Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Being Online Verses Being Off

I suppose everyone has to reassess how much time they spend online verses off.

And for the first time I'm doing that in my life.

Since starting this blog last October, I have spent more time online than I ever dreamed possible. Because I'm also an online investor for many years and do much of my research and chart reading on the web, the amount of time I now spend on the computer has doubled or tripled in the past year.

Is it healthy for me? Can I sustain it? Can I add anything really unique to the political and cultural conversation in substance or style? Or can and should I only offer a rehashing and reframing of what's already out there from some really good online minds? And is it really worthwhile?

But most of all, do I want to? And am I too addicted too stop?

I love to write and read and since starting to read some of the more conservative political blogs last year--especially the likes of American Digest, Roger Simon, Works and Days, Powerline, Atlas Shrugs and Neo-neocon---all found on the right side links bar here--- I have feasted on sophisticated daily opinions and enjoyed it all immensely. I've loved reading, thinking about, commenting and then writing my take here at Webutante.

But lately, I am beginning to get bored and overwhelmed with all the daily blather--- wonderful as it's been---and dread the upcoming election. I'm finding myself griping a bit about the long lengths and numbers of posts, and often the nasty tone and the tenor. Some of it comes as across as self-righteous.

Even Victor Davis Hanson is starting to be laborious to me, as he writes longer and longer pieces, especially over at Works and Days. When people write too much---like talking too much--- I tend to tune out and walk away, even though they have important things to say.

I can better handle Roger Simon's work on a dailybasis because it's usually short and to the point. And the comments are often interesting.

With a presidential election coming up, just how involved and invested in all this do I really want to be? It's gonna get really, really mean-spirited out there in politikland. We ain't seen nothing yet.

I find online blogs to be very sticky---easy to get hooked on and very hard to get away from. And there's very little online support for someone like me. And for the most part, that's okay cause I still have plenty of real life friends and family, most of whom spend very little time online reading or caring about blogs---good for them!

Still, perhaps because I have just returned from a prayer retreat in Arizona, I am starting to question my priorities during these cold, dreary weeks in February. Aren't there people I want to spend more time with face to face? And offline projects? And more time outdoors?

Yes, yes and yes.

Most likely, I won't can this blog, but rather scale back from daily posting to writing several times a week, with Sundays still reserved for a good sermon. I want this to be a small part of my life, but not the centerpoint of my life. And--like all things addictive--it's a slippery , seductive slope and could become that.

I don't think that's ultimately healthy for me and will seek to find more balance in the weeks and months ahead between virtuality and reality.

Thanks for reading, I'll keep you posted. Am on my way out the door to breakfast with a friend.


Anonymous said...

Spending your time online won't hurt you except when you go back out into the sunshine...

Look at me, I met my future wife online 15 years ago...

Jungle Mom said...

I know the problem! Although my blog is mainly for staying intouch with family and friends. I have about 6 blogs I check everyday and then a few more I check every few days. The problem is adding new ones!! When time is up, its up!!

Webutante said...

JM, Yes, I think it takes discipline to balance the online world with reality and setting real limits.

Fm Meeting your wife online 15 years ago sounds like an interesting story. Sure it happens more than we know!