Why I Don't Routinely Thank People For Reading Or Commenting On What I Write
I've noticed that on social media, people tend to thank those who read their posts or comment on them. Some do that for almost every single comment made, which clutters up the thread for users hoping for substantive information and discussion.
Yes, I'm Appreciative
I AM appreciative of readers and comments. After all, if there were none, there would be nobody to write FOR, and I'd feel too isolated from readers. I'm even grateful.
So, why don't I routinely thank those who comment?
It's About My Perceptions Of Value
It's pretty simple. Readers and commentators are not doing me favors. I'm not the waif like beggar on the street saying, "Hey buddy, got any spare comments?"
It's not like that at all.
Because my writing credo is to produce articles that will help readers accomplish something they want to accomplish, my writing, at least I'd hope, provides VALUE to readers. They are gaining something from the fruits of my keyboard (or they'll just move on anyway).
I don't have any idea what value people get unless they tell me, so that's one reason I like comments.
BUT, why should I be thanking people when I'm giving away my material in the spirit of helping?
In other words, I am giving THEM something and I hope something of value rather than the opposite.
Social Media and The Devaluing Or Expertise and Writing
This ties in with a distinct shift in how expertise and writing are perceived as a result of social media. Anyone can write and anyone can try to demonstrate their expertise, and that's fine.
However, it's glutted the market for eyeballs, such that writers start to feel they should be grateful for the comments coming from the eyeball owners.
It used to be, when it required various skills to produce content for online consumption, that readers would thank the AUTHOR for providing content. Now it's the other way around.
I don't like it, and I'd rather not contribute to the idea that writers are so desperate for attention and readership that they need to thank each reader and or commenter.
Am I Rude?
Maybe. Maybe not. So let me reclaim my positive image here.
I thank people for comments that make me think, that are things I haven't thought of, and shed additional light on the topic. Or occasionally, just because I feel like it.
I just don't do it routinely. I do try to respond to comments if there's something to respond to - some content, but I tend not to respond to reader thank you's either. Cluttering up streams with lots of thank you's and you are welcome's just kill too many electrons, which are getting scarcer.
Neither do I expect thanks from writers on whose posts I comment.
In any event, here's a blanket thank you if you comment on this. Thanks. And if I wasted your time by writing junk, then I DO apologize.