Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Bloggy

I've been reading a number of blog posts lately that seem to point to a common theme: blogging addiction.

The Good: What I've found to be true with blogging is that a sense of friendship and community can be formed almost instantaneously as you connect with like-minded, like-hearted people. I believe this to be especially true with the blogging adoption community due to the emotional ups&downs of the adoption process. Blogging, for me, has served many purposes including sharing Matthew's growth with friends and family, keeping updated on adoption news, maintaining my sanity as a SAH mom by providing fellowship with other moms, and forming friendships as I follow the lives of other bloggers.

The Bad: While initial intentions to blog are good, bloggers can find themselves sucked into blogging very quickly. I've read comments joking of blog "addictions" but, for some, it isn't a joke. When you blog, you make great friends...but, due to easy computer access, it's like these friends are at your house 24/7. So not only can your time become devoted to sitting in front of your computer, but also your mind can become blog-driven as your thoughts focus on checking blogs, writing posts, leaving comments, and uploading photos. And because of the huge blogging network, you can quickly gain so many friends that keeping up with each blog can become absolutely time consuming.

The Bloggy Advice: Be mindful of your initial intentions for blogging and then set parameters for using your time to best meet those goals. For example, if you blog to become connected with other adoptive mamas and find that your list of friends is growing rapidly, don't feel like you have to check each blog every day. Perhaps you set aside one day to check all blogs or you choose 3 blogs to read each day...or another scenario that works best for you. The time it takes to check blogs, especially if you leave comments, is deceptively greater than it may seem. Or, if you are blogging for family and friends, don't let a comment like "I check your blog every day" make you feel like you HAVE to post every day. You may find that mindset actually drives your daily activities!

I've read posts about blogging taking away people's time...and thoughts...from their family, their work, their responsibilities and most importantly from God. What an example of choosing what's good over what's best. In and of itself, blogging is good...but placed before God, it quickly becomes an idol. This happened to me and for awhile my first morning thought was how quickly I could get to my computer! Thankfully, my focus is back on God and my waking thought is how quickly I can get to God's Word.

So, all in all, my advice is this regarding your time, your mind, and your heart...

Don't give your employer leftovers.

Don't give your family leftovers.

And, above all, don't give God leftovers.

Take your "personal computer time" off the #1 spot on your priority list. Your blogging friends will understand!


Craig, Judy, Andrew, & William said...

Convicting and well-stated. Thanks!

Just Us said...

Great post!!! It can get very addicting unless you keep it in perspective. I know I blog as a way to document Yu-Lin's growth since I don't have much time lately to scrapbook. This way, I can remember things he is doing at different stages in his life otherwise I would quickly forget. Kristie

Kerry said...

I agree, Tish! Its even worse when you have an IPhone and can get on the Internet whenever, where ever. I only check a couple of blogs regularly. Obviously, yours is one of them, even if I rarely comment. Keeping our priorities straight is more important than ever in this crazy world we live in!

Jenna said...

Well said, Tish! I think for me, when the newness of blogging wore off, I put it in it's proper place! I am actually really thankful for my blog, because it motivates me to write down my thoughts and feelings about the wild ride we're on in this adoption journey. Without the idea that people want to hear what's going on, I think a lot of what I am thinking and/or feeling would get lost in my memory, and I don't want to forget a BIT of this!

To help myself, I do a quick round every morning of the blogs I love, but don't always comment. Takes me 15 minutes tops now that I have a plan- the plan was the key!

Great thoughts- I think we can all relate! :)

Andrea said...

Great Posts and I loved the Car Washing pictures! Very Sweet. You are really good with that camera.
20 years from now you will enjoy your pictures so much.
I probably took a thousand of Caleb. We love to look at them.


Tracy said...

James is tiny. He still is struggling to get past his birth weight, so we have started supplementing formula along with breastfeeding.

Yes, I do have help. I have one full time assistant and one part-time. I would lose my mind without them!

Dianne said...

Thank you, Tish, it is a good reminder.

Yvonne Crawford said...

So true. I've been cutting down on my blogging time and yahoo group time. I know you don't post much there anymore, but that group is ADDICTING!!! And then I read when people are traveling and I'm not yet and then I obsese about it and on and on. so I've cut down on that a lot. so easy to get sucked into things.
I'm glad that I don't have an IPhone.

Qiuqiu's parents said...

Very wise advice. I sometimes find myself getting a little too "close" to my computer and have to take some time off. And once Flynn gets home it's going to be a whole different ballgame! I have a feeling I'll have some trouble finding computer time for a while, and getting photos online will be the best that I can manage!

Rebecca said...


Blogging should be the "leftovers", definitely.

I'm so grateful for the friendships I've formed through blogging, but it is DEFINITELY something that is good to step back from often - like a "blog fast". So easy to get sucked in and make it your life. In its proper place though it can be a great tool. I think of the orphans we have been able to touch through our blog and I know that God had a greater purpose for us than just journaling for family & friends!!!

Love ya.