Sunday, January 17, 2010

Have you made arrangements?

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.



Sherry said...

this is so weird I read this after I have been gone for a year your right I got so frustrated I just quit blogging and I owe my readers an appoligy so honey I am fine and I will keep in check

Donna said...

Very good points. My daughter actually suggested I tell her how to get on my blog in case something happened; she had to do that on AOL journals when I was staying at the hospital with Cliff, when he had his heart surgery. The person who inspired that entry wasn't a J-land friend, but someone in Kansas who used to have giveaways and such, even visited Pioneer Woman. There were hints that she might be having some marital friction, then suddenly, silence. Not only that, but she turned off comments. I have her email, but I'm thinking if she doesn't want comments then she probably doesn't want emails either.
You just can't help but wonder, you know?

LYN said...


Martha@Menagerie said...

What a great post Lori! I agree with you 100%. Like you said, it all depends on the relationships we develop.

I did the same thing with giving my daughter my passwords to access my blog when I went in for major surgery, knowing my daughter she has probably lost it by now. I do think it's very important, blogging is a part of our lives!

I remember one very popular blogger back on AOL (Slomo) who just disappeared years ago. Some of us had her personal info - cards and letters went unanswered, phone disconnected. I still think about her and wonder if something terrible happened to her.

We should all be considerate, our blogging friends are real friends!

Thanks for this post Lori, I think I just might write soon on this subject too!

Anonymous said...

The positive reaction I got from so many concerned for my dad when I blogged about him frequently made me feel it was very important to let everyone know when he was on hospice and when he passed away; I don't feel that way about myself.

I am moving to a new home later in the year; one blogger knows where it is. I accidentally told one IRL person, but wasn't planning on notifying anyone except for my creditors, bank, etc.

I'll give it all some thought.

Lisa said...

I would certainly want to know if anything happened to you. I try to visit those I care for as much as I can but as you know real life can get in the way sometimes and put us behind the 8 ball. This is a great entry and gives us something to think about.

sober white women said...

I need to get back to blogging more. I think it is cool to meet new people, and when a fellow blogger came to San Diego I had a blast with her and her children! I will let you know if I stop blogging.

Anonymous said...

well if hubby is still around he will surely get online and pass the word of whatever problem there is...he has met many of the folks online no problem there...might be a few days before he gets around to it...and dau would probably help out also...and yes...I miss someone when they don't show up..and wonder if all is ok...hugs from Ora

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Good points. I think enough people know Beth and I are together we are okay :o)

Terri said...

I worry when I don't hear from bloggers, or they up and leave with no goodbye... I don't need an explaination(in detail anyways) unless they feel the need to share, but if I wasn't going to blog for a long time I would at least tell everyone goodbye for the meantime... it really bothers me when friends just vanish... I know I need to comment more and visit more frequently....I am trying to do better this year.


natalie said...

Lori what a great entry! And how timely! I want to ask you to come bya dn post your thoughts about the new year, Haiti, the victims and the Marines, Martin Luther King and Jeanette is very ill did you go by and see her? oh yes I would bust a vein if you disapeared!
Unfortunately I do not have anyone here who wants to write her if I get sick!
I love you Lori!

Missie said...

I agree with you! My daughter has my blog password to write should anything happen to me.

lisaschaos said...

It is funny but I totally agree! I think you summed it up right too. I wonder when people disappear spontaneously!

Jeannette said...

I totally agree with you. My daughter has access to my account and I have also made her a co-author of my blog although I hope it will not be necessary for her to post.

Beth said...

Oh, I totally agree. Just as I would worry about you and quite a few others, I would imagine that a few people might wonder what happened to me! Between Ken and Facebook, I think the word would get out pretty quickly, so I think I've got it covered.

I've definitely been blogging and commenting less, and trying to read more. As much as I enjoy it, I can't continue to spend upwards of three hours a day in reading everything. One has to draw the line somewhere!

Chef E said...

Wow, serendipity, I went over to Mary&Frank who used to leave comments often during the week on two of my blogs, this and TMI and then no word for months. I realized she shut down one and started another.

I have seen it happen so much in my one year of blogging, people just drop off, no word. Have you ever gone blog cruising and seen how many blogs out there have not been touched in years? I felt like writing a poem about it, and still may...

btw I like your site!

ADB said...

I was hoping that someone would post about this sort of eventuality, Lori. I try to make a point of any period of absence myself, even if I'm only switching blogs. But when I'm not hearing from someone I'd previously been following, I do get concerned. Thank you - will post something similar.

Kathy said...

There are many more than a few who would want to know and my family knows that they should post on my blog and facebook and if, when they are done with that - send out e-mails ... because i positively cringe when an on-line friend goes 'missing'. I may not comment as often as I used to, but I still read a lot.

Hollie said...

I agree totally with you. My blogging buddies are very dear to me, & for instance if one doesn't post I am concerned about them because I care.

Donna said...

My "missing blogger" showed up, and I did an entry about her.

Joann said...

What a great entry!! I have thought about that, and have instructed my son to get on my FB acct and let my friends know.... however, if 'something were to happen' to both of us at the same time.... Hmmmm.... I better make some OTHER arrangements, just in case, huh?!?! LOL!! After all, I DO drive a Toyota Camry... anything can happen!! = )

Linda's World said...

Hmmmm, Lori~I'd never thought about this. I, like some others will have to think this over. For one thing, I frequently change my password so that could be a problem. But, you know what....I just oldest niece has a Blog and she's here in the same town as me and I could share that information with her. Since my daughter is incapacitated due to a massive stroke 7 years ago, it would be too much for her. I have a list of her internet friends to contact incase something happens to her but wouldn't ask her to do it for me. Thanks for posting this. Linda in Washington

Jeanie said...

I have recently returned to my blog thanks to some gentle hints from Guido. What a star he is to take the time out to care about each and every one of us, especially little ole me.. I'm sorry to have been away so long and hope to be able to continue as once I did.
My daughter has my password if anything happened to me as does my very dearest first on line friend Sal, who befriended and helped me when I began journalling.
love to all
Jeanie xxxx