influence of blog reading

You might have noticed that I have been absent from writng here and reading other blogs for some time in the past week. This was because I decided to try not to use the internet for other matters than work for a week. The reason to try this was to see how much time this would free up, what blogs I would miss reading and to see if it would make me feel better not to look at other people’s lives so much. In this post I will write something about the results and conclusions from this week off. And yes, I realise how ironic it is that I am writng this on a blog.

I started my fast on a Friday evening after work, kind of on a whim. The first thing I noticed during that weekend was how much time I suddenly had to read and do other things. Because we have had lovely weather for quite some time now, I had lots of time for a bike ride, eat and drink outside at a restaurant and sit and read outside. I did not even miss surfing te web.

During the week I saw the same effect. At work I just worked, and if I wanted a break I went to get some tea or coffee or to talk to someone. I did have more time to work with no blog reading as a means of procrastination. It made me feel much more relaxed. On Tuesday and Wednesday I had difficult and important client meetings that caused some anxiety and stress, and I must admit that I have surfed a little bit after that. But even then, I thought I shouldn’t have done that as it only increased the anxiety. Talking about it to a colleague might have been a better idea.

In the evenings I also noticed that the time I usually spend surfing adds up to quite an amount. I could really have done something, if only I had thought of what to do in advance. This Friday I caught up on my google reader, that had accumulated quite some posts. There were a few posts from blogs that I really like, but I also noticed that some of the blogs I didn’t even care to read and just clicked the mark-as-read button. These I will maybe delete from my reader.

So what did I learn from this? I have noticed that I am more relaxed and calm when not reading blogs. This may have to do with not feeling guilty about surfing the web during work hours. But apart from that I also think reading blogs can make me feel insecure. Maybe because people always show the most fun, most goodlooking, most positive aspects of their lives on their blog. Some more than others of course, and I am not blaming them. It makes the blogs fun to read. I do it too. And I am absolutely sure none of the bloggers I read do this on purpose, with the intention of making their readers feel insecure. But still it happens to me. I need to be aware of this, and keep everything in perspective.

So what are the things I want to keep? I think not reading blogs during the workday is very good for me. I will keep this up. Also I will give a good look to the blogs in my reader, and clean up the ones I don’t really care about. But the most important part is to also keep the time that I read blogs off work to a certain limit, and only read them for fun and inspiration and not to let them make me feel bad. And one last thing, if this frees up time, I should think of some relaxing and fun activity that I can do instead. Maybe take up drawing again, or write stories. I will have to think about this.

So please excuse my absence here and lack of replies to comments. I hope I have explained why I have done it. And does anyone else have similar experiences? Why or why not?

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6 Comments

  1. I have often wondered about this myself. I love clothes and fashion and enjoy looking at blogs where the female has this amazing closet, but then I later start to question my own choices…wishing I could afford this or that and why doesn’t my hair look like that? I guess my favorite blogs are those who I consider like “me”…I mean not me in interests or that I’m the same as those people, but that they are on there way to trying to be the best person that they can be through things that I think I can try to do as well. I tend to feel this way about healthy living blogs or even blogs that center around organization. I think because I feel like I can actually control those things the inspiration is so much more meaningful. Great post!

  2. I really like this post. I couple of weeks ago I read Focus after you recommended it here and it changed a lot of my habits (I actually get a lot more work done). So, I wanted to thank you for that anyways. And I also stopped reading blogs during the week completely. I go through my RSS feed Friday night or Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon or sometimes at all of these times if the weekend is not busy ;). But it really starts being more fun again. And if I notice that I feel like it is work to read through posts from a blog that have piled up I remove it right away. If I come across a blog again I might add it again. There are no rules, and I try to let this be only fun! No obligations to read blogs or keep up on everything.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I hope you won’t stop that completely. I read all of your posts ;).

  3. i’m totally with you – and i agree it’s really good to set limits! 🙂 loved hearing about your internet-free experience.

  4. I really enjoyed this post. I don’t check blogs during work time as I don’t want to be distracted. I find it enjoyable to catch up on the train when I am getting back home after a hard day at work.
    Also I never compare my life to what others put on their blogs. I tend to focus on positive aspects of my life (although I do share when I am anxious or worried if I think it would be helpful to myself and others). But like you I don’t want to read whiney, complaining people. My time is more valuable than that.
    So your findings are all positive steps to take forward. I hope you don’t stop blogging though! I have missed reading new posts 🙂 But like everything, blogging and reading blogs should not become all consuming.

  5. Thank you all for your great comments. I will not stop blogging, but I will try to make it more structured just like my reading blogs. Alyssa, I also like to read blogs from “real” people more than blogs from those that seem superhuman. Although those can still have good ideas on it.
    Nora, great to hear that the focus book was helpful. I think some of the inspiration for this experiment came from there, although I didn’t think about it conciously.
    Sarah, I know setting limits is a good thing. Only it can be difficult sometimes.
    CP. I agree that comparing yourself to others, whether in real life or in blogging land can be a bad idea. But sometimes I can’t help it. I should acknowledge that everyone, including myself, makes their blog positive and fun. That is a good thing, and I should remember that this doesn’t say anything about how they compare to me.
    Thank you all for reading.

  6. I’ll chime in too. I was feeling “burned out” from blogging last year and took a few months off. Then, just as suddenly as I lost interest I became totally involved again. I just really like writing about whatever is going through my mind. The writing process stimulates me.

    I have tired of About Me’s who are married to their best friend, have the most awesome husband on earth, and have non-stop fun and family in their lives. I know I’m just jealous. After 46 years of marriage I still love my husband. I adore parts of him too…and there are aspects I’d like to escape! I’d love to have grandchildren, to live closer to my family, to know that my kids have found their soulmates. Hasn’t happened…yet. I like being real. I usually click off the syrupy ones with the perfect lives.

    I have 2 blogs. Just happened. Keep writing. Just set your boundaries.
    Sandra
    http://www.realmathinaminute.com about mathy stuff
    http://www.reallifeinaminute.blogspot.com

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