A couple weeks back, I announced that I was temporarily turning off our comment section as a desperate attempt to help keep my head above water. With an overwhelming amount of feedback from a couple of pieces I’d written still generating emails, direct messages, and comments, and a brand new baby in the house, along with my own stated fedupitude having reached critical mass, I needed a breather.

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with the commbox. I started my online Catholic activities in BBS forums in the early 1990s; in the early 2000s, I moved to blogging and leaving comments on the big Catholic sites of the day — blogs like those of Amy Welborn and the at-the-time-still-sane Mark Shea (Shea having now tragically become the paradigmatic example of online Catholic toxicity). In a very real sense, you could say I “came up” through the commboxes, refining my rhetorical style through a bit of online pugilism with others. And because of this, I’ve always sought to stay engaged with my audience via the same — I try to pop in to commboxes, reply to tweets and Facebook threads and emails and messages, etc.

And truth be told, I have often found the feedback received via our commbox on articles we publish to be helpful in evaluating whether our content is hitting the right “notes,” as it were.

Praise the Lord

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