When my sister Patti's kids were little, our parents were their babysitters. Mom and Dad hung out over there and got the older kids on the bus, stayed with anyone too little for school, and basically took their show on the road. My mom and dad rarely acted much differently in front of the grandkids since they had perfected the Art Of MicroBickering long ago. Often, their arguments consisted of each merely saying the other's name aloud in various tones, and that would be sufficient. (Name being a general term here: my parents used their ages-old pet names exclusively, Honey and Doll.) Kids, of course, are incredibly perceptive, which was proven not only when the grandchildren put on a skit entitled The Honey and Doll Show, but also when the following scene occurred as my dad encouraged some indoor football with my then-toddler nephew:
Mom: (after several potential disasters) Honey! Now stop egging him on! TJ, you know you're not supposed to do that!
Dad: (not at all sternly) TJ. Grammy says we have to stop.
TJ: (disdainfully, to my dad) She's don't has to comment.
Ah, the Comment! TJ's remains a Family Classic to this day. Even he agrees it's The Best Thing He's Ever Said, and he probably doesn't really remember it. It is now part of Family Lore, and it gets repeated over and over again, sometimes as a punchline for new stories at family gatherings.
A Comment can be that way. It can be like the dozens and dozens on a Yahoo! article--sheer entertainment to fill a few minutes of your day. Sometimes, when I need a laugh, I click on a particularly inane Yahoo! article and read the Comments.
Often, the Comments section of any page is the most interesting and the most illuminating. It is the vast advantage which digital media enjoys over print: internet readers can instantly respond and react to whatever they read. And their Comments can expand other readers' understanding or serve to refine it.
Like TJ said, however, we don't always have to Comment unless we have something to say. But I sometimes find myself hard-pressed to Comment on blogs where the writer doesn't engage with his or her Commenters. Maybe they feel that their original post is enough, and I get that. They've already Made Their Comment, so to speak. But I like chatting with my Commenters and...Commenting on their Comment. I mean, they've reacted to my writing. That means It Worked--I was successful. If they said something that was important to them, or something that made me think or react, I want to acknowledge it. If I had hundreds of Commenters, maybe I would have to rethink this philosophy, but with a core group of Less Than That, I can easily acknowledge and respond to Commenters. And I enjoy the exchange immensely.
About a hundred years ago, bloggers were pretty obsessed with Comments. Then PinTwitFace came along, and now, most bloggers are old and way more relaxed about Stuff. Now we Antique Internet Writers (aka BlogWriters) let PinTwitFace users get all exercised and calisthenic about Likes and Followers and Twits and Pinners or Whatever. Most of us don't care. We let those on PTF worry about those stats. You all know how I feel about All Of That.