of hearing the same dialogue. And I am eternally grateful to anyone and everyone who puts in an effort to spell my name correctly.
I guess I have bored you enough for the day. If you are still with me, thank you for putting up with me. 🙂
Image courtesy: Giphy
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