Blogger Entitlement

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

So, I have a formspring. Once, I had a person tell me to cheer the eff up because I was really depressing and that I had ruined their day. I laughed it off thinking "if one of my small blogs posts ruined your whole day, then who REALLY has the depression issue, lady?" No harm done. I shrugged it off.

But for some reason, another dear reader went out of their way to leave me a message letting me know that they felt my blog was becoming boring due to this 30 day challenge.
It had been a rough morning, I took it personal and I'll admit, I didn't take the time to respond in the best way I knew how.

I normally love your blog, but this photo "challenge" is really boring. Your blog has gotten really dry. Just saying...

I'm not sure what it is about formspring that makes people really want to tell me how much they dislike my blog.

And, as you recall, my dear "reader", I did EXPLAIN that while the photo challenge may be boring, I have some really intense and personal stuff going on in my life right now that I don't feel comfortable sharing with the world.

So thanks for being there for me at this really challenging time in my life. Yeah, I really appreciate it. Now go be entertained by someone else's personal life.

I wasn't saying I dislike your blog. I just dislike this boring photo "challenge". And I do recall that you explained it, but that doesn't make it any less boring. And your readers can't "be there for you" if they have no clue what's going on anyway.

The good thing about the "boring photo challenge" is that you can come back in 16 days when it's over. Until then, happy reading elsewhere!

Now, let's get something straight: I don't know who this person is. Further, I don't know their voice inflection, their attitude, or their personal life. So all I have are the above comments to take in whatever way my brain interprets them. I'm going to make this very clear: this person could have full well had the best intentions possible and I misread the whole thing.

Another formspringer had the same thought:

I'm a bit confused by your response to the 30dayphoto-nay-sayer. Don't you want feedback from your readers? I don't think they meant it as an insult or attack, but a statement... I mean if my blog was becoming boring for readers I'd want to know

I don't really feel like I blog for readers, and like I had said previously: I did explain that I knew the 30 day photo thing could be boring to some people. For a reader to further feel like they HAD to go out of their way to "just say" that it is boring irritated me at the time. Looking back, I probably should have not let the comment get the best of me but it was a rough morning to begin with and to have the first thing I saw getting online someone telling me I was boring them just did not rub me well.

It felt like a complete stranger had walked up to me on a bad day and said: "Your clothes are ugly today. I don't mean that bad, I'm just telling you."
I probably wouldn't smile sweetly and thank them for their input. But I would wonder why they felt their opinion was so important to share.

The bottom line is this: if your blog was becoming boring to a reader, would you change it? If the answer is yes, that is where we are different.

Let me tell you what this all sounds like to me.
In the blogging world, I feel this sense of narcissistic entitlement. This idea that because you are reading a blog, you deserve to get out of it exactly what you expect to get out of it. That the blogger should somehow change their writing style or lifestyle or blogging style so that you can have your needs fulfilled.

Well, that's not why I started this blog four years ago. I originally did it to share short stories with friends and family. Then, I did it to share my life with friends and family.
Because my blog was public, I had a few friends that followed along, and soon I had a few more friends that decided to follow who I have never met before.
And that's fine! I love my followers, and feel humbled that people take the time out of their busybusybusy days and come read in my little corner of the internet. If you find satisfaction out of reading this, great! Thank you! Stay as long as you'd like!

But please know that I will NEVER change how I blog because it bores you. My personal life and what I choose to share online is not up to you. It is up to me.

I love my followers. But do you see a survey asking what you would like to see more or less of? Nope. Because I will come and go, share, and withhold as much as I please.

If this offends you, you already know what to do. I don't expect everyone to agree with me and my "blogging opinions" because in the long run, they don't really matter anyway. :)

Again, a sincere thank you the readers that keep coming back and even to the girl that thought calling me dry and boring would be helpful. The conversation has helped me figure out some things inside myself.

If the 30 day photo challenge is boring you, you can always come back on November 30th when I return to my regular programming. Or not. It's up to you.
Just like the content of this blog is up to me.


  1. Hello! I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your blog. I love how you are always doing something interesting just for the sake of new experiences. I really admire how you've really made life your own and taken charge of your life and happiness. I hope this doesn't sound totally weird, seeing as I haven't seen you since middle school. Anyways, I totally agree with this post. If someone doesn't like it, they don't have to read it.

    Sarah Randolph

  2. Carrie, I've gotten some doozies for comments before, and some of them have been blunt, rude, and mean-spirited. I have cried--BAWLED--because of ugly things that were said to me (or about me) on my blog. So... I feel ya, sister. I feel the same way about blogging -- that it's MY blog, and people are welcome to read, but if they're bored or disagree... so be it. They can read if they want, or they can leave. I probably won't lose sleep over it if I lose a follower.

    I don't think you're boring at all. I think the photo challenge is fun -- it shows all different sides of a person in photo-form, which is interesting to me.

    Different strokes for different folks, right?

  3. Very insightful, friend.

    I think some readers may feel entitled to comment in "helpful" ways because they misunderstand the purpose of your blog. If you were TRYING to be "Cup of Jo" or "Mormon in Manhattan" or "Seriously So Blessed," and had ASKED for market research input, then it might make sense for readers to say "Here's what I want to see more or less of." But you're just sharing some thoughts.

    I hate when people see the blog-world and facebook and other social networking tools as COMPETITIONS. (And let's be clear: I hate it because it's something I occasionally become susceptible to, but every time I try to "compete" in any social world, I HATE it and myself and I DON'T think that's what Christ intended.)

    Maybe you need a formspring clarification..."No market research answers please."

  4. Agreed. In the end, it's not about the rude commentors , they don't have anything better to do than to give off negative feedback to make someone feel worse about themselves if they caught you on a bad day.

    Just Better Together

  5. For the record, I'm enjoying your 30 days of pictures. I don't think it's boring at all!

    p.s. love the picture of the double parked car.

  6. Carrie, thank you for taking all the nut jobs so that we can write in peace. I just think of someone walking up to Leonardo dad Vinci, and commenting "Hey, ya know, your "Mona Lisa," it's kinda boring. I don't understand it so I don't appreciate it. Could you spice it up? Maybe give her a Yankees cap or somethin'?" Your craft clearly isn't for those who don't care to think a little, especially a stranger you've never met. Thank you for your courage and boldness and creativity in writing.

  7. Thank you, Carrie, for not changing the way you blog for someone else. I like seeing your personality and reading about what you think on YOUR blog. Keep it up!


I like to hear all of the beautiful things you have to say.