If I’ve liked one of your posts, chances are I wanted to say something but kept myself from doing it. There are a number of reasons I hesitate to comment, and I’ll now outline a few of the most common.
A. I have nothing to add.
Chances are I liked your post for some reason. I thought it was a good idea. I thought it was beautifully expressed. I related to the subject. I agreed with some aspect of it. Whatever it may be, some posts I enjoy reading I have nothing to add to the post. A comment saying “Good one” seems inadequate in most cases, especially if the topic is personal or serious or something like that. Similarly, saying “I liked this” is redundant and just as devoid of content. Sometimes I do it, because I happen to smile when someone likes something I wrote, but I don’t want to say it to every post I read and lessen the impact (and makes me look like a dumb dumb if all I can think to say is “GOOD JOB” to every post). I hope it’s implied that when I click on the like button it is because I liked what I read.
B. I can’t express what I have to say.
This happens for a few reasons. Sometimes I simply can’t express myself. The topic of the post is fascinating and the post itself is well written. I agree with some part of it and feel a need to expand on it while complimenting the writer and then……….. nothing. At times it’s because I want to keep replies relatively short (my goal isn’t to give out reading assignments) and I am unable to keep it under essay length. But sometimes it’s just a total failure on my end. Nothing in my head is coming out coherent.
Other times, I can’t express myself in a way that doesn’t sound rude/offensive/mean. Which leads to
C. Being THAT person.
When someone says “This is what I think” about a certain situation or idea, it’s hard to dispute it without being a prick. It’s definitely possible, but depending on the topic, it takes a certain amount of tact, that I apparently lack. I tend to see this problem as a result of people not liking the process of having their thoughts challenged, but whatever it is, it makes debate difficult. Even if my goal is to give a compliment, though perhaps be critical of a single aspect, I can’t figure out a way to say it so a civil conversation can follow. Occasionally, I don’t mind. But, typically, I don’t want to start an argument with someone, or bring their mood down with a perceived assault. Besides manners, I see no net benefit in doing so.
D. It feels oddly personal to comment.
Some topics are personal. Whether it’s discussing a broken friendship or just a day in the life, the posts involve some degree of personal content rather than simply informational or entertaining. At these times, I fully realize I know very, very little of the person whose blog I’m reading. Even if I have been reading your blog for 2 years, there is much more about your life that is excluded and I don’t always feel comfortable commenting on these posts. A lot of times it’s because a comment would require some sort of assumptions about your life or your relationships and I don’t want to assume anything. I’m very particular when it comes to personal details and don’t want to pry into someone’s life. The main reason I feel this way is because I don’t know how the other person will react. If I know you and know that when we hit a topic that you don’t want to to discuss you will calmly tell me, then I’m happy to pry away. But some people (and since I don’t know most bloggers on this site well) react differently.
E. Lack of acknowledgement.
To give a nice round 5, I’ll mention this one. Surprisingly often when I leave a comment, the writer says absolutely nothing in response. Sometimes that’s a valid response, and perhaps liking the comment would suffice (though there are times when I don’t even get that). But there have been multiple times when I’ve left, what I considered, thoughtful comments and received nothing back. Even if you think I’m an idiot, again, a like would at least tell me you read it. I’m probably guilty of this myself, and if I’ve done it to you, I’m sorry. I try to reply to comments, and when they don’t require a response, I almost always like them (unless they’re rude, then fuck off). It becomes the situation you get into with a friend. You ask them to hang out three times and they don’t get back to you so you feel it’s up to them to take the initiative. Only, on this site, I’m not always talking to people (there are screen-names and such so I don’t have any idea of the individual) so my conclusion is more general. “Commenting doesn’t get a response, so why comment?” I still try but wish I was better.