Warning! Big 'ol rant ahead!
Before I tell you what I hate, I am going to first say that I take full blame, because I *guess* it's my own fault for getting too invested in other people's lives.
When I follow a blog for a while, and have been reading someone's "life story", I become interested, and start to care about what is going on with that person. Perhaps in some cases, even loosely consider myself a "friend" if I've commented a lot, and been responded to. Perhaps that person has even been a reader of my blog, and has commented back as well. Or, sometimes I've stayed completely anonymous and there's no relationship there, other than that I've been following what's going on in a person's life, as they have documented it on their blog. In any event, I find that over time, I *care* about that person.
What I hate is when said person suddenly "drops off the face of the Earth". Sometimes there's a warning - "hey folks, I need to take a little break from blogging, but I'll be back soon!". And I check back, day after day, then week after week, and they never come back. Sometimes there's no warning - suddenly there are no more updates, and no explanation. Just leaves everyone hanging. Did they die? Did something terrible happen? Did their computer break? Did they just get tired of blogging?
Now I *used* to make an attempt to contact these people, because I cared!, and was wondering what happened - were they ok? And it would turn out that it was just a case of, "Oh yeah, I just haven't felt like blogging...." or "Oh yeah, I just haven't had anything to say lately..." or "Oh yeah, I've been SO busy..." blah blah blah. Some excuse. Nothing tragic or terrible. Nothing that would prevent them from having the courtesy to put up one last post to say goodbye or SOMETHING.
The WORST example is when a blogger is documenting some sort of medical crisis, either affecting themselves, or their child, husband, whatever. And then posts some medical cliffhanger like, "Leaving for the hospital...doesn't look good...." and then DOESN'T UPDATE FOR THREE DAYS. Only to come back and tell how wonderful everything has been going and all is fine. Now on the one hand, I realize that in a medical crisis, updating your blog isn't first priority. BUT, if you've purposely put your whole story out there, begged for prayers, been sharing your fears, been tweeting from the hospital, asking our opinions and our stories, and getting us all invested, COME ON! Don't leave us hanging, fervently praying, checking back 30 times a day for an update!! Post two stinkin' sentences, "Kid is going to be ok. Will share all details later." AUGH!!!!!!!
Again, it's all my fault - why do I care so much??
Well, I have given up hunting down missing bloggers, and I'm only going to check on medical "cliffhangers" once a day. I just can't take it.
And yes, I realize there are cases where there are really good reasons for bloggers "going missing" or people not coming back to update medical cliffhangers because something terrible really did happen. For example, my cousin, Dr. Mom, has an autistic son, and lately she's lucky if she has time for a shower and a trip to the bathroom during the day. I totally understand why she can't keep up her blog. Another favorite blogger of mine, Wendy, when she's having a medical problem, sometimes really does end up in the hospital for days (once it was a stroke!). Or her internet (which is not controlled by her) goes down for periods or time, or she is traveling and doesn't have a connection. But she ALWAYS does post when she can - I know if she hasn't posted she hasn't flaked out - there's always a good reason. But more often than not, in these other cases, it's been blogger fatigue, a trip to Timbuktu, a month's stay at a spa for pimple treatment with accutane...who knows. Sometimes I never find out because they don't respond to an email or comment asking how they've been or are they coming back. I just waste my time going to their site another 20 or 30 times to see if they've updated or added a comment. (A little trick I learned is that at least if comments are still being approved, you know they're not dead. That's comforting.) And I'm sure the people in a medical crisis are just so relieved and happy when everything turns out ok, they forget about the 600 people they've got following their story, praying for them, refreshing their blog page 30 times a day waiting for an update....
I know some people truly have really good excuses, but ARGH!!!!!
It's like reading a good book, then suddenly without warning - poof! No more pages! You never get to find out what happened! How AGGRAVATING! I would never have started the book if I'd known!
Do you feel the same way? Do I need to stop getting involved in the lives of people on the internet? Are you guilty of flaking out on your blog?