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When It’s Time to Stop Reading

Song Lyric of the Day:

I hear you laughing at me when I’m up / I see you when you’re crying for me when I’m down / I see you when you laugh at me when I’m up / I see you when you’re crying for me / All you do to me is talk, talk

Talk Talk / “Talk Talk

Lately I’ve noticed that while I’ve been reading some of the blogs I’ve read for years, I haven’t been enjoying them like I used to. I originally started reading these particular blogs because they were funny, insightful, poignant, entertaining, and, most importantly to me, relatable. But lately something’s changed –in place of those great, well-written posts I used to enjoy there’s filler. Granted, I think most of us bloggers have occasionally used filler posts just to throw something up there (I’m raising my hand — guilty as charged). But most of us don’t have the type of readership and communities — or, in those rare cases, livelihood — tied to our blogs that these blogs in question do. I know I have a loyal little core of about 30 readers (see what I did there? I subtracted a few). So what’s changed? The majority of posts I’m reading are complete one-eighties from what the blogs used to be about; where one blogger was known for, say, baking, suddenly they’re posting about homing pigeons. I’ve lost my connection to them, that relatability that drew me to them in the first place and kept me a loyal reader for many years. Which is why I’ve come to the realization that I’ve been hate-reading them. (Somewhere my husband just said, “Well, duh.”)

In all honesty, I’ve never been so enamored of any blogger that I idealized them, put them on a pedestal, whatever.  But I did really, truly enjoy their writing for many years. These days? I find that more often than not their posts are about nothing — and not in that funny, clever Seinfeld about-nothing way. Just about nothing, as if they’re going through the motions. Granted, some of them (but not all) have pretty big life issues they’re dealing with these days, but when you’ve made a living/created your blog brand, as it were, based on your brutal honesty and outspokeness and willingness to share personal things, well … it’s quite an adjustment when you clam up and instead post a picture of a homing pigeon. I know there’s plenty of other stuff they could be writing about that would entertain/satisfy their readers (myself included) that wouldn’t even have to touch on subjects they’d rather not be blogging about at this time. And the ones who are closing/deleting/altering comments just because they don’t like dissenting opinions? So much for encouraging honest feedback.

But it’s not up to me to dictate what anyone else can do, you know? Except for Coraline — I’m bossing that kid around until the day I die. Will she listen? Well, that remains to be seen. I do expect some pushback, though.

So what’s my solution to my hate-reading problem? I’m going to stop reading those blogs, cold-turkey. That’s the goal, anyway; after years of lunchtime reading, it’s going to be a hard habit to break. It is going to be an adjustment, though, since I really did enjoy the stories and glimpses into their lives that these bloggers shared over the years. But all good things have to come to an end, right?

4 thoughts on “When It’s Time to Stop Reading

  1. I totally have three blogs that I hate read! Guilty as well. And I felt to bad and annoyed, but you know what, I feel cheated? Isn’t it weird? Especially one in particular where I thought one thing of that blogger and have slowly been realizing that it’s the opposite. I’m hate reading but at the same time wishing that she’ll get her shit together. And I started hate reading another blog a year ago (through the recommendation of another blogger) and I finally find that faulty blogger quite endearing.
    I’m okay with hate reading a couple, loving a few and I don’t care about adding others to the list.

    1. LOL I think a lot more people do it than we think. I get feeling cheated — I feel like that, too, about these particular blogs. They’re no longer what they were for so long. At least you’re honest! We’ll see how well I do with my pledge to quit hate-reading.

  2. “Hate-reading” — you know, I’d never heard that term, but it makes perfect sense! (And I can’t believe I missed that Jezebel article. I’m on that site religiously.)

    I’m also finding that many of the bloggers I once loved now seem to be phoning it in, content-wise. Some of them have gone on to get publishing/TV deals (good for them), so their loyal fanbase — readers like me — no longer seem that important, I guess. I mean, I get it — but it sucks. And others just seem to have lost their enthusiasm for writing/sharing.

    I’ve been blogging for four years and know it’s not always puppies, rainbows and “you’re awesome!” comments, that’s for sure, but I still find it to be the creative outlet it was when I started. But I guess some folks just burn out after a while.

    1. Meg — It’s a new one to me, too, although I’m only on Jezebel every now and then. I also think the term makes perfect sense.

      I agree with you — I get it, too, but it does suck. Way to forget about us little people on their rise to the top, right? Although some of the ones I read don’t even have TV/book deals, so it’s just like they’ve stopped caring. I started this blog back in late 2004, and I still enjoy it. Gives me a little corner of the Interwebs in which I might be heard. 🙂

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