Should You Become Friends With Commenters?

I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

I wrote my first piece for TheGloss in 2010. The site had just recently launched and I wrote about how to rock a short hair cut. It was not my first foray into the blogging world, but the first time that I was given liberty to choose a topic and go with it. Besides the fact that I had that freedom, I was also excited about what the comments would be (I was so unjaded then!) Since it wasn’t a controversial subject in any way, the comments were sweet and without any unnecessary trolling. I felt like Sally Fields: “You like me! You really like me!” Isn’t that what everyone thinks when they don’t get a hate comment?

I eased my way into being a regular on TheGloss. I went from occasionally pitching a piece to Jennifer, to eventually having a daily place on the site. I was home.

TheGloss was the first site that allowed me the freedom to write in my true voice. As in, what you read, my darlings, is pretty much how I speak out loud to my friends and family. In both my personal life and in the online persona, I am candid, perhaps a bit over the top, but always true to my beliefs and myself. I am snarky, I do like to provoke and yes, I’m self-absorbed, but I’m so aware of it, that it’s almost OK, right? I’m saying yes.

Social media has given people the chance to communicate on a whole new level. Although I keep my Facebook account extremely privatized so as to have something for myself (and it’s boring anyway), my Twitter is wide open to the world. And so it began that I, Chatel, started becoming buddies with some of the commenters.

First it was back and forth tweets on Twitter that always ended in one of us just giving the other our email address because 140 characters is lame. I did that with a handful of regular commenters and realized “OMG. These women are ridiculously amazing and JUST. LIKE. ME.” So I became pen pals with a few of them. I’ve always felt you can never have too many smart and funny women in your life, even if they live a continent away.

For example, Sam Escobar was a regular commenter on TheGloss who started following me on Twitter. After a few emails, we realized we had so much in common and voila! When she finally came to NYC to visit, we realized our friendship was legit and not something solely based on email exchanges. The rest is history.

It was when we switched “Dating Hijinks” over to include stories from our readers that the emails really started pouring in, and I don’t mean just stories. People who just wanted to say hello and chitchat. I started getting emails from people with whom I’d engaged with on different articles in the comment section. There they were, in my inbox, with their REAL names attached. You’re not going to believe this, but Breezy’s real name isn’t Breezy. I know; I was baffled, too.

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    • Ms. Pants

      Awww!! I’m getting all schmoopy inside!!

      Yes to comment love!

      (Unless it’s HuffPo. Those people are nuts.)

      <3 <3 <3

    • anna

      awh, i always wanted to be friends with the gloss but thought i was too young (20)
      i started out reading jennifer’s pieces a few months back and thought “wow, this is exactly how i talk in my head” and now check the site daily.
      basically when i grow up and get my life together i want to be all of you

      • Amanda Chatel

        It doesn’t matter how young you are, you’re in the club. So there!

    • Alle

      Can this post be the official Gloss friendship page? I am always down to have more cool ladies in my life.

      • Amanda Chatel

        Yes. It is now the official Gloss friendship page!

      • Sabrina

        Pick me, pick me!

    • Fabel


      I want to say something with more substance, but I just love this post so much & feel surrounded by smooshy feelings. Yay for friendship (and for drinks!) <3

    • Samantha_Escobar

      You should always be friends with commoners — I mean, commenters! <3

      • Alle

        COMMONERS?! We are all Countesses and HRHs and Hons. I myself am Lady Violet from Downton Abbey.

      • Ms. Pants

        Admit it. You wanna sleep with common people. ;-p

        (I’d sleep with common jarvis cocker any day of the week, myself.)

      • b3v

        Argh. Thank you for putting Common People (Pulp) in my head now. Or maybe I’ve been delaying work for 2 hours and would just really rather type this comment…we will never know.

    • Cee

      Being friends with Sam is one of the best things you did cuz she writes so well! I find myself agreeing with everything she says. I think Id be her friend, though I think youre like the heart part of the gloss, and sound like you can be many of our friends which makes it comfortable to reach out to you.

      • Amanda Chatel

        Thanks, Cee!

    • Colleen

      Eeeee! I love you, my dear. I have another friend in NYC, we will meet someday!

    • Sami Jankins

      I say yes, for sure. Really Amanda.. this isn’t Catfish. I’m really a mid-twenties, awkward girl with an awful dating history. :-)

      • Amanda Chatel

        Phew! And how weird was that movie?

      • Ms. Pants

        It’s a tv show now too! and it’s what I thought of when you pondered me as an 80 year old man–way too much effort to keep all that kind of stuff up.

      • Samantha_Escobar

        LOL this comment. I love this comment.

    • Nikola

      Dude, why wouldn’t you be friends with the commenters? People on the internet who are capable of leaving intelligent, kind, and concise comments are a rare breed!

      • Amanda Chatel

        Oh, believe me…. I’m well aware of this. FRIENDS!