I just wonder… who are they, really? These people on WordPress skulking about, never communicating? Only leaving faint traces of themselves behind… I’m genuinely curious about them. We are all visited by them, right?
I’m talking about the people who visit your blog and never comment, or even like, anything you post. The not commenting, I can understand. I myself don’t usually jump in and start commenting on a blog, right away. My usual way is to start reading a few blog posts, liking them, and then after a while, I might start commenting. This may have to do with my personality. I don’t like to “barge in” on people’s blogs. I see their blog space almost as their home.
I like getting to know people, little by little. (You know, stand on the front porch and compliment the neighbor on their gardenias, before asking to come into their living room and start talking about the stories of our lives…) At least, I hope this is how I behave and am perceived! But I digress.
Back to the ghosts. Now, I’m not talking about people who visit your blog once, don’t click like, and never return. Perhaps your topic just wasn’t their cup of tea. No, I’m talking about these people that frequently visit your blog and apparently read a lot of what you have to say. And then never presses that like button. Not even once. I find this fascinating. Probably because that’s so different from how I am, as a person.
If I frequently visit your blog, it’s because I enjoy what you write and probably also like you as a person. (As much as it’s possible to get to know/like a person from online contact). And that makes me want to show my appreciation for you and your work. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. But I do find these “ghosts” fascinating, in how they read, read and read, and just never show any sign of being there.
Who are they? I fantasize about their reasons. Perhaps one of them is a man named Wayne, on the run from justice? I imagine him sitting in a cheap motel room, blinds drawn, drinking equally cheap whisky. Wayne is browsing on his phone, reading my blogs about narcissism. Perhaps because his dad was a narcissist? Which in turn was such a negative influence on Wayne’s fragile (then teenage) soul, that it made him become what he is today; A criminal on the run…
Maybe that’s why he doesn’t want to “like” or comment on any blogs. For fear of leaving any trace behind him, that could get him caught!
I heard from a ghost reader, once. I won’t out them here, of course. But it was great to hear from them! The person told me they had read a lot on my blog, and really appreciated it, but felt too shy to comment/chat. They also mentioned something along the lines of that we in the “community” here seemed so friendly/familiar, like we all knew each other, so it felt wrong to just enter the discussions.
I assured this person they were more than welcome to join the discussion at any time, that we in the blogging community usually think: The more the merrier! Or, at least the bloggers I know. Anyway, it was nice to get some information about this ghost reader’s motive for staying in the shadows.
How do I know “ghost readers” are even out there? Well, apart from one contacting me, I can see in stats, that the daily views/visits are significantly higher than the amount of likes/comments. And I don’t believe there are many new, different readers each day. I’m fairly certain a lot of them are return visitors, especially since the number of daily views tend to be about the same.
Perhaps ghost readers are a symbol? Of how afraid we all really are of connection/ intimacy, today? You know, the “detached”, individualistic society and all that? Perhaps we’re even more afraid, now? Before, we were so afraid of connecting with people, that we turned away from “real” connections, to online connections instead.
This might be the next step, these ghosts. A fear of connection, even if only online… (Think: a snapshot from everyday life: People on the subway all staring into their I-phones; “must read… but must not comment on anything!”)
I think this is a very strange blog post. I don’t even know why I post this. Just some thoughts in my head, I had to write about. Sometimes, you start thinking about blogging, what it means to you. You know? Like a meta discussion in your head, or something? Ha ha. I know. I’m weird.
Sometimes I wish you all knew me in real life, my quirks. And that I knew yours. If you knew me personally, you’d know that I more or less constantly go around with strange thoughts in my head. Sort of like this:
What do you think about your ghost readers? Do you have any? Have you been contacted by them? Who are they?
Love/”Silly Musings – Survived”