It’s 4am and I can’t sleep. Now there is nothing unusual in that. Fairly regularly at this time a child may disturb the peace. But not
tonight this morning.
At the moment the only thing stopping me from sleeping is my own thoughts. Now I could do a ‘beditation’ (a guided practice to help relax body and mind in order to sleep – listen here to the one I use with my students and for myself occasionally), but I think this time I just need to get my thoughts down on paper.
You see a few hours earlier I think I fell a little bit ‘out of love’ with blogging. Not a whole lot I hasten to add, I’m not about to leave the bloggersphere just yet. But just a little to have found it unsettling.
Up until that point I was a fully paid up member of the “isn’t the blogging community so supportive of each other and isn’t it a lovely group of like-minded people” brigade. Maybe I was just a little naive.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still think this is largely the case. However having seen some comments online doubts have crept in and I HATE it when I have misjudged a situation.
You see there’s been some suggestions of how fake things can be in the blogging world – all the complimentary comments on other people’s posts, all the “likes” on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and I was genuinely shocked (yes I did say that maybe I had been a little naive!) by this.
Now I don’t care if other bloggers have faked it about how they feel about my blog. My blog is largely my own outlet and a great reminder to me of all things Mindfulness related. If it also helps other
people bloggers who read my blog to consider Mindfulness then so much the better. But what I do care about is if I come across as a phony. I have always been extremely ‘trigger happy’ with my ‘like’ finger on social media and do have a tendency to ‘gush’ when I read something I like or agree with whether it is posted by friends or other bloggers. I’d like to see myself as reliable in this field and maybe this demotes the significance of my comments a little (a bit like over-praise can in the classroom) but this is a risk I am willing to take (unlike in the classroom – see my post here about offering feedback to children effectively).
But does this effusiveness make me a ‘fake’?
I would like to think not. Recently I have been reading the chapter simply entitled ‘kindness’ in Goldie Hawn’s book 10 Mindful Minutes and I also lead a session on kindness or ‘kindfulness’ when I teach a Mindfulness course to pre-teens and teens. It is, after all, an important element of mindful living and when I’m blogging or online I try to keep this in mind (just as Mim wrote about in her post here on how to be a friendly blogger). So a simple click on a thumbs up or heart on social media can mean many things from me. It can signify:
- a show of support for the effort and hard work that has gone into the particular post or image
- a quick ‘I’m with you sister (or brother)’ if I agree with their online statements or want to show solidarity
- recognition that I understand where the person is coming from
- a indicator of how I admire the person’s tenacity, determination and perseverance
- a thank you for bringing a smile to my face or for making me giggle
- a display of gratitude if the person has shown loyalty to me in the past
- a post or image has triggered a memory of a happy time/place/moment
….and last but not least of course it can mean I admire the beauty encapsulated in the
image or writing.
None of this, in my opinion, is ‘faking it’.
Linkys also come into criticism for being ‘fake’. But nor, I hope, am I anything but authentic when I participate in these either. Yes, I like to play by the rules and comment on the posts designated to me….even if at first glance they may not seem like my cup of tea. After all the main point of joining linkys (for the
handful of people who are not bloggers reading this post there is an explanation of a linky here) is to read new blogs (for me anyway) and get some inspiration. So it would be silly not to read a variety of blogs right? If the post really was not for me I have been known to politely disagree in the comments section at the bottom. There is rarely NOTHING to respond meaningfully to. If someone has taken the time to write and then link up a post I think it’s poor form for them not to get some feedback. It is good to be mindful of the fact that people have many different motivations for blogging and so their blog may be a form of therapy or self-help and a little support for this is surely no big deal.
I suppose up until tonight I had assumed these were all a given but in actual fact I learned that that is not the case. Anyway, to cut to the chase, if you see my prolific use of the ‘like’ button or a particularly enthusiastic comment from me……
please don’t think I’m faking it…..I mean it…AND I mean every word.