Jan 30 2008

When Blogging becomes an Addiction

Published by at 7:02 pm under blogging

Stressed Out

Being a blogger can be a time consuming job.

  • approve comments
  • respond to comments
  • check statistics
  • check trackbacks
  • comment on trackbacks
  • maintain social profiles
  • maintain social networking
  • maintain blogroll
  • tweak blog
  • read feeds
  • comment on other blogs
  • check for responses on other blogs
  • research for posts
  • link out
  • write posts

And I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few things. But it’s exhausting even thinking about it. If you are polyblogging (i.e. writing for more than one blog), you can pretty much rinse and repeat half of the list, particularly if you maintain different social profiles.

Gavin asks the question “How do they do it“?

There are some bloggers that continuously amaze me with their content, thinking and energy. Just when I think that I cannot write anything more or spend any more time writing (most of my blogging is done late at night), I will find some piece of inspiration that gets my brain ticking over and my fingers tap, tap tapping.

Frankly, I don’t know that it IS possible to do it all. Not effectively, anyway. Unless of course it is your full time job.

There are just so many hours in a day, and without neglecting the people who should be (and are) the most important in one’s life, it becomes necessary to rationalise.

It’s important to remember why we started blogging in the first place. Kelley wrote about Blogging for Fun and Emotional Profit:

But sometimes blogging can become a chore. A monkey on your back. Something you HAVE to do to get the comments, the ratings, the stumbles….

The worst night came when I realised that Boo, accustomed to pulling all night dance raves in his room, was asleep hours ago and I was still up. Reading and researching.

I think she’s absolutely right.

How much time and energy can you afford to put into a hobby? And Why? It’s absolutely healthy to have a hobby. Something that is just for “us”. But what about when that hobby becomes a distraction to the things we should do, or worse an obsession or an addiction?

I hesitate to use the word “addiction”, because to me nothing positive comes from an addiction. I’d like to think that the act of blogging provides some information, entertainment, amusement or insight to someone, somewhere.

Let’s look at the Wikipedia definition of “addiction”:

Nowadays, however, the term addiction is used to describe a recurring compulsion by an individual to engage in some specific activity, despite harmful consequences to the individual’s health, mental state or social life.

Hmm, perhaps it does fit – recurring compulsion – specific activity – harmful consequences.

Obviously it’s not a physical addiction, but a psychological one (dependency).

Psychological dependence does not have to be limited only to substances; even activities and behavioral patterns can be considered addictions, if they become uncontrollable, e.g. gambling, Internet addiction, computer addiction, sexual addiction / pornography addiction, Reading, eating, self-harm, vandalism or work addiction.

And blogging. And associated activities.

Maybe it’s time to back up. Rationalise. Ask some really honest questions. Perhaps a good place to start is – “why am I blogging?”

  • To earn money?
  • For a good cause?
  • To help others?
  • To let off steam?
  • To learn new skills?
  • Because everyone else is doing it?!
  • For business reasons?
  • For ego?
  • For self satisfaction?

At the end of the day you have to wonder if you can “justify” the time commitment of your online existence.

It’s hard to strike a balance, especially if you are an “all or nothing” type person.

We often joke about being addicted to blogging. I’m sure most of you have seen the little badges around stating”I’m 75% addicted to blogging” (or whatever nominal percentage). But what about when it goes beyond a joke and becomes a reality? How many ways can we justify it to lie to ourselves?

Do you suspect you might be spending too much time blogging? Can you justify it? How do you find balance?

18 responses so far

18 Responses to “When Blogging becomes an Addiction”

  1. Lighteningon 30 Jan 2008 at 9:27 pm

    This is the second post in my feedreader on this topic today…… WHAT is the universe trying to tell me????? :)

    I wouldn’t like to add up how many hours I’m currently spending on blogging and blogging related activities. At the moment I can justify is because there are a lot of “normal” things in life I haven’t been able to do in the past 12 months. That will need to change though in the coming months…..

    Problem is…. I LIKE being addicted to blogging and I’m not sure right now I CARE about finding balance. Does that make me a blogaholic in denial?????

    One thing I do do is to do some of what you listed in cycles. I’ll spend some time on blog promotion etc and then another day I’ll be more focused on comments etc.

    At the very least though, I think it’s a question that needs to be raised from time to time. To reassess what we’re doing and how much focus in life it’s taking.

    Lightening’s last blog post..Listen to Your Heart

  2. Fat Bastardon 30 Jan 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Hey Lightening……………….

    Ease up on the coffee………….

  3. Babyamoreon 30 Jan 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Brilliant post – I needed to read this tonight (today) … wondering the same thing myself after my post the other night. Feeling discouraged etc.

    I am going to cut back … I am way too addicted … comments are my bloggy crack.
    I stay up way too late into early hours reading other blogs or writing my own posts.I am buying a new timer to give myself some limits …starting tomorrow.

    Babyamore’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – Prison Break

  4. Kelleyon 30 Jan 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Thanks for the mention babe. Smootch.

    Tonight blogging is my savior. The first thing I wanted to do tonight was to get on and share what happened today.

    I have finally found some balance. I have found a wonderful community here in cyber land, but I am not obsessing on being bigger and better.

    I am just thankful for the handful of bloggers that I can truly call friend.

    You being one babe.

    Kelley’s last blog post..School

  5. Gavin Heatonon 30 Jan 2008 at 10:31 pm

    I think what is interesting is that blogging and online communities can provide a real extension to our world. We can find “like minds” or people to argue with, we can learn new things, be validated or get into a little cyber trouble. I don’t necessarily see this as an addiction — but it can provide something that may be missing in our lives. It certainly helps if blogging is in some way connected to your day job!

    As Lightening explains, sometimes you need to over-balance one way — and re-assess at a later point. Without doubt you get out what you put in … and blogging can sometimes be hard work. But we all do need a balance … we need to feed our creativity and also to express it. Somewhere in between there are also the complications and joys of life. Remember to appreciate these too!

  6. Colin Campbellon 31 Jan 2008 at 6:12 am

    It is very easy to get sucked in to this type of internal debate. I hope that this wasn’t toooooo close to the truth Meg! It is clear from the numbers of abandoned blogs, that it is not for everyone. I am finding that at the moment that I am struggling to fit it all in. I think that this is normal, but I do have significant work and family commitments.

    Colin Campbell’s last blog post..Kwality Scottish Historical Poem

  7. Tiffanyon 31 Jan 2008 at 12:37 pm

    I used to stress over all of those things. Sometimes I am still disheartened by the lack of readers and the lack of comments but when it all boils down to it, I started the blog for me and for the kids to see what life was like.

    To tell you the truth, blogging is starting to bore me a little bit and I find myself looking for other things now. It’s probably because I don’t have much ‘good content’ at the moment, mainly gripes and whines so I’m getting sick of myself.
    Having said that though, sometimes it is good just to get on there and write it out to the universe.

    I still love to read though.

  8. Jayneon 31 Jan 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Some days I over-do the blogging but I balance it by running amok in the vegie garden ( never have naked toes, the worms are wriggly and cold), chasing chooks around the yard and homeschooling my son.
    Swings and roundabouts 😉

    Jayne’s last blog post..Trivial History January 31

  9. Jenni Beattieon 31 Jan 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Save time – twitter!

    Jenni Beattie’s last blog post..Online reputation – Businesses beware

  10. […] last post was replicated in full on another blog […]

  11. Nicole Priceon 31 Jan 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Thats right. Blogging is a tough job if you go beyond the writing your own musings and what you feel like into the competitive arena wanting more visitors and comments and RSS subscribers. Thats when it feels more like a job than a hobby. And considering there are thousands of unsuccessful blogs for every successful one, there is not doubt about the amount of effort that goes into making it work.

    Nicole Price’s last blog post..Shoes at 80% discount

  12. Gregon 31 Jan 2008 at 6:06 pm

    Hmmm i think i been blogging too much. I typed in a comment in here late last night or early this morning and forgot to press save.

    I tried professional blogging some time ago and i found working full time and trying to blog for 5 or 6 hours a night as well was too time consuming so i walked away. I still make enough that pays the bills for hosting., domains, net access etc but everything is at a more relaxed pace.

    The other big blogging time drain i have is as a photoblogger as the time i spend getting the content is rather a lot but hey, i get to blog something i love doing so how can that ever be too much time!

  13. Megon 01 Feb 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Lightening – If it makes you feel good and you’re doing the things you “should” be doing, then I don’t see a problem either. It’s obviously giving you a great deal of enjoyment and satisfaction.

    Trish – how are you going with the timer? “comments are my bloggy crack” LMAO. I’ve been way to slack responding to comments and commenting & I’m trying to redress that (within the scope of “Balance”…)

    Kelley – glad you’ve found some balance, and that you’re enjoying blogging as a release. I know you bring a lot of enjoyment to many people and it would be a shame for the fun to go out of it for you.

    Gavin – I agree, especially about finding “like minds”. No matter what your interests – there is a community for everyone. That sense of belonging is often hard to achieve in real life, and the internet provides a certain convenience because it is “always there”. So in that sense it is a lot easier (but also more tempting) to fulfil what ever it is we are “missing”.

    Colin – more a re-evaluation of priorities and a need to find balance. I figured, if I record it, I can go back later if I need a reminder 😉

    Tiff – as Kelley wrote, we need to remember our motivation for writing anyway. If it’s as a release for yourself, then it’s good not to get too caught up in how many people visited today. Frankly the pressure of having thousands of people waiting to see what I wrote next would scare the *^%# out of me. A small community of “friends” is great.

    Jayne – ewww wiggly worms, too close to maggots for my liking *shudder*. Yes, swings and roundabouts is right. With your homeschooling, I’m sure that “break” is really important for you too.

    Jenni – Lol Yes absolutely I agree you could rely on Twitter for posting updates. The problem is that there is only so much you can say in 140 chara

    Nicole – absolutely. Most of us are just a blip on a giant radar!

    Greg – it’s great that you can combine your offline and online hobbies that way. But I can imagine the other time commitment would get a bit draining.

  14. Tiffanyon 02 Feb 2008 at 4:10 pm

    You and Kelley are completely right, of course and my blog is cheap therapy so I’m just gonna keep lying on the couch and psychoanalyse myself! :)

  15. Meg's SiSon 02 Feb 2008 at 10:05 pm

    From a casual observer’s perspective it looks to be the cyber space equivalent of a good old fire side chat…
    Just remember to keep a healthy balance between blogging, jogging and snogging!

  16. Megon 02 Feb 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Hey Tiff – sounds like a plan! Go for it :)

    Sis – 😀 You are so very much your father’s daughter 😀 LMAO

  17. alyndabearon 03 Feb 2008 at 8:54 am

    Is participating in Blog 365 an addiction? Ha!

    alyndabear’s last blog post..Joyeux Anniversaire!

  18. Bengton 05 Feb 2008 at 7:22 am

    A side effect of your stop to hotlinking images is that the correct image does not show up in your RSS feed, at least not when reading the mail version in Google mail.

    Bengt’s last blog post..Link Medley