Be honest now … you’ve got someone on your blogroll who’s there out of pity, don’t you?
You know the person I mean. You got a nice comment from them at one time, maybe. Maybe a couple of them. So you decide to reciprocate. You don’t know how they found you, you’re not sure what brought them to your little corner of the Internet, but you decide to be courteous – after all, you’re not a jerk, right? – and so you go and say a few things back to them. But their blog’s not your cup of tea. They can’t put together a complete sentence which would pass muster in third grade. They can’t tell the difference between “their”, “there” and “they’re”. Or “to”, “too” and “two”. Their posts are incredibly inane. Maybe all three or some combination thereof. But you do your duty, let them know you came by, drop the occasional comment.
Then you notice you’re on their blogroll or link list (whatever their blog provider calls it), and they’re not on yours.
Well, now what? Do you continue to act like a jerk and leave them off your blog list, or do you add them? Well, you don’t want to be a jerk so you go ahead and add them. And then, you think, that’s that. It’s the end of it; you’ve done your part as a decent citizen of the blogosphere. Not much more to think about.
But then, there’s a change in tone. That person comes around and acts differently than they did before, perhaps, or attacks one of your long-time commentators, or goes around the other blogs on your blogroll or the blogs of your commentators and starts leaving comments all over the place. For whatever reason, you have a falling out of some sort. And then, they pay you THE ULTIMATE INSULT.
They remove you from their blogroll.
OH, the humiliation! Oh, the shame of it all! This inane, badly written, mindless drivel of a blog and its owner have slapped your face!
Well! The nerve!
To make it the more embarrassing, you knew they didn’t belong on your blogroll in the first place. You knew they weren’t the sort of blog you’d usually read. But here you were, trying to be nice, trying to be a responsible and courteous blogger, and now they’ve completely ground your courtesy into the dust by taking you off their blogroll!
What to do? What to do?
You go ahead and take them off your blogroll too, but now you look like the one being petty. You look like the one being childish, responding with a “hmph!” and an upturned nose. You look like the one who’s being a low-brow moron with nothing better to do than participate in antics you thought you left behind in grade school.
For some of you, maybe this blog is the inane, mindless drivel blog. For me it’s someone else. For them – someone else still. A never-ending chain of childish blogroll-editing.
Welcome to the Internet. Now let’s all grow up.
Sometimes it’s better not to return the favor. Sometimes it’s okay to let someone else have you on their list of blogs to visit and things to do in their day without the obligation of reciprocity. Sometimes it’s okay for you to be a jerk and just … not add that blog, which wasn’t your cup of tea anyway, to your blogroll.
And when you do remove them from your feed reader and blogroll, you’ll find you have more time to pursue the blogs you do enjoy, and interact with the people you do like and do enjoy reading. To you, those people aren’t inane even when they’re just talking about what they did for dinner last night, or how their child is doing in school, or how their weekend trip to the country went. That’s not mindless and it’s not drivel, because you care about them, enjoy the snapshots you get of their lives, and want to share yours with them.
In the end, isn’t that what the blogroll should be about? Sharing stuff you like with people you like, hoping others will like it as much as you?
Yeah, me too. And this post was exactly as long as I wanted it.
All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
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