Gardening

Why I Don’t Respond to Facebook Comments

About two years ago, I stopped responding to Facebook comments. This has probably frustrated many readers, but what was I to do? It was either that or give up writing this blog. And I enjoy writing the blog. 

The problem is the following. 

This blog is actually published on my website (laidbackgardener.blog). It is then automatically republished on other platforms: Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. So far, so good, but:

Facebook only publishes a photo or illustration, plus the opening paragraph and the headline. You have to click on the article to read it, but obviously many readers (perhaps the majority) don’t, judging from the comments they leave. Even so, Facebook readers apparently feel the need to express themselves and do so vigorously and abundantly. Many of the comments have nothing to do with the article; others ask questions that were, in fact, answered in the article. I used to spend an hour or more a day reading the comments and responding. 

This expresses pretty much what I felt about Facebook before I stopped responding. Ill. : http://www.makeuseof.com

Then one day two years ago, I realized I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I had already put in a full workday making a living, but I hadn’t answered the Facebook comments in two days. That meant, minimum, another 2 hours of work in the evening. And I knew from experience, the more I responded, the more comments would come pouring in. 

So, I stopped cold turkey. I haven’t responded since. 

Every now and then I glance at the Laidback Gardener Facebook page. Just glance: I don’t interact. The number of comments has dropped considerably: obviously, my responding had been helping to feed the frenzy. 

Interestingly, when certain readers make illegitimate comments, others usually step in. “You didn’t read the article” or “Read the article. He answered that!” are is the most common type of comment that appears on the Laidback Gardener Facebook page. I’d like to thank readers who step in and defend me. I truly appreciate it!  

Even on my own webpage (laidbackgardener.blog), I may someday have to stop responding to comments. It does become overwhelming at times. My goal remains to produce a viable gardening article every day: that’s already plenty to handle. If I don’t respond to your comments and questions, or don’t do so in a timely manner, I hope you can forgive me. I’m only one person, after all.

And if you send the comment or question via Facebook, don’t expect any response at all. Period!

Sincerely,

Larry Hodgson
The Laidback Gardener

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

9 comments on “Why I Don’t Respond to Facebook Comments

  1. Christine Lemieux

    Maybe it is easy for me because I am not a Facebook fan, but I totally understand. I love your articles!

  2. You’ve answered several questions I’ve had over the last couple of years and I thank you for that. I’m not on Facebook but I can imagine what you’ve had to endure. My hope is that you will continue to answer questions here but if you can’t I will understand.

  3. Teresa Gordon

    Good for you. I so appreciate the valuable information I get from your daily posts. I have learned a lot from this blog. Also, at the moment I have six yellow clivia seedlings thriving due to your post directing us to where we can purchase them. It is so hard to find good, factual, information on the internet. Conflicting information abounds. I know when I read something on your blog I am getting good information. Thank you for the time you spend doing this.

  4. Pat Evans

    Never been on Facebook and never will be so I support your decision 100%.

  5. Margaret Schucker

    Good for you! So many times, Facebook is the only way to comment or ask a question. Hooray for the rest of us? Don’t answer.

  6. Colleen Johnson

    Thanks for your FREE time and efforts with daily articles. I too don’t support FACEBOOK for various reasons so I just come to the blog and enjoy general FYI gardening info no matter what the topic. Keep at it if you enjoy writing and obviously you do, but after all your time is your life and only you get to choose because I know what getting pulled in 1,000 different directions feels like and please know you are appreciated.

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