All the Little Checkboxes Confuse Me!! Let’s Discuss.

Posted May 24, 2019 by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction in Let's Discuss / 59 Comments

I have to start this post by saying that I’m not expecting anyone to do anything about this issue, and I don’t blame my fellow bloggers at all for my own state of checkbox confusion. I just need to vent for a minute!!!

Ever since the disaster that was the new (or, no-longer-all-that-new) GDPR regulations, commenting on blogs has become a game of navigating a minefield of checkboxes. I mean, I get why they created these regulations, but for the average blogger, it’s just made our commenting lives a mess. I’ll admit it: I’m easily confused.

Now every time I go to a blog to comment, I have to spend five minutes figuring out which of the fifty checkboxes I want to check, and I’m not too proud to admit that half the time I want to pull my hair out in frustration by the end! It doesn’t help that every blog is different (due to the fact that we all have different commenting systems). And, yes, sometimes I still end up clicking on the wrong things—or missing something.

Ah, the dreaded error box: YOU MUST ACCEPT THE PRIVACY POLICY TO LEAVE THIS COMMENT (or use this widget, or whatever).

I just want to scream: “YES, I accept the privacy policy. I accept ALL the privacy policies!! STOP MAKING ME HUNT FOR CHECKBOXES!!!”

And then some blogs have some random combination of these checkboxes:

  • Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment
  • I have read the privacy policy and consent to the storage and handling of my data by this website
  • Sign me up for the newsletter
  • Please enter a URL and then click the CommentLuv checkbox if you want to add your last blog post
  • Notify me of follow-up comments by email
  • Notify me of new posts by email
  • Notify me of new comments via email
  • Get Reply To Your Comment
  • Or just: Notify Me
  • OR you have to click a little bell to get replies
  • OR Notify me; otherwise I’ll have to sacrifice my first child at sundown during the next full moon
    (Okay, I haven’t actually seen that last one, but I’m waiting.)

Okay, so some of these are really obvious. BUT I’ve noticed that sometimes the same worded checkbox means different things on different blogs.

And sometimes I end up just sitting and staring and thinking:

    • Wait, are “follow-up comments” replies on this blog? Or are those the same as “new” comments?
    • Wait, does “Notify Me” mean I’ll get a notification about the reply or posts or other comments?
    • Wait, haven’t I checked this box for saving my data like a million times before? Why didn’t it save my data last time?
    • Wait, did I miss the privacy policy checkbox?
    • Wait, will I get a reply to this comment even without checking any of the checkboxes, none of which seem to be for replies?

The worst is when, after checking the checkboxes, you still get an email that makes you confirm that you want to do what you said you wanted to do. I’ve had to navigate the boxes and figure out the right ones, and now I have to confirm that I chose correctly! It’s so stressful!! Confession: I pretty much never confirm. Not because I don’t want to see if you replied, but because I start to worry that I clicked the wrong thing. Because, yes, sometimes I still do it wrong.

Every once in a while, I’ll start to get an email every time someone comments on your random TTT post with a “Great list!” and I’ll groan in frustration at my inability to click the right checkbox. Or I’ll realize that I’ve accidentally signed up to receive every one of your posts via email. No offense, I love you all, but my inbox is already so overwhelming that I literally sometimes start to feel a physical panic response when I look at it. I can’t subscribe to all of your blogs via email. The danger to my mental health is real!!

Like I said, I’m not blaming my fellow bloggers or expecting you to change anything on your blogs. This is just my venting post! This craziness isn’t anyone’s fault—we’re all just trying to live up to a random set of rules that are hazy at best, and no one wants to get fined or in trouble for violations. Some of you may not even be able to control what shows up with your commenting system.

I chose to go the simplest route I could and I just have a note about my privacy policy with a link (and no checkbox) and there’s only ONE checkbox for notification of replies, which is automatically checked for you. But even that has problems—I think the auto-check might technically be a violation of the rule? If someone comes after me someday, I guess I’ll let you know. (By the way, feel free to uncheck that box without guilt. If you wrote “Great list!” to my random TTT post and you don’t feel the need to see an email in your inbox with my “Thanks!” in reply, I won’t be offended!  🙂 ) Oh, and you still have to check that darn privacy checkbox when you enter a linky on my blog because InLinkz won’t let me get rid of it. I seriously forget to check it about 50% of the time.


Is anyone else as confused as I am about all the checkboxes? Please tell me I’m not the only one who still can’t always figure them out. I want to know! 


This post is linked up to the Book Blog Discussion Challenge.


59 responses to “All the Little Checkboxes Confuse Me!! Let’s Discuss.

  1. OMG, YES! I hate those checkboxes, and I check the wrong ones all the time. Sometimes the boxes don’t even work! Then there’s Captchas. I don’t want to squint at a screen or do a math problem to leave a comment. Why does everything have to be so confusing? Commenting shouldn’t be hard.

  2. So confusing. And lately some have maths equations on them! But the worst are the pictures where you have to pick out all the sidewalks, etc and I can hardly see the picture let alone make out if there’s a sidewalk. And part of my brain is thinking a sidewalk is a footpath isn’t it, or is it something else, and I’m clicking all the wrong pictures. Frustrating!

    Trish @ Between My Lines recently posted: Book Review: A Year of Second Chances by Kendra Smith
  3. Oh my goodness, this is timely, Nicole! But just yesterday I was kind of marveling at the hoops I was having to jump through when commenting on certain blogs. I mean, it wasn’t such a turn-off that I’m going to unfollow anyone but yeah… it makes commenting more challenging. I’ve come across a couple where I have to actually answer a math question. I was like, seriously? Do you realize how math challenged I am? LOL I get that everyone is going to use whatever system works for them, but wow… sometimes it takes way too much brain power. 🙂

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted: Book Outlet Book Haul
  4. I’m totally on board with you. I get so frustrated with all the check boxes and what they mean. As a blogger I know some of those boxes we can’t control and others we can. It’s a dreaded mine filed when it comes to commenting. You are not the only one who feels the pain and frustration. Great post!

  5. Oh my god XD So true. I don’t check any boxes. Have done it before, because I’m like why not. If you’re having a conversation in the comments, then you want to know when the other person has replied. You want to keep interacting because interaction is beautiful.

    Well, yeah, but I’ve learned it’s way better to just check back later or rely on wordpress notifications. Lifesavers! This is why it’s such a struggle to comment on Blogger blogs. I don’t get that notification 🙁

    • My only complaint about how WP does it is that they now seem to just send an email that says someone has liked the comment and I have to click on it to see if they actually replied or not. It used to just tell me their reply, and I so preferred that! I might have to look at my settings to see if I should change something.

  6. The one that gets me is the “notify me of follow-up comments,” because it DEFINITELY means more than one thing depending on whose blog you are on. More than once I’ve clicked, thinking I was signing up for a notification if someone replied to MY comment, and I’ve subscribed to a notice everytime ANYONE commented on that post. *facepalm* Some of y’all get a lot of comments…that’s all I’m sayin’. 😛 LOL

  7. Oh yes, on some blogs there are so many hoops to jump through but after doing it a few times I know it’s coming and can usually navigate it…usually. The ones that really bug me are the ones where I have to click on all the crosswalks, buses or street signs. Because if you miss even an edge of one, they make you do it again.

    Mary Kirkland recently posted: Freebie Friday!
  8. Lmao yes. Like you said, we’re all just trying to comply with GDPR, but the law did make this really frustrating. I sometimes miss the privacy policy checkbox too, and then the website yells at me that I can’t comment. And the ones that are supposed to save your info never do! I’ve tried to keep mine as simple as possible while still feeling secure that I’m following GDPR. And as everyone else said, captchas and extra things are even worse! I don’t want to have to do multiplication just to leave a comment lol.

  9. The check boxes! Some have multiple boxes you have to check and math! They make me do math to leave a comment or find all the stop signs or type in a code I cannot read. Dude, I just want to leave a comment. My biggest beef is with the one that claims to be saving my data for next time, and then I have to input my name, email, and website again. I think Jen Ryland’s site is the only one that actually saves my data. This used to be a default on all the sites, but not anymore. I will still comment on these websites, but I do feel there is some overkill going on out there.

  10. I had the same exact confusion when it came to “follow-up”. I kept thinking, “Does this mean all the new comments after mine or a reply to my comment?” And let me tell you, it’s been interesting. I’ve noticed in some of them, I have accidentally subscribed to the whole bunch of comments on a lot of blogs. So these past few days, I’ve been unsubscribing from all of it lol I totally get you.

    • I went to one blog where there was a checkbox for “follow-up” comments AND a checkbox for “Get Reply To Your Comment,” so on that blog obviously follow-up didn’t mean replies. But then on the next blog I went to the very same worded “follow-up” comments checkbox seemed to mean replies. (And I’m pretty sure I was correct on that one–I didn’t start getting every comment on that post). I was like, AH HA! I KNEW IT! It’s a conspiracy!!!

  11. Yes, this is all very relatable and something I struggle with too, both as a commenter because of the GDPR and as a blogger because of incessant spammers. I recently added a math captcha to my comment form which got rid of the worst of the spambots but then also seems to have decreased the number of legit comments I get on my blog, I guess because people don’t want to do the math thing. It’s a no win situation most of the time.

    Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra recently posted: Review: BRIGHT BURNING STARS by A.K. Small
  12. Totally agree!!! It’s already time consuming to comment on blogs and now we have to check all these things. And so many (like Disqus) make me sign in over and over again.

    I try to make mine simple but I don’t always know what people are seeing when they visit.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

  13. I am so glad you made this post! I CANNOT FIGURE IT OUT! And it hurts me so. I don’t mind checking off privacy policies and such, but I have NO CLUE how to get responses to my comments! I’d love to get a notification when I get a response, but that never happens! Instead I get everyone else’s comments on the post! I very much appreciate your blog where I get your response automatically! I would love to incorporate it into my own blog, but I just don’t know how!

    Malka @ Paper Procrastinators recently posted: Review: Where I End and You Begin
  14. Ugh, yes, I hate all the checkboxes. Some blogs don’t have many so it’s okay, but others have a lot or some are pre-checked and I don’t want them to be. I don’t mind getting replies in my email if it’s for my post, but I’ve gotten emails every time someone comments on a post before too and omg, that’s annoying! I clicked something I didn’t mean to click! LOL


    • I do have mine pre-checked, and I’ve worried that some people may not want it to be, but it seemed like the easiest way to accomplish what most people seem to actually want–to get replies to their own comment. I don’t have options for anything else, so hopefully it’s not too confusing—I wish I could change the wording of the checkbox though (I wish it could say “Notify me of replies to my comment via email” because that would be more clear). But I checked and there doesn’t appear to be any way for me to choose the wording. Sigh.

  15. Omg this cracks me up because it is SO TRUE. I cannot tell you how many comments I have lost because I forgot to tell it I wasn’t a robot. Like no I am not a robot, I am just stupid and don’t pay attention, okay? I think I am probably non-compliant with like, half the stuff but honestly I don’t even care. Though with my luck, maybe I should care? Meh.

    And I agree, I don’t blame the bloggers (unless it is captcha, then I am glaring at you with the heat of a thousand suns), because every site has its own rules and different plugins have different rules, and who can even keep up!?

  16. Hahahah this is so funny Nicole. And yet I couldn’t relate more. I have been blog hopping so much today that I bet my email will be full of all my mistakes in the next week. I do wish my clicking accept the first billion times on the privacy policies would be enough. 😀

  17. This is so true! And then there are times when it won’t let me leave a comment because it is a wordpress blog and I can’t remember my password, and so I just give up and don’t leave a comment. I also want to only get notified for replies to my comments, I don’t need to know every other time someone else comments, although I get that accidentally sometimes too. And like I will check the box below about saving my info for next time, but I still have to enter it all next time I come to your blog. And then there are ones that I can only get a link to my most recent post, unless I sign up to their blog, which I’ll do, but then next time it still doesn’t seem to work and wants me to sign up again. So frustrating! Great post!

    Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) recently posted: L-L-L-Little Reviews: Three Little Romance Audiobook Reviews
  18. I honestly don’t mind the boxes because well, it just comes natural to me now xD The only thing I find to be incredibly annoying is when you FORGET one box and then it says you did, so you go back as it directs you to, but it eats the comment in the process >.> Especially when you left a long comment! It can be so frustrating…

    • Oh, yes, that’s the worst. I have one blogger friend whose blog ALWAYS eats my comment after I start typing it—it’s the weirdest thing! I’ll be in the middle of typing a sentence and the comment will disappear. Every. Single. Time. (I suppose I should probably tell her about that, huh? Not sure what’s up or if there’s anything she can do about it.)

  19. I had honestly never thought about this until reading this post…but I realized that I definitely dread having to navigate everyone’s separate commenting system every time I want to drop some appreciation on their posts! I use whatever the default setup is for wordpress, which allegedly makes things simpler…but I also know that people don’t get page views if you don’t actually go to the URL to read the post that shows up in your feed…so I am always commenting and trying to sort out the check boxes! Thank you for sharing your frustration and making me feel a little bit less alone!

    • Yes, the page view thing is a whole other issue. I realize that some people read my posts via email and those don’t get counted as views unless they click over and comment or something, but I’ve just decided not to worry about it. If people are enjoying the posts, hopefully they’ll be compelled to come see me. 🙂

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  21. It’s understandable to feel frustrated with the multiple checkboxes and regulations that have been put in place for commenting on blogs since the implementation of GDPR. It can be confusing and time-consuming to navigate through all the checkboxes, and sometimes the same worded checkbox can mean different things on different blogs. It’s good to see that the author of the post acknowledges that this isn’t anyone’s fault and that bloggers are just trying to comply with the regulations. The author has taken the simplest route by having only one checkbox for notification of replies, and even that may technically be a violation of the rule. It’s good to see that the author is understanding of readers who may not want to receive notifications and gives them the option to uncheck the box without feeling guilty. Overall, it’s a relatable post that sheds light on the challenges of complying with the GDPR regulations.

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  23. No comments should be made without understanding the checkboxes of any blog. It is very good if we comment with proper understanding. Many times, if we comments without understanding, then we comment on something wrong.

  24. It sounds like you’re grappling with the complexity of navigating checkboxes, which can indeed be overwhelming at times. Checkbox overload can often lead to confusion and frustration, especially when dealing with numerous options and settings. I’ve encountered similar challenges myself and understand the need for clarity in managing checkboxes effectively. Perhaps discussing strategies for simplifying checkbox interfaces or organizing them in a more intuitive manner could be beneficial. By sharing insights and experiences, we can explore ways to streamline checkbox usage and alleviate confusion. Thank you for opening up this discussion—it’s a topic that many of us can relate to and learn from!

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