What I Did On My Bloggy Vacation

It felt good–really good–to step away from Ye Olde Blogge for awhile.  Most of what I wrote the previous week was pre-posted, so I was actually mostly blog-free for about a week and a half.  And in the intense immediacy of blog years, that’s, like, 73 days. 

I desperately needed a tweaking of my perspective on the cyber-world.  If you’ve been blogging yourself for a while, you know that there is a (perhaps false) sense of urgency to it.  I think all bloggers occasionally get so plugged into their cyber-lives that they lose sight of the real life they’re supposed to be living.  It doesn’t help that this is the most "connected" generation in history.  We write on our blogs while Facebooking and Twittering and listening to a podcast and receiving our messages (text and voice mail and instant).

And I wonder sometimes, were we really created to be this plugged in?  Are we so connected that we’re getting…well, disconnected? 

I know.  There are some really fine uses of technology out there.  I love my cell phone and my Facebook and my e-mail as much as the next person.  I don’t plan to chuck it all anytime soon.  I think that it is what it is, and whether we like it or not, we’ve found ourselves living smack dab in the middle of the Tech Revolution. 

And that’s okay.  We’ll work with it.  We’ll grow and learn and adapt and be thankful for the convenience and enjoy the entertainment. 

But let’s not forget (and I’m preaching to myself, here) that the real meat of life, the stuff that really matters, the part that makes it beautiful to be human–well, none of that stuff has a USB port.  You can’t really Twitter the music of a child’s laugh, and no Facebook page will replace the beauty of taking a casserole to a sick friend.

So blog life, Twitter it, IM it, podcast it…and do it well.

But first?

Live it.

63 thoughts on “What I Did On My Bloggy Vacation

  1. jen says:

    This is the third post today that deals with this topic in one way or another. I think it’s the universe trying to tell me something…and I really need to hear it. Thanks.

  2. Nicole says:

    Wow. Very well spoken and heartfelt. I don’t twitter or facebook for just that reason and I only post on my blog a few times per week. But I am daily, constantly reading all my favorite ones! It consumes me even though I try not to let it!

  3. Aunt Murry says:

    And that is why Idon’t belong to my space or face book and why I don’t text or IM. I will e-mail because it is faster than snail mail. But if I have time to text, I have time to call. If it’s a situation where I can’t call then I should not be texting. But I miss hand written letters. Off my soap box…

  4. dana says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the break. Sometimes it’s nice to click the refresh button in our lives outside of blogging.

  5. Minnesotamom says:

    Great post. I’ve been taking a bit of time off here and there myself lately, and realizing much of what you said (just not so eloquently stated in my head).

  6. Jeni says:

    Well written, as usual, Shannon. I struggle with this a lot, myself – it’s way too easy to spend too much time on blog writing, blog reading, and Facebook.
    In fact, I’m going to log off now & go tickle my daughter. πŸ™‚

  7. HisLifeformine says:

    Amen! It is so easy to be consumed. Being aware of my limits and choosing to turn it off. Once we understand that it truly is not “the end of blogdom” if I dont’ respond to a comment or post or whatever…freedom! This is a wonderful venue for meeting new friends and sharing Christ, but it should not consume us, it should enhance our lives.

  8. Kari says:

    So true! Good on you for taking a break and stepping back for a bit. May we never forget where our REAL LIFE lies, thanks for this great reminder!! πŸ™‚

  9. mykidsmom says:

    This is SO true. I only do my blog (no facebook, ect.) and that sometimes takes up more time than I like. I quess excess of anything can take away from living life.

  10. Anne Marie says:

    Amen! I’ve felt the exact same way. And I still love it all… but it’s nice to unplug. So once a month, I just leave my cell phone at home. I know, irresponsible. But at the end of the day, nothing and no one has caught on fire! And every few months, I just don’t go online during the weekend. At all. Not one email, or website, or twitter… Call me crazy, but that keeps me sane.

  11. Mommy says:

    One drawback to being so connected is, like you said, becoming disconnected. There are so many people I’m connected with now through Facebook and my blog and cell phones and etc. that sometimes it feels like I’m spread thin and don’t have time to deeply connect with anyone. Guess it’s up to me to change that, though.

  12. Thea @ I'm a Drama Mama says:

    I’m going on vacation next week and won’t have internet for a week and I’m wondering if that’s exactly what I need to remind myself that my blog (and those I read) won’t disappear just because I’m not there everyday.
    This is a great post, Shannon!

  13. Linda says:

    I just watched Beth Moore’s Stepping Up video (#5) and it was on unity. She focused in on this same subject. How society is so surfaced in relationships with the texting, etc. And how vital real, live, touchable friendships are to us as women. So good reminder here! It is so easy to sit behind this keyboard and have fun but never find any meaningful depth.

  14. Worlds Greatest Mommy says:

    Totally agree. I think there’s a need to be completely connected 24/7 to this world that brings joy, laughter, and comfort. But you’re right the joy, laughter, and comfort wouldn’t be here if we weren’t all out living.

  15. Sister Honey Bunch says:

    I hear ya, sister. I have only been doing this since January 1 WITH my sister. So I only do it half the time, but I found myself missing my REAL life. This week, I have taken a couple steps back. It felt really good.

  16. Melanie says:

    Very well put. It’s given me something to chew on. I think now that I’m a SAHM, my Google Reader has replaced the proverbial water cooler I used to have a working mom.
    DS is in school all day and after the laundry/cleaning/shopping/returning movies etc. is done, I come to the web to connect with all the people I’ve “met” online.
    I miss the camaraderie of office life a little but I do need to get out there more. I joined a book club and take a computer class two nights a week, I think it’s a step in the right direction but I think I can do a little better.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  17. Stretch Mark Mama says:

    Hallelujah.
    And I am also happy that Blogger, in all of it’s dorky freeness, has finally got its act together so that people like me can autopost, which makes bloggy breaks a higher possibility.
    Of course, this is all under the assumption that I have written 18 blog posts in advance, of course.

  18. Kristin says:

    Shanon, I’m so glad that you took some time off to reconnect with your family and to do a little thinking. I blog every day – but I am preparing myself for bigger things – so this is my little “initiation” into working on something outside my comfort zone every day.
    Since I don’t have kids, I tend not to be bombarded with phone calls and picking up and dropping off that so many parents have to do — I don’t text at all and I rarely use my facebook, unless someone has thrown a goat or something at me LOL
    I guess the thing that I do, is I have become extremely selective about what I plug into and play on a daily basis…with so much at our fingertips and so much new technology being selective can be a disadvantage or a blessing — we’ll all have to decide individually I guess.
    Glad to have you back – I enjoy your site daily.
    Kristin

  19. Soliloquy says:

    SPEAK IT!
    I love the sense of community that I have found by blogging. As a mom, I feel like I give and give and give and am too tired at the end of the day to even find energy for me.
    Blogging/ Twittering gives me a sense of community that’s there when I have time… and waiting for me to engage.
    Still trying to balance that with not NEEDING to be online all the time……
    I appreciate your words. Do it. But do it well.
    Thanks!

  20. Honest to YaYa says:

    I learned this lesson long ago. And another is not everything that you “live” has to be blogfodder.
    Sometimes I just want to enjoy something without raising my camera and sharing it with the “world”…LOL!

  21. Kristenkj says:

    Yep, you hit the nail on the head Shannon. I realized I was becoming too involved with my computer a few months back, maybe around the holidays and I made a commitment to turn off the computer when the kids came home from school, and not turn it back on until I have personal time (either after the kids’ bedtime or when dh gets home and gives me a few minutes alone!) It has made a world of difference and honestly feels sort of freeing, like I’ve cut the cord so to speak.

  22. This Military Mama says:

    Great perspective!
    I think though you have to really evaluate how plugged in you are AND why you are plugged in.
    For example, I live in a new place away from all my friends and family. Being plugged in online is my way of connecting with every one, every where. While I figure out where everything is in my new home time, meet and make new friends, and plug in here I stay plugged in with my loved ones who are else where.
    Sometimes being plugged in isn’t a bad thing. You are right though, sometimes we can be too plugged in online vs our life. I think every one just has to do a check on themselves to make sure their live is balanced.
    Great post though!

  23. Maxime says:

    A few months ago, our internet stopped working. (Curse you, Comcast) Instead of spending time stuck on our laptops, my husband and I did a jigsaw puzzle, played games, watched movies and talked. It was awesome… We do try to put down the computer and step away from the internet a little more, because we do need that time to talk, laugh and have fun.

  24. Heather @ Loving Our Homeschool says:

    Amen! My mom has asked me why I don’t get more “into” my blog and get ads on it, do more with it, etc. I do a fair bit of writing on it, but I don’t want to be a slave to it. I love having people read it and love seeing my SiteMeter stats increase in number each month, but I know that if I put ads on my blog or felt like I owed something to my “readership” (ha!) that I would neglect my in-real-life joys and obligations. And that’s not something I’m willing to give up.
    Thanks for your perspective as well. I find that quite often your thoughts gel quite closely to my own.

  25. Joanna says:

    Great post!! I often find myself spending too much time online, as I am now, and wish I could step away from it sometimes.

  26. Pam says:

    I discovered blogs about 6 months ago and began reading and then posting on a few…I read 6 or 8 everyday. I have been thinking about why I enjoy this and I think in my case I feel “disconected”. I was in the world of broadcasting for 27 years. 17 of those I was a single mom….12 years ago I got remarrried and was able to quit work. I love being a full time homemaker but I realize just how much of my identity was tied to my high profile job. Society puts much value on what we “do” opposed to our value as people….I am older than most bloggers and no longer have children at home so I have lots of free time….I enjoy being able to offer prayer support and sometimes advice that comes from life experience. God Bless, Pam, south Bend

  27. Jill says:

    Wait, your on Facebook? Can we be friends?
    Sorry, I am sure that wasn’t your point. And it was a good one. Thanks for the reminder.

  28. ToddleBits says:

    So true. I was just thinking out loud about this with my husband the other day. I’m trying so hard to blog about the things I do, I end up not being able to do as much. Finding a balance is definitely a challenge.

  29. Jennifer (Et Tu?) says:

    Thank you, thank you for a much-needed reminder. Did you ever see this amusing video parody about blogging sweatshops?

    It really does kind of highlight the absurdity of how some of us (read: me) can take our updating a bit too seriously. πŸ™‚

  30. ExtraordinaryMommy says:

    So true! It is the ‘false’ sense of urgency that gets me everytime. It is as though there is a little voice calling to me from my computer from the moment I wake up….
    Sometimes it is beautiful to just walk away. πŸ™‚

  31. Janel says:

    Best post I have read in a very long time and thank you for the reminder. I feel this sense of urgency and often.
    I am glad it was a good break for you. I can see how it would be good for all of us.

  32. BundyMum @ Thirsty? says:

    Thanks Shannon, I join the chorus of amens in thanking you for reminding us. If we dont do life well, its not much good sharing it with others.
    It makes me think of what 1 Corinthians 13 might be like blogger style: ‘If I blog about my life but have not lived it, i am a resounding gong. If I twitter my life away but do nothing to help others I am a clangin cymbol. If I have 1000 subscribers but dont have love, I am nothing. If I have 200 facebook friends yet no deep relationships to share my life and faith, I gain nothing.’
    God gives us life to live and, for me, a blog to share this life and inspire and encourage others. Thanks for reminding me!

  33. Audrey Okaneko says:

    Isn’t it funny that if we’re eating dinner and the phone rings, we ignore it, but if we hear the beep of our email, we’re suddenly no longer hungry and we just have to see who is in our inbox LOL. Great blog.

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