Two weeks ago in North Lauderdale, Fla., funeral services were held for Russell Shaw, a prolific blogger on technology subjects who died at 60 of a heart attack. In December, another tech blogger, Marc Orchant, died at 50 of a massive coronary. A third, Om Malik, 41, survived a heart attack in December.
Other bloggers complain of weight loss or gain, sleep disorders, exhaustion and other maladies born of the nonstop strain of producing for a news and information cycle that is as always-on as the Internet.
Maybe it was the passion for blogging that kept them alive for that long.
Do you live to blog or blog to live fully?
My passions drive me to wellness.
Just thinking again,
Tom Hoffman says
I don’t think the strain of 2.3 posts a week will kill you, Will.
Will Richardson says
But Tom, The stress of crafting every post, the time from idea to publication, the angst of waiting for comments, the sleepless nights… Tell me you don’t experience that too.
If you have to “go”, better to die happy knowing you’ve made a difference, Will! Keep up the posts…but pace yourself!
John Larkin says
That is quite a sad news report. I am 49. Balance is important. We should endeavour to work to live, not live to work.
Yoram Orad says
Balancing is needed not only in blogging but in every occupation and in every area like buissines, politics or science.
Charlie A. Roy says
Finding balance is always a difficult task. I’m struggling to keep up with one post a week. I love collaboration and guest blogging seems to be a way to divvy up the work load.
Dean Phillips says
Recently read another article regarding blogging.
It is very easy to get overdone, in working at the computer on anything-gaming, blogging, chatting, etc. Blogging is a social community, and if you are professional blogger at home, and a office with a great view, it can be easy to spend many hours at the computer. My wife keeps saying you need to take a rest. So I balance it with taking a stroll every couple of hours. We used to leave the TV on all weekend, but we don’t do that anymore. View programs that interest us, and then turn it off. In the winter, it is very easy to stay in front of the computer.
The tools for blogging are like our implements of plowing a field. You don’t have to plow all the time. You weed, prune, water, harvest, pollenate.
The tools of blogging are like hunting too. When you go out a find a good prospect. You have to take your time and aim. There are farmers and hunters, and you show us the vast amounts of tools that can be used. But we must remember that we are not the tools, we use the tools to help us bring in the harvest..
Jenny Luca says
Read this and wrote a post: Blogging serious for your health – join Twittercise! http://tinyurl.com/57889r I’m serious -I worry for those people who seem to live on Twitter. We need to find time for all pursuits and exercise is vital for good health and sanity.
Jacob Shoup says
I guess I dont understand why are there such health concerns involoved in blogging?
H. Hampson says
That is an interesting comment. I think that it is easy to think of blogging as being low-risk in terms of serious health complications, but, as other people point out, the level of immersion or participation in an activity can determine the point at which it can have a detrimental impact on your health. And unfortunately, blogging seems to be one of those areas.
It is not uncommon to encounter self-doubt in blog posts, with regards to prolific output or the timeliness of response to certain ‘hot topics’. It seems that whoever is quickest to respond to a topic or an issue receives a lot of validation, and this then conditions writers to be expedient, insightful, critical, referential (necessitating reading and monitoring other influential blogs, or finding the great overlooked opinion). I do think that the some of the more profound/ shocking/ innovative/etc responses do float to the top, over time…
For myself, it has gotten to the point where reading some particular blogs on a consistent basis … well, it kind of makes me feel sick. It makes me feel blog-averse, and I need to get away from the commentary for a bit. The pressure I feel the writer putting on themselves to be constantly creative, or productive makes me disengage – as a self-protective measure. I don’t need to be reading all there is to read. I don’t care if my feeds hit a million… I don’t look at the numbers. I want to be engaged, but, not at any cost.
I am not sure what the answer to this is, but, beyond twitter (not really for me, too much ‘on’ time – but see some great uses for it), what concerns me presently is the talk of conferences and openness. I see people arguing for both sides, but, it seems that individuals are putting so much pressure on themselves to be engaged on many levels, across many mediums.
There are health concerns involved in living a life that is highly connected, and, beyond all of the relative inactivity (physically) that sitting at a computer requires, I would guess that the stress and the underestimation of time spent plugged into the flow of information would be enough to impact ones health. Just my (rather unintentionally long-winded)opinion! 🙂
Julia Osteen says
To me, balance is one of the great keys to life. This is also one of the big concepts we need to teach our students. Think about it — our students take quickly to new technologies and formats such as social networking but they can go overboard with it too. Staying up until the early hours of the morning “talking” online is something easy for students to do but where are they getting the lesson of balance from? Part of being the mature learner is being a model for the students when it comes to balance. This concept also applies to those of us who are workaholics. (Notice that I am including myself in that.) We need to make those elements that increase the quality of life a priority including exercise, good nutrition and sleep. This is one of my big goals for 2008 – balance!
So right – this has huge implications for education! Are we balancing our excitement over Classroom 2.0 – tools that exercise the mind – with activities that exercise the physical body?!
A healthy child sleeps well. Do we know how well our students are sleeping? Do we know how their “screen time” effects their sleep patterns?
Gary S. Stager, Ph.D. says
Do you mean I could lose weight?
Louise Colbert says
And in California, we also lost the wonderful Doug Prouty who turned his blog, “the snorkel” intended for school technology coordinators, into a testament to living honorably with cancer. May we each aspire to such a meaningful life. http://www.thesnorkel.org/blog/
I am sorry to hear about the deaths of these bloggers. I am new to this world, but I can understand the constant barrage of thoughts. Fortuately, I have two little kids to keep me grounded in the mommy world. But, the teacher blogger is always there.
We need you Will, keep the balance and get out there and walk from time to time.
Ken Leebow says
The sad truth: There’s so much information on the Internet that one less blogger’s information is not going to be missed. Notice I said information, not blogger.
So, go outside, take a walk, and get some fresh air. Your (our)health is a lot more important than a blog post.
I think we need to be careful not jump to the conclusion that this is a causal relationship. Will, I have no doubt that you have stumbled across a correlation. However, as I sit here reading and responding to your blog, my wife is out walking with her girlfriend. It may be that sedentary people, like myself, are more likely to live in the blogosphere.
One of the difficulties I have is knowing where to follow the relevant conversations surrounding any given topic or post. This post this morning helps highlight the fact that the comments are becoming more and more fractured with services like friend feed.