Is having a blog an attention seeking act?


A short while ago, I read this post entitled If you’re a blogger than you’re just a show-off and my reaction was huh? As is my wont, that suggestion has been percolating away quietly in my brain until this morning, when I linked it to my mental description of a Twitter person I follow as “attention seeking”.

Despite being a horribly judgemental thing to feel, I felt justified – even able to offer multiple examples to back-up my view. Until, that is, I tied my feelings to the view expressed by this blogger’s acquaintance when they said “I don’t have a blog because I’m not a show off”. Then the only thing I could think of was perhaps the fact that I blog could be construed as an attention seeking act. Ouch!

Now, in my experience bloggers are people who are seeking interaction with other people. There’s generally a bit of ‘finding your tribe’ about the whole blogging process, in that readers aren’t attracted to all blogs, and blog writers don’t want to attract all readers. So, clearly needing to understand the difference between seeking interaction and attention seeking, I headed to the good old dictionary in order to maintain a proper distance while seeking clarification. As is often the case, there are slight variations in how the definition applies, so I’ve included not only the obviously relevant, but an extra one which seemed to add extra illumination.

Interation
1. Communication or direct involvement with someone or something.
2. A kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction, as opposed to a one-way causal effect.

Attention
1. Notice taken of someone or something.
2. The regarding of someone or something as interesting or important.

There are blogs on all manner of subjects, bloggers across the whole spectrum of beliefs, backgrounds, writing styles, opinions and methods of engagement – but – in the mean – the key part has always appeared to me to be the desire for there to be two-way communication. Obviously I still need to up my kindness and downgrade my judgemental nature, but I think I’m a tiny bit reassured.

What say you my fellow bloggers – could there be some truth to the accusation that blogging is showing off or an attention seeking act?


Β© Debra Carey, 2022

38 thoughts on “Is having a blog an attention seeking act?

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  1. It is, I think, more complex than that. A lot will depend on the content of the blog. I have noticed that the ones I link to from here or FCBF tend to be more reflective and the content does not aggrandise the blogger’s life/lifestyle but adds interest and information (hat-tip here to Planet Pailly in particular).

    I started my own blog particularly to record our trip to Israel and to other interesting places. Anybody who finds it will notice that I have not, in fact, written much for a couple of years, thus confirming my teenage realisation that I am not a natural diarist! πŸ™‚ I resolved at the end of 2021 that I would start writing once per week this year. Postings so far – 0. Clearly I will not get rich as an influencer, and it is in that sort of blog that I think we find the attention seeking

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Some people seek attention because external validation is what juices them up; they want that reward– and maybe blogging *likes* and followers give them that reward? Not me, I look for meaning in what I do.

    I have to wonder if anyone who thinks all bloggers are seeking attention is jealous of bloggers in general. Like he couldn’t hack blogging and therefore missed out on getting attention– and is now all sour grapes about blogs.

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  3. Can’t anything be considered attention seeking? Dressing well? Having a nice home or car? Getting advanced degrees? Writing a book?

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  4. I guess it’s true that you can’t have interaction without having come to someone’s attention first. It’s funny, I’m almost pathologically afraid of attention, as I fear it’ll be the wrong type – negative, hectoring, nasty, trolling.

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  5. That’s rather the conclusion I came to as well Alan, although I did give myself a good shake about the other thing. Completely agree with you about the fabulous site that James Pailly runs – a real mine of information and knowledge, while being totally authentic at the same time. As for your own blog, I have checked in occasionally to see if you’d found the time, but decided not to hector πŸ˜€

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  6. Ha ha! Clearly not Jane πŸ™‚ And it’s the bloggers I know who made me react with “huh?” when I saw the statement. It was only my unkind thoughts which had been go on a self-reflective spin, and then I thought it could be interesting to see the bloggers I know also thought about the statement.

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  7. Ally, I consider myself more externally validated than internally, but blogging is unusual in that it is more about my drive to write, and the subsequent pleasure of reading the comments there may be. If there were no comments at all, I’d probably stop – although I would miss it terribly.

    Alan touched on the subject of influencers, and it was my immediate thought that the person making that statement may have had them n mind. But your suggestion is certainly another option.

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  8. Yes, I guess so LA. After all, it all depends on who’s lens it’s being seen through. Interesting thought.

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  9. Ooooo, here’s a meaty topic! I like your distinction, though. All users of blogs and social media hope for attention, but I think the goal of the attention can be summed up in four ways: 1) Personal validation, 2) Interaction (to find friends), 3) To find an audience for a story/ share information 4) To sell something. Or possibly all of the above.

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  10. I will admit that when I first started my blog I did it to try and generate business for my Etsy site. However, now I do it because I think it’s fun. Sometimes I do link to my craft work but I think it’s more than that now.

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  11. I don’t think blogging is attention seeking at all. Rather, bloggers genuinely love to share and help others by writing useful content. A lot of work goes into blogging too– hard, hard work albeit fun work. It’s also a means of self expression. I don’t think bloggers are any more attention seeking than an artist who paints a mural, or a composer or dancer or any other artist. But interesting thought.. I surely hope that’s not what people think of me, ha!

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  12. I suppose sharing any creative pursuit can be seen as attention-seeking. I mean, what, we’re supposed to hide out and hope no one connects with us? I do sometimes wonder if my writing is too self-absorbed — that I should be more detached, more scholarly. But that’s not how my brain works. I like the caption under Deb’s picture at The Widow Badass. “Just a dame, putting her thoughts out there.”

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  13. I started blogging as an outlet that seemed safer for me (at the time) than writing in a journal. Neither of my husbands were respectful of my privacy so writing anonymously on a blog was the only way to fully express myself without the negative repercussions of a husband going through my writings. I don’t believe anyone ever read my blogs back then, which was fine by me. I was just bursting to write my thoughts down in a safe space and blogging was the ticket. As I was getting ready to get married for the 2nd time, I decided to document it in a new blog that wasn’t anonymous so my writing changed accordingly. There were many periods of silence because I felt I couldn’t write about what I was actually going through. Fast forward many years later and I am husbandless and free to write whatever, whenever and I am still blogging. At this point (the start of the Widow Badass years) still almost no readers (that I am aware of, due to lack of comments) and this is fine by me. I start to reach out to bloggers whose voices I admire, and tell them so via commenting. Suddenly it seems I have readers and some of them have become very dear friends in real life as well on the blog. So what started as a “release valve” for my truest, deepest thoughts has become a vital source of connection for me. Attention is a very nice by-product too, but it was never the goal for me.

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  14. Now you’re asking the question LA πŸ˜€ I suppose I see attention seeking behaviour as annoying so, as a blogger, I’d not want to be considered behaving that way. In general terms, I don’t enjoy being the centre of attention and prefer to be on the periphery.

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  15. Yes Janet, I use a blog to do the exact same thing on my life coaching site. And to be honest, I’ve never seen anything wrong with that, because you saying “buy my stuff” and not “notice ME, give ME attention!” It’s business rather than neediness.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Rochelle, thanks for the visit. I completely agree with you and no, I don’t think that of you at all πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Ha ha Donna, I guess we could all worry about being overly self-absorbed in our blogs but, I think that the need to be respectful of other people’s boundaries, is what we have left to talk about is ourselves. And when we send ourselves up somewhat, that can only be entertaining. I, also, LOVE Deb’s tag line. How many of us wished we’d thought of it first!

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  18. Gosh Deb, what an unusual entry point into blogging. I can totally see how it would work though, for it’s so cathartic to write out your feelings, thoughts, meanderings etc, secure in the knowledge that the people you know won’t see it or know it’s you. I’m so glad that you’re now in a place when you can (and do) write as your wonderful self – it’s great to see and to enjoy. Thanks so much for sharing that here. x

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  19. I wish I could say I didn’t Tater, but I’m not into fighting anymore. I’m for the quieter life now.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Thanks Autumn πŸ™‚ Nice round-up. I considered going through the various reasons for blogging to see if there were differences between them because, of course, there are. I like to think my blogging (which goes across a number of sites) covers 2, 3 & 4. On one of the sites where the purpose is 3, the audience is still very small and we do need to work on tweaking it somewhat.

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  21. Sometimes writers can be accused of this as well. O.O I find it always comes from a jealous or insecure place. Blogging is so much about connection and sharing information that can be helpful for others.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Hi Sara (lovely name btw) πŸ™‚ I guess I was concerned to check what my purpose in blogging was about – you know, just in case there was something untoward buried deep down πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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  23. Glad you found my post a useful talking point 😊
    Really and truly, anything can be used as an attention seeking act, the way you dress, walk, manipulate the way you talk, what you eat for lunch, the kinds of places you go and types of people you choose to be around, they way you behave at work and in your career, the car you drive 🚘 the way you decorate your house, the size of your house🏑 designer labels, the list goes on. On this basis there is nothing about blogging per se that is any more associated with showing off than any other activity, it all comes down to the individual and their motivations really.

    People make ignorant generalisations, without really thinking things through, or trying to understand first. Maybe ‘some’ bloggers are show offs, but it isn’t a default conclusion.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Hi Cheryl and first off, a big thank you for the inspiration for this post. I agree with absolutely every point you’ve made. I think I was just having a moment, triggered by my less than kind judgement of someone else. Karma doing her work you could say πŸ™‚

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  25. LA, in strict terms, there’s no way I could deny that marketing does = attention seeking. This whole discussion has made me re-think the whole concept as a person who’s always shunned attention, and yet is here writing….

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  26. I don’t write but I do read a few blogs – I love the insight they give into other’s lives and different points of view. It’s never occurred to me that bloggers are seeking attention – diarists and story tellers, yes

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Caroline, thank you. When a non-blogger says that about bloggers, it really is a great reassurance.

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