thoughts on blogging

Molly, the author of one of my favorite blogs, Adventures in Mercy, is discontinuing blogging.  I wish her well in her future endeavors, and I will certainly miss her writing and her insights.

She leaves partially because her blog has served the purpose for which she originally began it, and also because she wants to be more available to her five young children.  You can read more about her reasons for discontinuing blogging in her own words, but this quote really hit home for me:

Yet, while I’m sitting here contemplating my history on the internet, I have to be honest and admit that I usually fight with a more addictive side to the internet, a compulsion to go check my Inbox…again…to check the comments box, again, these little twenty second peeks here and there that really steal much more of my time than I’d probably like to know.  I hate the addictive side of the internet, my kid standing right next to me wanting me to look at his lego creation and me batting him away, mumbling, “Just give me a minute and then I’ll look,” my eyes glued to a screen carefully pouring over words on it from some person who lives somewhere that I don’t even know.

There have definitely been times in my life where that describes me perfectly.  It doesn’t help that my computer is right in the center of our living area, so sneaking a quick peek is extremely easy to do.  I’ve often wondered if I could be labeled “addicted to the internet.”  I don’t know if it’s the connection to others that I crave, or if it’s a way for me to avoid doing other, more useful things.  I’m sure it’s a combination of both.  I feel so validated by being able to help someone else via the internet, but I feel at times that helping that other, unknown person takes time away from the much-loved members of my own family.

I summoned up my courage on Sunday night and asked Lyd, “Does Momma spend too much time on the computer?”  Her response was not unexpected, but convicting, nonetheless: “Yes, Momma.  You’re on the computer too much.”  I asked her if she would forgive me for spending so much time on the computer instead of being with her, and she said, “Of course, Momma.  I forgive you.”

But this balance between finding time for one’s own needs and still finding time for the needs of others is tough.  Lately I’ve found it works well to be on the computer during the noon-1pm time slot, as Curious J is napping, Lyd is still at school, and JJ is busy working.  Yet, that’s also the time when “both kids are occupied – I should get something done!”  Fellow mothers all know that feeling.

I love the opportunities the internet has given me, and I know that I have been changed profoundly by information acquired via the internet.  And, I love blogging.  I LOVE blogging!  I love the fact that I record my children’s milestones on this blog, I love the fact that I share memories and thoughts on this blog, I love the fact that I can wax eloquent and hopefully inspire others to consider issues in a new light via this blog.  And, I just like writing!  It’s very enjoyable for me!  But, like any tool that can be used for good, I recognize that it can be used for evil, as well.

In response to hearing that Adventures In Mercy was shutting down, I wrote the following comment:

I sort of envy you your decision to stop blogging. I started my blog back in April ‘08, and while I LOVE blogging, I also recognize what a time-sucker it can be. I almost get excited when our internet ocassionally goes down for a day or so – internet-free living is rather freeing! I think of all the things I used to do in the evenings: crochet or cross-stitch, watch old movies, play card games, read books, just … relax. I don’t do much of that anymore, and I would like my children to have better memories of their mother than that she was on the computer all the time. So, thanks for giving me something to think about, even as you say goodbye.

I’m not sorry I have my blog, I’m not sorry for the good things the internet has offered to me, but sometimes I wonder if I’m utilizing the internet in the best way possible.  I think that’s an ongoing process I’ll be struggling with for some time.  As I do that, it does give me impetus to at least consider blogging a little less.  So, if you don’t see me posting quite as much, know that I’m (hopefully) spending that time focusing on my family, or focusing purely on doing something that makes me happy.  I LOVE blogging, but perhaps finding a better balance would be a good goal for me to work towards.