Blogging Less, Living More

My name is Andrew and I am a blogaholic. Hours seem like minutes to me, when I am online. My kids say that their dad is always on the computer . . . which is not exactly true . .  but I dont like the sound of that and I dont want their memory of me to have a screen in front of it.

Part of the problem is that much of what I do has converged onto one screen. I know that sounds like a weak excuse of an addict but its true: Tasks that I used to handle away from the computer are now all consolidated into one box and one screen – buying airplane tickets, storing photos, writing reports, researching, communicating, blogging, shopping. – all through the computer. My eyes are turning into rectangles

And blogging, (writing a post, following the conversation and interaction, tracking it on technorati, defending it from the critics, etc) which should have a balanced place in my life as one of those things, can be addictive for me and is therefore an idol.

Actually, keeping up with the latest information is even more addicting than blogging and I have found myself refreshing my RSS reader more than 10 times a day to keep up on things. Thats too many times  . .  really!

So . .  our family was discussing it last month during our travels and we decided that I should have more time boundaries on my blogging. As of this week, I will not be blogging on weekends and will reserve key family times, such as evenings, for non-computer related activities. My policy a few months ago was DO LESS, BLOG MORE. But now it is BLOG LESS, LIVE MORE.

So my family now gets more of me and you, if you are a regular reader of this blog, will get less of me. Hope thats OK with you. I will still journal what is going on and stay on top of things as I observe them, but in a balanced manner.

And that Top500 blog award? Well . .  I probably wont be on the list next year, but at least my kids will remember me without a keyboard.

Any other blogaholics out there? What have you found helpful?

Andrew

Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)

24 Comments

  • For myself, I have had to stay away from my blog stats and not add a counter- no exceptions. I also try not to blog more than once every 3-5 days.
    As for following other blogs, I have made an amazing discovery! If I don’t participate or if I miss a particularly good one, the sun still rises the next morning.
    At any rate, I think this is a very honest post and wise decision. I think you will find that, with the increased time living, the quality of your blogs will more than make up for what they lack in frequency.
    Peace,
    Jamie

  • Good for you Andrew! I enjoy your reading your thoughts, but I really honor your desire to be a “present memory” for your children. I know that feeling myself!
    I believe that God will give you concentrated vital things to share with us all in the days ahead. Thanks for modeling the value of putting important people first! God bless!

  • As far as what works for me, I generally try to set aside an hour to blog and browse the web. Having a set time helps me use my blogging time well.
    In reading a book on writing, the author encourages taking time off on a Sunday or whatever. He advised to treat writing like a job, and I think the same can be said for blogging to a certain degree. So I think you’re on the right track with taking weekends off. Your blog certainly ministers to me and countless others as any pastor would, and even pastors are SUPPOSED to get a day off.
    Thanks for sharing what’s up and for knowing when to say when to the blog.

  • ditto. ditto. ditto.
    peace to you and the whirlwind that is family. treasure each gust of wind. love your wife. love your kids. we gladly take our place, and rightly so, behind them.
    know that you are loved and your insights are looked forward to by us, the ones who matter less.
    we lead by demonstrating priorities and, if you ask me, this one is slightly of the biblical order.

  • well thought, well done, dr andrew.
    you constantly do a great service to the kingdom through being an “info hub” for all of us, but what good would that be ultimately if you were a bad hubby and dad? many of us have seen MKs and PKs who don’t turn out OK … and it ain’t worth it …
    kingdom stuff depends on no one of us, but on all of us, and perhaps God is doing something sneaky to raise up others to work with you on keeping up with the necessary info-flow!
    blessings, bro –
    brad

  • I find it pretty easy to intentionally walk away from my blog from periods of time. Weekends, days off, nights… it makes it feel like less of a chore and more like a hobby. I am just reading selected blogs now. There are too many good ones to read them all anyways so why try anymore?

  • Andrew Jones has a new philosophy on blogging….and living.

    Andrew Jones had decided to blog less, and live more. Andrew, if you are reading this post, then you are obviously tracking the conversation. Here is my favorite excerpt: And blogging, (writing a post, following the conversation and interaction, tracki…

  • No blogging on weekends is a good start. Also, just setting aside a particular amount of time each day, or every other is a good discipline.
    We’ll miss how much we’ve had but I celebrate for you and the family!

  • No blogging on weekends is a good start. Also, just setting aside a particular amount of time each day, or every other is a good discipline.
    We’ll miss how much we’ve had but I celebrate for you and the family!

  • Good thoughts Andrew. I’ve gone back and forth–but I know I spend way too much time blogging or thinking about blogging. Regular time off is a must.

  • Andrew, I met you two Sundays ago at First Baptist. I was performing at Route 66 and interrupted a conversation you were having with Glen. We acknowledged having seen each other in ink, but not in person. Little did I (did you) know that our mutual friend had passed away that morning. I didn’t perform in the second performance that night. I left for Waco. I’m glad your trip back was good. Peace and grace to you. Ann Pittman

  • Why should I spend more time with my kids? If they want to know what I’ve been doing they can read about it on my blog like everyone else. 🙂
    I find that if I don’t spend time with my family or having a life I’ve got nothing to write about anyway.

  • I’m only online at work, so weekend blogging is completely out for me. Unfortunately it seems we’ll soon be online at home, and that will mean setting some boundaries, as you have, for both my son and myself.
    What I need to learn, though, is to Really Live when away from my computer, instead of merely existing. I gain inspiration for living from those online, but it’s time I stopped living vicariously, and did it myself….

  • hey . . . thanks everyone. love your comments – even rodney’s remark.
    having blogged what i blogged, i was also under a compulsion to check for comments on this post . .
    what would people say? positive or negative?
    but you will be happy to hear that i resisted the urge to get back on and i am now turning up more than a day later.
    much appreciated to find that i can walk away and then come back and we all move on together.

  • You’re a great example to us all, Andrew. Cheers, mate.
    I wonder if your current time of testing (without broadband at home) is a good way to kick off your new commitment to cyber-moderation. 😉

  • thanks for being honest and open. i think you are on to truth. my friend has referred to the internet as the yeast of the pharisees. i think he is also on to truth.
    i think of “yeast” as something that puffs something up, making it seem greater than it is. the officiality of a website or blog seems, since they are so new and “techy” to some, easily misleading. i think it is great for those of us obsessed with ipods, sexy laptops, treos, blogs, and so on, to have people in our lives (my friend above, the luddites, the amish, etc.) that remind us of how problematic and not-radical electronics often are. i use “radical” in the sense of something that gets to the “root” of our lives, truly satisfies, genuinely meets our souls. blogs will unlikely be able to do this, and we all know it; then why do we pour our lives into them?
    your confession is necessary today, andrew. thanks, chris

  • …not that I am a big bloguru, but the the computer mania has had me 4 a long time. Starting at 7:30 am, having an extendet lunchbreak with my family, lock my office at 6:00 pm. …and that is for doing preperatins 4 churchthings, my graphic-work and investegation of the net!
    Andrew, ones again, you are a great example 4 the tallskinnykiwiblogreadercomunity! Well done!

  • amen and amen. i already am spending too much time just leaving this comment… (not counting the 30 minutes or reading before i even got to this post!)

  • Hi Andrew..I’ve not commented much here before, as you don’t know me at all (though I’ve heard you at Greenbelt, and am a friend of Maggi’s etc) but I had to thank you for posting this. I’m in my second year of ordained ministry, and have just come in from a supervision session with my wonderful boss, during which I identified blogaholicism as one factor that is making me less useful to the parish than I might otherwise be. He was very generous, recognising the rich resource that blog reading can be, and the value of the reflective process that blogging entails, but nonetheless, I felt that things were a bit out of hand. Then I read this…HUGELY helpful to have summed up the problem of so much that we relate to being accessed via that screen in the study…and hugely helpful too to read your own self imposed blog rationing. I’ll hope to achieve some sort of balance here too.
    Many thanks.

Leave a Reply