Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Internet: Best Thing Ever, Or Just One More Thing I Have to "Manage"?

Recently, Martin from This Rugged Life spoke about his decision to "switch off" and spend less time online, and more time on real life. His view was that all these new tools should make our lives better, not busier.

And it got me to thinking.

I don't spend a lot of time on facebook, or twitter, or emails. But I do spend a LOT of time working on my blog, researching for posts, reading other blogs, and basically fiddling and twiddling about.

And so. I have to be honest and ask myself: Why am I doing this, and is it worth it?

When I started this blog, I did so out of the sheer joy of writing again, after about 7 years of not so much as keeping a diary.

Then I got my first follower.

High excitement! And then another follower. More excitement...

Before I knew it, I was writing because I wanted my followers to like my writing, and maybe even get some more followers. Then I discovered blog hops. I spent hours joining in hops all over the place. I met some awesome people, like Dana, but mostly I ended up following a whole lot of blogs that I would never have followed otherwise, and got a whole heap of followers who said hello, and never came back again.

Then I discovered how easy it was to stick some Adsense ads here and there and....well, everywhere. The more the better, right? After 9 months, and $8.99 later, that little experiment has fallen by the wayside.

And then I starting having all sorts of epiphanies about health, and I was so passionate about what I'd learnt, that I was desperate for the world to know.

Then my blog became about raising awareness, and standing up for what I believe in. All good things. But not exactly fulfilling the blog's aim of writing for the sheer joy of it.

I estimate that many of my recent posts, like the Soapbox Sunday posts took 3- 4 hours to put together. The Sickness Industry posts took around 30 - 40 hours each, and 20 Ways You Can Make a Difference in the World took maybe 15 hours.

That's a lot of time, when I have children to care for, a house to run, studies to complete, a website to build, and various other commitments.

And so...since this has unofficially become the Year of Living Authentically, I have reached some decisions about this blog.

I will no longer be participating in blog hops. Even if you have the bestest blog hop in the world...

I will no longer be raising awareness on health matters and blasting large companies for their wicked ways (not here, anyway). If you enjoyed my writing on health, I now have a blog attached to my new website (at least, it WILL be when I can put the "figure" into configure...). I'll be writing about what's really being put into our food, researching what goes on in the world of big business, and handing out all kinds of tips on living a healthy life. That kind of stuff. Do come and join me if you found my other health writings interesting. It's brand new, but you can find it here.

I will no longer be doing "Soapbox Sundays". I want to write only when I feel like writing. And write solely for the pleasure of writing.

I have come to realise that my blog, that was started with the intention of adding to my life, has in fact, been taking away from my life. From time with my children, time spent on my studies and building a website, time caring for my home and my family.

So, I think I know the answer to the title question...

The internet IS one of the best things ever (for lots of reasons) AND it is one more thing that I have to "manage". If I don't control it, it controls me.

I need to set boundaries. I need to switch off more often. For my own sanity, and because I don't want my sons to grow up, knowing in their little hearts, that their mother was physically present, but mentally absent. Because, while they regaled me with stories of monsters in the veggie patch, and clouds that look like dinosaurs feet, I was mentally writing a blog post, or thinking up a witty status update for facebook.

As of today, this blog is purely for my own enjoyment. If others like it too, that's great.

But in the end, I'm blogging for me.

Better....not busier.

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