I’m going to attend BlogHer again. It is my only chance to see so many of you, and it is important to me to have some real life contact to make my blogging “real.” Last year was a lot of fun, but I still have this nagging feeling that I don’t really belong — and that it might be time for me to expand my horizons. Maybe next year, I will look into SWSX, or a conference that isn’t so gender-based. But I appreciate that I was accepted so readily by everyone, as if I were one of the girls.
(Danny, if you want to argue why I shouldn’t go at all, please do! Maybe we both should go to SWSX!)
I am excited that the conference is in New York. Last year, Amy and I submitted an idea for a “room of your own” on Storytelling. We thought it was a good idea because there were no real sessions on writing.
This year, I am glad to report that there is a whole writing track, with several sessions slated.
Currently, my blogging mind is less focused on my writing (which really bothers me) than on figuring out what my online experience means to me — and whether it is even healthy.
That’s when I thought of this new “Room of Your Own.” — Blogging, Twitter, Facebook, Whatever — The Online Addict’s One Hour Support Group. I didn’t see any other session that deals with this problem. Of course, I would like to keep this discussion on the funny side — hey, we all know what I am talking about with this issue — despite the seriousness.
This idea comes out of a personal need to engage in this conversation rather than an overwhelming need to stand in front of a bunch of bloggers again who want to fight with me. I’d be just as happy hanging out with a few of you in Central Park and talking about this issue.
I hate the popularity contest aspect of these rooms, but if you want to vote for the room, you can do so here. (if you have any suggestions for improving the concept, please tell me)
The proposal –
Blogging, Twitter, Facebook, Whatever — The Online Addict’s One Hour Support Group
Blogging is a lot different today than it was a few years ago. It has become more than just writing or career development. It has become a 21st century of making friends and establishing relationships. But with this wonderful development comes a whole new set of 21st century social issues and anxieties, one of them being that our online life frequently BECOMES our life.
Are you an online addict? Take this quick quiz:
* 1) Are you writing a blog post in your head while making love to your husband?
* 2) Have you accidentally called your three year old son “Guy Kawasaki?”
* 3) Does “enjoying quality time with friends” mean playing Words With Friends on your iphone?
Is there a point where our online life becomes TOO MUCH?
We all love our blogging friends, but have you ever asked yourself, “Who are these online friends anyway? Are they our real friends if we only see them once a year at BlogHer? Are we neglecting our old friends at home because it is “easier” to deal with virtual friends? Have we spread ourselves too thin on so many social media sites? Is it even possible to follow 1000+ people? Who should we care most about? Influentials? Readers of our blog? Community members in need, even those that are strangers? When does “caring” about each other become unhealthy?”
The truth is more of us quit blogging because of this personal issue than anything to do with our writing or the branding of our blog.
Since this session is run by bloggers, not trained psychiatrists, we can’t give any professional advice, but as bloggers, we can discuss our feelings and responses to this growing problem, as well as share our solutions to keeping our sanity in a virtual world. Participants will learn methods of reducing their information overload, as well as analyzing various ways to improve the quality of their online relationships — without it taking over their lives.