Real World or Online World?

Writing my first post since receiving the honour of appearing as Ionia’s blogger of the week I find myself suffering from a touch of nerves. Expectations have been raised. Am I up to the challenge? Well I suppose we will find out, but please bear with me if I stumble a little.

I have been pondering the amount of time that I spend online lately.

There seem to have been a number of recent posts, including another of Ionia’s exceptional posts (I do read other bloggers too, by the way) regarding how easy it is to find ourselves addicted to certain aspects of our online lives. Many of us that blog find ourselves waiting for likes and comments, or constantly checking our stats, then over analysing them. Why did that great post I wrote only get a few visits whereas the garbage, throwaway post, that was surely of no interest to anyone else, got loads of visits, likes and comments? Have I got any more followers?

Sometimes I feel like I am getting sucked in to the online world, drawn into the labyrinth without the benefit of Ariadne’s thread. I find myself spending more and more time each day looking at other peoples blogs, thinking about what I can post next. But, I love it. It is so great to meet other people and to get to know them through their posts, or if you are very lucky by trading comments. I sometimes wonder is there any way back out, but then do I actually want to escape?

The only problem with this is that I spend less time each day reading or writing. There has a been a noticeable decline in the number of books that I am reading, and in the speed at which I get through them.

Is it possible to be half in and half out or do we need to be either in or out? I think that we can successfully negotiate the online world, just visiting, but always returning to the real world. I will have to be strong and try to limit my excursions into the online world.

What about you? Real World? Online World? Or a bit of both?

29 thoughts on “Real World or Online World?

  1. I’ve definitely been spending more time in the virtual world the last few months. I’ve become addicted to checking my sales stats and blogging. This weekend away from the computer will probably be helpful, but I don’t know what else to do with my day when I come back. It’s bittersweet because I’m technically ‘working’ while I pound away on the keyboard. Being away feels like I’m not making progress. Not a healthy thought process.
    Though, I’ll admit I’m getting better by not checking my reader as often as I used to.


    • Good luck being in the real world for a few days. I suppose reducing the visits to the online world whilst working is good. That pesky reader! Causes all sorts of problems. I tend to find that all of a sudden when I thought I was writing, I have actually been reading blogs for half an hour.


      • Well, by working I mean writing my books and promoting the one I have published. So, the internet distractions are really prevalent. I’m lucky if I only spend 30 minutes on a reader run. I’m trying to use it as a ‘reward’ for reaching work milestones. Basically, write 5 pages and read a few blogs.


  2. I spend much of my time in the online world. But nothing would make me happier than to spend more time in the real world, especially with like-minded individuals.

    The number of books I’ve read has also declined. There was a time recently where I was reading a lot. I’d like to get back to it very soon.

    Personally, I think the balance between the online world and virtual world fluctuates. There’s rarely any consistency.


  3. I spent twenty years in the financial services industry before I discovered my love for writing so I’m new to all this. I read several books on the craft but have learned far more in the last month or so (since I started blogging) than from reading all those books combined. The knowledge I’ve gained surfing the blogosphere has been invaluable so I don’t see it as time wasted, but rather time invested 🙂


  4. Try as I might to get out I just keep getting sucked back in. I’m sure I’ll tire of it eventually…. right?
    (ok Linda, you’re talking to yourself. Just close the laptop and walk away…)


  5. Hmmmm…good question! And there was no need for “a touch of nerves” this was the kind of post that catches our attention 🙂 Since February (when I started my blog) I’d have to say online. But considering my struggle with addictions that is a good thing right now…real life gets me in trouble 🙂 I do know that I will need to find balance soon…


  6. I find myself having to be very disciplined. I set “x” amount of time for social networking/blogging/responding to emails and “x” amount of time for writing. If I don’t make it all the way through my blogfeed or emails in the time I set aside, I let it go until the next day for the emails and regretfully acknowledge that I won’t be able to read the blogs I missed as it pushes down my feed. But it is hard!

    As far as stats go, I try to check infrequently because I don’t want it to become an addiction.


  7. I don’t distinguish between the two honestly. I suppose it sounds odd to say it as such, but business is business. I don’t consider and online friendship any less important than a friendship you make at a coffee shop or a library or anywhere else. When I find someone of like mind and we can hold a decent conversation, how could this not be just as important to me even if they are on the computer.

    I am still reading, but I do most of it at night as I tend to be an insomniac anyhow. I do so enjoy your thoughtful posts Julian. You are certainly at the top of my list of important people I have met doing this:)


    • Thanks Ionia, you are important to me too 😉 I understand your point about not distinguishing between online and real world friends and I tend to agree. We do not need to physically meet people to connect with them.


  8. I consider reading other blogs as “reading” – LOL 🙂

    I tend to use a WordPress visit as a treat after a long day of work – if I start writing in the morning, I come up for air just in time to fix supper and bemoan my long “ToDo List” – –


  9. Yes, I have to watch my online time. I have to spend enough time to write our music in the physical world or it does start to suffer, but I think we should spend the proper time on both. The online world may be a distraction, but it can help greatly, used in the proper context. Thank Julian, I always enjoy and get a lot out of your writing and congratulations on your recent honor.


    • Thanks for your kind words. I am glad that you find something useful in my writing. I think you have the best approach, definitely. Balance in all we do – should be a mantra, I think.


  10. Yes, so much this! My likes and visits are down massively since my first couple of weeks and I spend far too long pondering the stats.

    So I always appreciate your visits! Don’t cut down on your online time too much 😀


    • I think if we spent less time stressing about the stats we would have more time to nurture the relationships and work on posting stuff that people want to read, thereby attracting them and improving our stats. Nice idea, but it is hard to change when you start obsessing on the stats. Don’t worry, I will still visit 🙂


  11. Thanks for exploring this side of blogging…it’s an occupational hazard of writing for an online outlet (not that there’s as many actual print outlets but that’s another blog topic!) Whatever works for folks but, in my case, I really try hard to compartmentalize so that I don’t waste time in cyberspace. (At least, not on purpose!) My best ideas come when I’m away from the computer. I can’t figure out how best to use those ideas, though, if I’m distracted with too much digital stuff, even stuff of my own making… 😉


    • Thanks for commenting. I am glad you enjoyed it. I think that, like you say, it is important to make the most of your time online and not get too carried away with the digital world.


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