Based on charitable introspection, I tell myself that lots of you stop by my blog without leaving a trace. I, after all, read lots of blogs without liking or commenting, and regularly check in with blogs without “following” them. I realize that this invisibility is at odds with my own publicly announced preference for having people leave me comments. Since I enjoy people commenting on my blog so much, why don’t I comment on others’ blogs more often? Am I a killjoy? Have I not learned the dictum that it is better to give than to receive?
The only plausible explanation I have is that we have a natural tendency to speak up when something bothers us, when we disagree with something, or when we think we have something to add. When we agree, when we think the speech is fine as it stands, or when we simply haven’t anything to add, then we enjoy the speech without contributing to it. We read without commenting.
The lesson I squeeze out of this rag is that we should interpret silence as agreement. Nay, praise even. By that standard, silence bursts into deafening applause.