As is true for many of you, my time online is limited. Every day is a series of compromises because I simply don't have enough time to do everything online that I would like to. So I choose to invest some of those precious minutes in reading the blogs and journals of some of my favorite people. Some of them I have been following for YEARS.
Those people, in particular, I consider friends. It doesn't matter if I've never met many of them. I feel like I probably know them better than even some of their own family members because I've invested so much time in reading their words/thoughts and leaving supportive comments over the years.
As time goes by, I build up a certain level of expectation for my friends. When you care about someone enough to spend a few minutes "with" them every day, you sort of expect that they will reciprocate in some small fashion. My expectations aren't high. I know people are busy and I don't care if they don't visit me or comment for months at a time. People have lives and things happen.
But...and this may sound silly...it hurts my feelings when I visit a journal I've been reading for YEARS and I notice my blog isn't even listed in that person's favorites or other blogs links. There are dozens of others listed. I've noticed many times that some of those links are for blogs where the people don't even post any more.
What does that say to me? "A journal that hasn't been updated in 2 years or more is more important to me than your blog. You don't matter enough to me for me to take the time to add you to my list."
To be fair, I might have caused this same hurt in someone else. As far as I know, anyone who comments regularly in my journal is listed in my Bloglines blogroll (unless they have a private journal). If I have missed you, somehow, make sure you leave a link in comments. I want to make sure I practice what I preach. I love all my bloggy friends. I really really do.