Donna at Just Me wrote Saturday about missing bloggers -- blogging "friends" who suddenly stop blogging and commenting without any notice to their readers. We get worried about our friends when that happens. And yes, it's no one's business really if or when we blog; if we don't have the time or inclination to blog we don't really owe anyone an explanation.
Or do we?
I think we do. Most of us do. We do to a certain extent, at least. I'm going to mention three "types" of bloggers here for comparison:
No. 1: If we write in our blogs, accept and appreciate comments, but don't necessarily make a habit of visiting and commenting in return, then we haven't really built up a relationship that calls for certain common courtesies. (There are a couple of blogs I read like this. I enjoy them and don't expect reciprocating visits and comments from the blogger. They're nice if I get them, but I'm not disappointed if I don't. These bloggers don't write for comments or as part of a community, and that's okay. But if they suddenly stopped I would wonder and worry; I wouldn't feel like they owed me an explanation, though. We didn't have that sort of relationship.)
No. 2: I think if we make a point of visiting others' blogs and becoming familiar with their lives and families while they are visiting our blogs and becoming familiar with us, then that constitutes a relationship of some sort. We are not obligated to say "I'm taking a break from blogging for now," but it sure is considerate to do so. In the case of these bloggers I would certainly wonder and worry should they be missing because we do have that sort of relationship.
No. 3: Those of us who have been following one another for years, since AOL Journal days, who have identified ourselves as J-Land friends -- You bet I'm going to be upset if you stop blogging and I don't know that you are okay! Thankfully many of us have other forms of contact besides our blogs and can let our fellow blogger friends know if there is a problem. We even have blogging friends who have set up blogs, like Call for Support and J-Land Central, just for keeping one another apprised of illnesses and other problems that could keep one of us from blogging, as well as letting us know when someone who has been away from blogging returns with a post!
What do you think? This is just my opinion. It is a subject that I'd already given some thought, so when I read Donna's post I decided I needed to write about it.
My son and daughter both know how to get to my main email account, and my daughter has access to my journal. They have both been given instructions that should anything ever happen to me, they are to post a notice in my blog. Does that sound a bit egotistical? It isn't meant to be. I just got to thinking about it one day, and it occurred to me that I would want to know if a blogging friend were sick in the hospital or had died in a car accident or something. I'd want to send a card and flowers, or express condolences at the very least and do more if I could. So I figured if I felt that way, others probably did too. So Andrew and Eler Beth know that they are supposed to put an entry in my blog or make a post on my Facebook page if I am suddenly seriously ill and unable to do it myself. And, of course, Eler Beth now "knows" some of my blogger friends through her own blog.
If I were to suddenly die? Well, you might laugh, but Thomas has instructions that as part of the preparations he would have to undertake he is to let at least one blogger friend know, so that person could let my other blogger friends know. (I wouldn't put that on my kids!) To do that he can email someone in my address book, have Eler Beth put him into my blog to make a post, or he can put it on my Facebook account -- where many of my blogger friends can be found.
Yes, I have actually included that in my "wishes", should something happen to me. I have letters to be given out to certain people, I know where I want to be buried, I have a will leaving certain things to loved ones, and, yes, I have a "Blogging Will". It's funny, and I am laughing. But I'm very serious too.
Because I'd like to think that there are at least a few of you out there who would want to know.