Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thing Four: The Eeyore Syndrome

People who know me will not be surprised to know that I have an opinion about most everything: not a judgement, but an intuitive vibe that tilts me one way or the other. Commenting on them out loud, however, is not something that is always a good notion. And being a facebook participant has helped me pace myself, my words and my reactions.

I am often at the restaurant that my family has been running for 45 years. And if one thing is apparent, the social aspect of eating out is more important sometimes than the food aspect.

We have the kind of place where people are comfortable coming in groups, couples or just alone at the bar. But each of our customers comes for two things: For a meal, and for interaction. Just like Eeyore the donkey, people long to be noticed. Noticed for their presence, their conversation, their contributions. Even if they are just out for a hamburger and a beer, to watch a sports game or check in on the events of the day, they need noticing. Otherwise, they would stay home.

Commenting on blogs is certainly a way of noticing other people. It's a written response to their written statement. It's an affirmation that they were heard and evaluated at some level.
So when I comment, I will try to be as thoughtful and careful with my responses as I can.

I can only imagine how important commenting and blogging will be to the next generation of communicators. The nightly news is full of stories about people of extreme behavior, and often, if the person is of a certain young age, they'd blogged about one thing or another.

Blogging can be a good way for young people, students, to be noticed, and to hear back from someone express themselves in a place of some kind of anonymity and see how they are received. I think it'll be interesting to watch this next communication phenomenon. I see it as a very useful tool, indeed.


  1. Boy, I love your writing! I just love this post and yes, the idea of "authentic audience" and the powerful partial reinforcement that comes from commenting is so important. When I receive a comment, it totally makes my day. When I get a negative comment, sometimes it can ruin my day too. ;-( However, I love your examples you've shared here and also your reflection of the importance of commenting. I try to teach my students effective commenting as they blog and also how to track when people comment and share. I'm going to blog about this post this week on Cool Cat Teacher. Thank you for such a great one! I LOVE your writing.

  2. For a person who is a highly visual learner you paint an excellent picture with your writing. "Commenting on blogs is certainly a way of noticing other people" - what a succinct way of talking about commenting.

  3. Well, thanks for noticing! I am also a visual learner, which made it hard getting through the parochial school system. I could have used Daniel Pink in the 60's...I knew there was a place for me in the mix. I do feel strongly, however, that it's a character builder to get out of your comfort zone and just plod through a process that's not easy or obvious to you. It's quite a jog for your brain to try something new!