Linkys & Likes: the Art of Kindness in the Blogging World

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.

Linkys & Likes (2).jpg

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.likes

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.

Diary of An Imperfect Mum
This Mum's Life

20 Comments

  1. November 27, 2016 / 11:49 pm

    I know exactly what you mean – especially your comment about gushing on social media – but I think I’m an excitable person and it’s definitely genuine with me too 🙂 thanks so much for referencing me lovely x x

    • November 28, 2016 / 1:49 pm

      No worries – thanks for the comment. xx

  2. November 28, 2016 / 4:49 pm

    I’ve only recently got involved in the ‘marketing’ side of blogging and I think it can definitely feel a bit fake – but I’ve also found some new blogs and writers that I really like and wouldn’t have stumbled upon otherwise. I think it’s possible to maintain your own authenticity and also spread positivity – I hope so anyway.

    Found you on #bigpinklinky (but I didn’t have to comment ;p )

    • November 28, 2016 / 6:09 pm

      It’s good to see a balanced perspective Beth. I think that’s a great take on it – stay authentic and spread positivity – lovely. xx Thanks so much for commenting (especially when you didn’t ‘have to’ ;-)). x

  3. November 28, 2016 / 6:03 pm

    Couldn’t agree more with this. I comment on loads of blogs and like and share across social media and I don’t say things I don’t mean. Even posts I’m not impressed by have things that can be productively commented upon. I hate to think anyone would say something they completely don’t mean!

    • November 28, 2016 / 6:11 pm

      You are so supportive and encouraging Nicole and it’s obvious you don’t say anything you don’t mean. Thanks so much for commenting, as ever. xx

  4. November 29, 2016 / 12:04 pm

    Ohh this is an interesting post! I think the majority of comments/likes etc are genuine, but there are a few that aren’t. You can usually tell if someone has actually taken the time to read your post or if they’re just having a guess.
    I also try to play by the rules on Linkys and I enjoy reading new posts that I might not otherwise have found. However, I do sometimes struggle to comment on posts that I can’t relate to. Posts documenting days out at places that are miles away from me, for example. I usually leave a comment along the lines of ‘looks like a lovely day’, or something; which is genuine. But I do sometimes find it hard to post a meaningful comment.
    I also wonder if people avoid showing disagreement. In the real world I have had plenty of strangers comment that they don’t think it is appropriate that I take my baby to work. I haven’t had one negative comment here. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining at all, I just wonder whether people are being ‘nice’ and not always sharing their true opinions.
    Oh I went on a bit here, didn’t I! I’ve never thought you were faking, for the record 🙂 #BigPinkLink

    • November 29, 2016 / 8:58 pm

      Really good points about the ‘days out’ posts and also about the lack of disagreement at times…. thank you for taking the time to write a lengthy, thoughtful comment – not ‘going on’ at all 🙂 xx

  5. November 29, 2016 / 2:34 pm

    Im always the same but sometimes get that feeling people are commenting as they HAVE TO on a link. I always leave honest kind comments back and would never have to time to be contrived 🙂 thanks for sharing ad opening my eyes a little! #EatSleepBlogRT

    • November 29, 2016 / 8:56 pm

      Thanks for commenting and your authentic approach is much appreciated xx

      • November 30, 2016 / 8:56 am

        My pleasure, I can feel if it’s a genuine comment and sounds like you can too, chin up X

  6. November 29, 2016 / 2:59 pm

    I came to find a post on your blog and got distracted by this post… I’m not obliged to be here and comment at all! There has been a lot of negativity in the blogging world at the moment and I think that there will always be some form of negativity. I think when you get to a stage in blogging that’s lasted more than the “five minutes” you just start to notice it more. Overall I find everyone I come in contact with positive and I only think it’s fake if you want it to be fake. Sometimes we really do have to rise above the haters and forget about them because they probably don’t know who we are. Do what we do because we want to and that is all we need to do. You can like anything of mine any time you want to by the way! #Nothereforalinkyatall!

    • November 29, 2016 / 8:55 pm

      Hee hee – thanks for taking the time to comment especially when you weren’t obliged to :-). I think you’re right it’s when you stick around in the blogging world for a little time that you start to notice these things – but also start to get to know some really lovely bloggers better too which is a real positive. Hee hee I will continue to like away!!! xx

  7. December 3, 2016 / 7:57 pm

    I love this! No I am not gushing, thats not me, I can’t be arsed to fake it and running a linky means that I read a lot of posts and make a lot of comments. I agree that there is a lot of fakeness in the blogging world. It is unfortunately the only way to get your post out there to chase some of those fake likes. But that doesn’t mean what you are writing is not appreciated by some people! Even with your rose-tinted blogging spec off it is still a really supportive community, honest! #eatsleepblogrt (this turned into a ramble sorry, I blame the lemsip max…)

    • December 3, 2016 / 8:54 pm

      Ah bless you for being poorly – hope you feel better soon (but a ‘rambley’ comment is my fave anyway!). It’s really good to get your take on this as I value your opinion so much. Thank you. xx

  8. December 5, 2016 / 12:02 am

    Gushing is great. I’m a gusher. We can gush together. Good for you writing this. But damn WHAT is it about 4am? That was me…last night…and I almost came downstairs and switch on the computer to catch up on my kind blogger duties on the linky circuit. Instead here I sit at 1am with the school run the next day to make sure I get in there before the next #bigpinklink goes live! First time on your blog. Mindfulness…wouldn’t the world be all the better for it if were all observed this more? #bigpinlink

    • December 5, 2016 / 12:20 am

      Ah gush away on my blog anytime…thanks so much for commenting. I am still up faffing around on the blog and ditto with the school run – arghhhh. Best get to bed (but may try and link up too now you’ve reminded me!). So pleased you’ve visited my blog and can see the beauty of Mindfulness. x

  9. December 5, 2016 / 10:20 am

    Ah this post is really timely for me. I have only been around since Feb but I have increasingly felt that (like anything in life), there is an amount of fakery in blogging. I’m a very genuine and honest person (who also shares the interest in mindfulness by the way!) and I guess I expect other people to be the same. I’ve become a little disillusioned with Linkys and probably won’t join in any for a while. In the past I have spent a lot of time commenting on people’s postS and recently not even the host has commented on mine! (Woe is me ha ha) I realised that I would far rather hunt down blogs for myself as it made me rather sad that people didn’t want to comment on my posts (and who has got time to be sad!!) and sometimes the idea of reciprocity makes me feel uncomfortable.
    Excellent post xx

    #BigPinkLink

    Ps. Sorry for my extreme lateness in commenting xx

    • December 5, 2016 / 1:44 pm

      Don’t worry at all – I’m so sorry you’ve been feeling disillusioned with linkys etc. It can be a minefield can’t it?! I’m drawing back a little and just doing ones that feel a bit more like a community…. I suppose I’m just lazy and joining them helps prompt me to remember to read blogs from specific bloggers. Thanks so much for commenting and great that you’re into Mindfulness too – have you taken a look at the guest series I run? It would be lovely to have you join us if you wanted to (no pressure!). Take care xx

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