Lately, I’ve been trying to learn a thing or two about blogging – how to increase readership, when and how to post things on FB for the most views. Stuff like that. I got most of my info perusing Jeff Bullas’ blog. I started off reading, Signs I Wasn’t a Good Blogger and continued from there. It was good stuff, unless you consider that according to his seven steps, I wasn’t a good blogger.
The last bit of information that my brain absorbed before my 5 year-old started crying for cocoa puffs for dinner, was that to increase FB interaction and encourage comments on your blog, you should ask a question.
Glad you asked. I wondered that as well, especially since so many of the blogs I read seemed to end in a question. I saw it in action on Facebook pages as well. According to my research, uh Jeff, it’s simple. Ask a question… get an answer. Genius, right? (You don’t need to answer that.)
I figured I’d put my new wisdom into action. I had just written a bittersweet post about my grandmother, who died young and how I regretted our lost relationship. I figured I’d ask an intriguing question on my FB page to encourage people to click the link and read the essay. It was a perfect opportunity. Now I just needed the bait.
After some fiddling, here’s the question I came up with – Has someone you loved, died too soon?
Provocative, I thought with satisfaction.
Within seconds, responses poured in. Wow. That question bit really works. Happily, I began reading comments. Someone had lost grandparents, someone lost a parent. I grimaced a bit, and apprehensively wrote my condolences. More comments. More condolences. The uneasy feeling inflated to a balloon the size of Snoopy in the Macy’s day parade. What have I done?
That’s when the last comment came in. A reader shared her husband’s passing only a month before at age 53. I stared at the screen. Oh my God. I panicked. What could I say to her? What was there to say? How could I put a question like that out there? What the farfignewton was I thinking?!
I shook my head with dismay. I fretted. I worried. I responded with my sympathies. It felt completely inadequate. I felt like a total ass. I needed to stop this immediately. I wrote a general comment about my insensitivity and stupidity and then deleted the whole bit.
I let out a big puff of relief. It was gone. I worried that the people who had opened up and shared would think I was discounting their feelings by deleting the post. I really hoped I didn’t offend them. Jeez, that was some learning experience.
I walked into the living room, the sweat still wet on my brow, needing to confess my thoughtlessness. My husband listened to me go on about people I didn’t really know, who were so open to sharing their sadness, especially the woman who lost her husband.
Do you know what my husband’s response was? Of course you don’t. But it wasn’t, “That’s terrible,” or “Wow, you screwed up.”
He asked, “You know where we keep the important papers, right?”
Uh, what are talking about here? “The important papers?” I repeated hesitantly.
“Yeah, you know, the insurance and our financials and all that.”
I looked at him mutely. How did we get here? I refused to answer. I would not discuss even the possibility.
“Well, do you know where they are?”
LALALALALA. I wanted to scream and cover my ears. No no no! Instead, I spat at him, “Yeah! I know! I know! Sheesh!”
He smiled and went back to whatever he was doing on his iPAD.
I sat across from him distressed and annoyed and confused, but wiser. I had definitely learned something today.
No question about it.
Are there any questions you wished you never asked?
(Better, right? )
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