Thought: On feeling obligated to comment on friends and contact’s blogs

There is a thought in my head about an increasing trend: people expecting their friends and contacts to comment on their blogs. Many of my offline friends have blogs or other types of sites now. As time passes, more and more people tell others about their sites. Some contacts expect me to regularly participate on their sites.

From what I am noticing in several personal and non-personal cases, a slowly increasing number of people are looking down at friendships and other relationships simple because someone does not comment and participate on their site regularly.

Friends expecting comments

Your friend may expect you to comment on their site, whether or not your current friendship with that friend is solely based on the online world. You can talk to your friend via the phone or even chat with them online, but if you do not visit or comment on their site regularly, they may retaliate by not talking to you that much or by talking to someone else who visits and comments on their blog.

It is as if the friendship is solely based on the number of comments you leave on a blog. A blog can be considered someone’s personal property, thus you have to see whether or not your friend is justified in getting upset over you not commenting on their site. Your friend getting upset over the absence of your comments on your site can either be like your friend expecting you to support them in unrelated things in order for the friendship to continue or like your friend expecting you to support them in a passion they may have.

Of course, such confusion can be solved if you ask your friend what they want, or if your friend tells you what they want. However, I wonder if it is always easy for everyone to tell a friend “You know what, I don’t like commenting on your blog or reading it, because of this and this reason. Is that going to upset you?

Business and non-business contacts expecting comments

Business and non-business contacts can be different than your friends. Sure, more and more people are calling each other friends, but no one is there for each other in anything from which they themselves do not benefit, or when a business deal is not around. Thus, let us briefly focus on the idea of non-friend contacts expecting comments from you: a random person or a business contact may show you their personal or some other blog, and thus may expect you to regularly visit or participate that blog. What happens if you do not fulfill their expectations?

Well, from my personal experience, several things can happen. I have seen business contacts doing less business simply because I do not comment on every post of theirs. I have also seen some very famous business contacts being non-communicative until they need something, which can appear to be beyond unprofessionalism in many cases. I have also heard people complaining about their business contacts becoming more aggressive and unfriendly in business deals if those people post a disagreeing comment about something on a blog. Getting upset in different ways over other contacts not commenting on some site can be signs of people not being able to differentiate between their expectations from their own blogs and their business and other deals with other people.

How do you fix such a thing? You cannot fix such a trend and mentality until you find out what the business or some other deal expects. You entered into a business deal; did it include in any direct or indirect manner your participation on any site? Did the other person get any kind of a hint in the beginning that you will continuously participate on their site? It is best to not mix business with personal life or something like your passion for comments unless you know the people involved in a business deal are willing to be true friends or logical contacts who will not let things get affected by something like the number of comments you post on a blog not related to the business or some other deal in question.

What to do?

It depends. I personally do not want to be obligated to comment on any friend’s or non-friend’s blog. I comment when I want to. Otherwise, I try to communicate with people a lot outside of a blog, like via the phone, e-mail or even chatting online on different im’s. I actually prefer to communicate more offline than online in many cases.

Do you want friendship to continue? Do you want a business or some other contact to continue doing business or remain a contact with you? Do you want a random contact to keep in touch normally? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you can think of ways to come at a solution that satisfied either you, the other person, or both of you. Whatever solution you come up with, you should feel comfortable enough to actually stick to the solution if the other person agrees to the solution also.

What do you think? Please let me know, thank you. :)