Will, I like the tone of this post — you write so well. This blogging-as-addiction concept will get lots of chuckles, some grudging acknowledgement of truth and probably some defensiveness from bloggers. In the four days since my blog’s birthday, I’ve been determined to “step out of the information flow” for a while. I don’t necessarily want to quit blogging outright…I just want to come up with a plan for continuing in a sustainable way, and for the right reasons. For me, that means reducing the time I spend reading and writing, identifying ways to apply the knowledge I’m gathering, and then actually spending more time creating and synthesizing.
Although I’ve managed to avoid posting, I haven’t been able to stay away from Bloglines, which feeds the desire to link and comment. There’s something about seeing new posts popping up in an aggregator that feels similar to getting e-mail from friends — a little thrill of connectedness and importance that simulates the sensation of all of those very smart people writing directly to me. It’s almost a physiological response for people who really value good ideas, want to connect to others with shared interests, and want to have an impact (be heard, be recognized). I’m starting to believe that the sense of community and intellectual stimulation in blogging are both largely artificial sensations. Actually, no, that’s not true — the sensations are as real as the highs in any addiction. I guess I’m just starting to wonder whether the benefits are “real”, and whether they balance out the considerable costs.