Saturday, January 7, 2012

Do You Ever Wonder Where Someone Went?

If you are a part of the blogosphere, I am sure you have a list of blogs that update regularly for you to read. I have 38 listed in my reader.

Do you ever wonder about the people who kind of disappear?

There's one guy I used to read who was kind of sarcastic and interesting and then apparently his girlfriend dumped him (after they met in person) and his best friend killed himself and, well, now he doesn't post anymore. I wonder if he's okay. But I've never met him.

I read Jenny Lawson and think she's one of the funniest people I've ever had the pleasure of running into online. But she also struggles with rheumatoid arthritis, depression, and severe anxiety. When she doesn't post her usual updates or an occasional hysterical entry, I start to wonder if she's okay. I've never met her either.

I read several stitching blogs (I was so excited when I found them) and, when they don't post, I know what they're doing. They're making things for me to drool over when they write their next post with pictures of their creations. I've never met them, but I feel kind of close to them because we share a passion for something.

I used to read a blog by a girl with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (also known as the dreaded Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). I was friends with her on Facebook and, when I thought I was going to be putting a book together about people with chronic illnesses, we emailed back and forth and she sent me a beautiful story about her struggle. Then, one day, it went viral on my Facebook page that she had died. I never found out why. I don't know if it was something related to her chronic illness or if it was suicide. And believe me, if it was suicide, it was because of her chronic illness, so whichever it was, the ME was the cause of it. I never met her, but I grieved for her.

I had months last year that I didn't write very much. Pretty much the entire month of November, because I had pneumonia. Also, I think January was a bad month for writing for me, because of my mom's surgery on February 1st. I had nothing to say. I saw my number of page hits go way down because people didn't stop by. The only way to stay moderately "popular" in the blogosphere is to post as often as you can - daily if possible. Sometimes, there just isn't that much to say.

But what I wonder is do you notice when someone whose posts you like doesn't post for awhile or just disappears off the face of the earth? We've become so much of an online society and there seems to be less and less face to face interaction. People have 600 "friends" on facebook and, even if they haven't met the ones they talk to the most, they are really friends. (I know some people would argue they aren't and maybe they aren't in the traditional sense, but if you get support from them, I consider them friends.)

I loved the photo I found above, because it kind of symbolizes to me how I wonder sometimes what would happen if I disappeared? Would anyone notice? Probably a few people and maybe they would check back in every once in awhile. But the blogosphere moves quickly and you have to have material coming out at a pretty quick clip to keep people's attention.

I write for myself. I'm not paid for it, obviously. I've heard it said many times that writer's write because they have to write. I don't know if that's true for me or whether you would say that I'm a "real" writer, since I've never published anything in the traditional sense of the word. I come here to get the things out that I don't know how else to say. And I also come here because I love seeing the number of hits on my blog peak after a post. Who doesn't love seeing their stats go up?

I know I'll never be a Bloggess or anything along those lines. And I know that if I disappeared from the blog world, it probably wouldn't even be a blip on anyone's radar screen. So I wonder why I do this. And I wonder what it will all mean when I no longer do it. And I wonder if that guy whose girlfriend dumped him and whose best friend killed himself is okay. Because he hasn't posted in a long time and I worry about him, even though I've never met him.

Do the people whose blogs you read become as real in your head as mine do?


  1. Actually yes! And the funny thing is, I wrote about that too,

    I would like to think a lot of people feel that way, but who knows? But I do. I read a blogger who stopped blogging because of a house fire, and she hasn't come back yet. Another one who gave me my first blog award, who's site was suddenly removed. Another one who first commented on my blog, and I actually really liked his, and he took down his site.

    Like any community, we are impacted when someone leaves. Life happens. But it matters that you (and the rest of the bloggers) are here, no matter what you write about.

  2. Thanks, Nicole. I've been sad when people post that they have to stop blogging for whatever reason and it's like a favorite author has died or something. And it's always really strange when someone just disappears and you don't know why, since you can't find out and since you don't really know them and 99.9% of us are not "famous" enough for it to be in the papers. :o)

    I will check out your entry. Thanks for sending it my way!



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