Sunday, May 10, 2009

Addicted

I think I've become addicted to blogging. Looking back, I posted 13 times in 2005, 15 in 2006, another 13 in 2007, and 90 times in 2008. This post will already be #40 for 2009, and we're not even halfway through the year yet...

Silly as it sounds, I worry slightly about this addiction. I don't like feeling out of balance, whether it's my uncontrollable attraction to the open bag of chocolate chips or my unconquerable desire to check my e-mail. Recently Jason and I joined the bandwagon of Twilight afficionados and poured through the first three books in less than three weeks, with the last one being in French. I've actually refused to purchase the final book in the series right away because I hated feeling like I simply couldn't put the book down, even if my family needed me. I want to be in control of my life, not Edward, Bella, or Jacob.

While I don't think that blogging is a poor use of my time (after all, I have slightly more natural ability for writing than basketball, for instance), I sometimes worry that it's not the best use of my time either. While blogging has the advantage of doubling as a family record that others can enjoy, I no longer journal the way that I used to. Sometimes I worry that this trade-off is a loss: after all, this blog is much more guarded than my personal journal. Because a blog is so public, I admittedly display only the rosy side of life--never writing anything that I wouldn't want everyone to read or know. But what you read isn't the whole me.

I also sometimes worry about my motivation for blogging: why do I really do it? As fun things in life happen, I find myself thinking, ooooh, that'd make for a good blog post. I wake up in the morning and excitedly check my e-mail to see if anyone's responded, as if the response from my "readership" (all five of you) :) determines whether or not something was interesting or exciting.

So my question is, how do you keep balance with whatever you find addicting--be it blogging, chocolate, reading, or Facebook? What helps you gain enough control to turn off the computer screen when tiny voices behind you say, "Mommy look at this!"? How do you balance the public and private spheres of your life when staying connected with friends and family? In today's connected world, what responsibility do we have to nurture virtual relationships across space and time? How do you manage to keep online friendships alive without neglecting the real relationships right next door?

I have a few ideas for combating my personal addictions. Impossible as it might sound, I'd really like to limit the number of times I check e-mail to once, maybe twice a day. My inbox obsession really is absurd, and I'd like to kick the habit. Has anyone managed to do so? Any suggestions?

I've also started keeping a personal blog that only I can access about "Peaceful Ponderings": it's the place where I write about those things that are too special, spiritual, or even sacred to share with the entire world. In general, I'm really enjoying the perks of a blog lay-out (permanent yet modifiable) without the pressure of anyone else reading.

If anyone else has any suggestions about how they've been able to find balance, I'd really love to hear them. And, if no one responds at all, perhaps that's answer enough that there's really much more to life than a blog.

9 comments:

Brianna said...

I have to say I love your so-called addiction. We love to check and see what you are up to. It brightens our day to see pictures of you all. I think you have written so much more this year because you are so far away, I need updates! But the best advise I would give for addictions is to set a time limit or an amount of posts you can do. We love you guys!

Charles said...

Kara, all the posts you have made have really helped me to feel up to date with and connected to both you, Jason, Brooklyn and Talia. Although I have not commented on line before, I have read them all. I am a fan!!! While you guys have been in France it has made it seem as though you were not so far away. I appreciate all the time and effort you have spent. Susie and I so enjoyed our stay with you all. Thank you so much for your sacrifices for your own and our family. I love you all. Gpa Charles

Mom L said...

Your "addiction" is not addiction. You are using wonderful talents to catalog your experiences in life. And by doing so, you even strengthen this aunt with your upbeat take on the things that happen to you and your family. I know it takes time, and sometimes there are more important things, but don't ever think this is a waste. It isn't. (Now chasing after stupid FaceBook Hatchlings - now that is a waste and an addiction!) Love, Aunt Julie

Tanja said...

I knew of more than 5 people who read your blog (via facebook and chatting - they are always up-to-date on the blog)
... there are just only 5 people who respond.

Frau Magister said...

If you find a good way of cutting down on the email addiction, let me know, as I have a similar problem.

Becca said...

I think it is good to blog, I love reading your comments. As you can see, I have tried to cut back on my blogging and now it is almost non existant. I do write a journal on the computer too, in word so I can share my more personal moments with myself. I try to limit myself to when the kids are sleeping or use it as a reward. If I do the dishes I can get on the computer. Now, If I pick up the living room I can get on the computer. Thanks for keeping us posted.

jennyb said...

Interesting that you wrote about this since I recently came across an article about internet addictions (the psychology world is considering classifying it in their diagnostic manual). It's obvious from these comments that many people (including me) find great value in your blog. If it's good for us and for you, then keep up the good writing! Still, moderation is good; I like the time limit idea. I also recommend not even turning on the computer until you've finished other more essential things. (I must admit that when I do this, it always feels weird when the computer is just sitting there with a blank screen. I take that as a sign I better keep doing it.)

ben said...

Once you're Twittering every 10 minutes, THEN we'll call it an addiction. Until then, a demanding voluntary hobby :)

Bruce Richards said...

Hey Kara,
I think you have a valid concern. Elder Bednar gave a fantastic talk in a CES fireside May 3, 2009 that you may find interesting.
I only check blogs during my lunch break, which will be over in 2 minutes.
Like others have mentioned, we enjoy reading your blog, and it keeps us updated. But once you return to Savoy, if we come over to see you and you say, "Sorry I'm too busy blogging to talk to you," then I'll think you have an addiction problem.