The psychology of begging for comments

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You’ve seen them. It’s those posts that say, “Please leave your comment your input is crucial to my life.” Those are the blatant ones almost anyone can recognize. There is another, too. The more covert approach is to write a post, even a tweet, designed with the sole purpose of provoking a response. Today we look at these.

Acceptance

Acceptance on and offline - same

“I like yellow. What is your favorite color?”

There is a belief, by a few, it is better to receive comments – thus placating the lack of personal esteem – than to deliver quality content. This stems from a general feeling of inadequacy or low self-respect. More often than not these are the same people who comment on other’s posts with vague relevance to the actual content. Is this a problem? Not for us, but certainly it is a great indication of the psychological condition of the person. Perhaps even a plea for help not just a cry for acceptance.

“I went to the Astros game and had a hot dog. Do you like chili or sauerkraut on your dogs?”

Certainly this approach works better than, “Will you please leave a comment so I can at least have the impression you respect me enough to comment on something I write?” In the end it really is the same technique. Is it bad? Probably not. This is, after all, social media and the same behavior happens in society. We all have that friend who sends out 100 invitations to their own birthday party, orders their own cake, hires the caterer and even has an open bar. Score. We need more friends like that!

Do these types of posts pleading for comments do any good?

They do. They allow others to interact on meaningless banter which is somewhat of a relief since many posts are intimidating and filled with too many points to adequately address. For the poster it may also have the same value as an artist painting a few strokes – an artistic release.

Anna Zahovaeva writes, “Emotions in art have social implications, and they always have something in common with the original feelings experienced by every human being, so an artist never experiences merely a simple emotion, but rather a kind of a general social feeling.” So the people who post these inane lines are expressing something relevant to social standards which results in a higher number of comments. There value may not be as inane as the content.

Think of the cocktail party.

When you leave a cocktail or dinner party you may talk about how well dressed someone is, how impressed you were with the business acumen of another attendee and how delightful the petifores were. What almost everyone will do is repeat the jokes they heard from the funny gent who was there. So while this technique may build social acceptance it likely does not generate an urgency to become transactional with the author.

How to get more blog comments (if it matters to you):

  1. Leave the topic open – end with a statement such as, “Of course this is only my perspective yours may differ. If so, how?”
  2. Ask questions – “What purpose do you think these types of posts serve? Are they valuable to you and the community?”
  3. Be controversial – be careful with this one if you care about being offensive. “So for those with a diminished capacity to be informative perhaps inane babble about weak minded and childish topics is the best they can muster.”
  4. Comment back – if someone comments on your post comment back. This is the same type of engagement you may encounter in a face to face situation.

That’s all I have. I’m sure you have more …

 

 

  • chris allen

    Whatever. What’s in it for me?

  • http://www.tiffanyparalta.com Tiffany Paralta

    This post along with another one truly had me up all night thinking.
    Thanks for the musings – the insights – and the provocation of thought.