In view of my references yesterday to this decision — made in June of 2007 — I am reposting it here today.
Why I Turned off the Comments
Thursday, June 14, 2007
In a phrase, because God told me to. In rather stern and shocking terms. I know that sounds wacky, but… guess I’ll just have to sound wacky.
It has little to do with the quality/nature of the comments themselves and everything to do with my motivations and the fact that I am too easily led into the wrong ones. When I started this blog it was something I was doing as unto the Lord, something I believed He was moving me to do for His purposes and not my own. But then came the comments and my own predilection toward fretting about them. Writing something, posting it, then wondering if anyone said anything. Worrying about what people might think of certain topics, and then sometimes hesitating to write what I was feeling led to write. And then, regardless of what I wrote, checking a bunch of times to see if anyone had left something — when I was supposed to be writing. If no one commented, then I might feel dismayed, and that in turn disrupted my mood and confidence for writing, and pretty much annihilated whatever concentration I had before I broke down and checked.
In short, it became a distraction. To make matters worse, the absence of comments would often lead me to start surfing, reading blogs, even checking Amazon, heaven forbid. And if none of that yielded anything, then I would fall into unending repetitions of the entire process. The upshot was… I wasted a lot of time with it all, last year and now. The Lord pulled me through it last year — got the book done in spite of me — but now that I see it happening again, I am convicted of the need to make a change. And I have to say that so far I’m pleased with the peace and the ability to focus that has been restored to me because of this.
I’ll admit that at first I was afraid of offending people because, after all, the accepted, generally publicized reason for a blog is to get out there and start conversations, generate all this cross linkage, interact with readers, draw a lot of attention. Turning off the comments would stop all that and possibly chase readers off. Ultimately though I had to bow to what the Lord was telling me to do and not worry about that. If that’s what happened/happens, so be it. It’s not my intent to offend, and if you wish to comment on a blog post you can always email me through the address in the profile in the side bar. You might even generate a new blog post with your emailed comment!
With WordPress, I’ve not turned off the comments, because I haven’t had the same problems with them that I described in this article. The other stuff though — the likes, the idea that I must go and read other blogs, the supposed requirement of all the cross posting, and etc., so far that’s been the stuff of distraction for me. So, while I’ve not turned off the comments, I have turned off the function that sends an email to me every time someone “likes” a post (an email which then encourages me to go to their blog out of gratitude and leave a comment or like in return).
It’s not that I’m ungrateful, just that I don’t have time or as, Sherlock Holmes recently put it in the new show Elementary, not enough “attic space.”