Sunday, July 5, 2009

How to prevent blogging from taking over your life

I wrote the title of this post tongue-in-cheek, but the truth is, Blog World is vast and it's so easy to sit in front of the computer for hours, hopping from blog to blog. There are so many interesting people with wonderful blogs, who generously share their lives, families, recipes, tips and musings.

However, now that I'm a wife and a new mother, my computer time is very limited, and while I opted to continue blogging, I set some strategies that helped me not to lose control of my time. With a baby and a house to tend to, time is oh so precious!

Limiting computer time doesn't include only blogging, either. I rarely log on to my Facebook account and can truly understand my friends who opted not to start one at all, or closed their account (are you reading this, Judith?!)

I limit the number of blogs I visit every day, and usually I try to make it not more than five. There's literally an endless numbers of blogs, many of them excellent, but I simply don't have time to read them all, at least not on a daily basis.

I comment less frequently on other people's blogs - mostly when I feel I have something to contribute to the discussion, or when I want to "wave" a friendly hello to someone I hadn't caught up with in a while.

I don't reply to comments on my blog as much as I used to. I love reading your comments and emails. I know it might be disappointing to someone who took the time to participate in a discussion and got no adequate reply, but I simply don't have the time to answer each and every comment. I have a disclaimer saying just that in my comment section, and usually, people understand. Some who didn't get a reply in the comments send me a question by email, and then sooner or later I get to it.

Speaking of emails, I had to set a limit on this one too. More often than not, my inbox is bursting with emails from dear people sharing questions, comments and prayers. I try my best to reply, even if it takes me weeks. But sometimes I choose to be brief. For example, when I get questions such as, "what are the traditional Jewish foods for the Purim feast?", I think Google can answer much better.

I cannot please everyone. I cannot possibly explain and justify myself to each and every person who is too quick to jump to conclusions about my life after reading one paragraph, or who clings to one badly-worded phrase. I cannot participate in endless discussions, it's draining and exhausting. So there are many comments I don't let through. Some people are offended, no doubt, but I'm willing to take it for the sake of peace and quiet on my blog.

I don't participate in blog awards, carnivals, tags and memes. It's not a rule and I don't have anything against blog carnivals and tags, but realistically, I can rarely find the time. I always take the time to thank those who give me blog awards, but it's difficult to acknowledge them all on my blog, let alone pass them on.

Blogging is not the real world, and I cannot be consumed by it. While I love writing, most of my time is spent living what I write about: being a wife, mother and homemaker. I do my best to be cautious. It's important to remember that while I view many of my blog pals as cherished friends, the web is full of people who cannot be trusted. Once, someone who comments on my blog regularly sent me anonymous death threats, thinking I won't find out who they were from.

There are many days when I don't write at all. At least not here - I might still work on my fiction writings or poetry. I have pre-written posts I jot down whenever I feel an idea popping into my head. Later I copy and paste it on the blog. Of course, you've witnessed some terrible spelling and grammar mishaps when I don't even have the time to proof-read, but overall it does the trick.

It all boils down, I guess, to spending less time on the computer and more time tending to the needs of my family and cultivating real-life relationships. I like blogging but I don't allow it to take over!


Anonymous said...

Very well said, - keeping up with all the interesting blogs out there would take more time than most of us have. You are very wise to limit your time blogging and to be cautious overall. I have most of my favourite blogs on a RSS feed, but even then I still have to ignore most of the posts till I have plenty of time or delete without reading.

Ultimately as you said "blogging is not the real world" - our families, faith and our own lives should take priority over others.

Jasmine said...

This is so wise of you, the computer really is an addictive thing.

jAne said...

"Never pass up a chance to stay away from the keyboard." Lars Gren


jAne at

Rose said...

This is so true and wise Anna. I can go for days without even turning on my computer. I have never allotted time to use on the computer. I just use it as and when. If I have the time then I Love reading and catching up with everyone.
I keep a book close by and if thoughts come into my head I jot them down and when i've time i'll start it as a post for my blog and add to it and post when I can.

Pom Pom said...

All very true . . . blogging is a 21st century innovation and provides another way to learn about our world and its inhabitants, but it isn't a substitute for face-to-face friendships and eyes-wide-open living. I find it very encouraging when I recognize common reactions to life's themes, but a little can go a long way. Blogging nourishes my passion for the written word and I hope helps me to grow. However, I'm very thankful for my local library and my beloved bookcases AND my journals that span the decades. Thank you for a down to earth post, Anna.

Mrs. White said...

This is excellent. I am sure many will find it helpful!
Mrs. White

Otter Mom said...

We limit ourselves to 1 hour a day on the computer. Obviously there are some exceptions, such as when we are listing things on eBay or if our daughter needs to do research for a school project.

Donalacasa said...

You can never have too much balance! LOL!


LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

I always feel sorry that I do not find time to go and get an award that someone has thoughtfully posted to me... I also feel quite un comfortable getting such things , as I know a lot of other bloggers do not get them ...also I rarely remember to post on other people's blogs, and due to the conflict regarding feminism, am always cautious about it. The other blog might receive more than their fair share of flame mail when they trace back my comment and see some things they do not like!

Neuropoet said...

I, too, have recently had to simplify my "cyber-world". I do not have a blog that is frequented by many people, but I did find myself "attached" to too many different blogs... I cut back my blog-reading (keeping those that I find particularly encouraging), and then cut waaaayyy back on my facebook account. Now I use it mainly to keep in touch with family... and I don't feel that need to check it daily... :)


Persuaded said...

When I am tending towards over involvement in this wonderful bloggity-world, I remind myself, that in the final analysis, this is all just recreation. Nothing more, and nothing less. We all have better things to do, more important tasks the Lord has entrusted us with... and we'd best not neglect them in favor of blogging!

Anonymous said...

*Laugh!* Yes, I'm reading this ... ! :) This is an excellent post. I take your point about writing brief emails because I tend to write too much - not to dear friends like yourself, but to other people ... who just don't NEED three or four long paragraphs of text in answer to their one-line-question!

Speaking of emails and "dear friends like yourself" ... expect an email soon, G-d willing! :)

Love and hugs from,
Your friend,
Judith :)