Blogging: Enjoyable Hobby, or Cruel Addiction?

Photo from blogcritics.org

Addictions can be physical or mental, serious or dismissive, conspicuous or hidden. But when does your hobby or habit become an addiction?  For Some, The Blogging Never Stops by Katie Hafner exposes the details behind one of the newest 21st century addictions: blogging.

Katie gives anecdotes throughout her article of bloggers who are addicted to their blogging.  Blogging addictions can be scary, being serious, mental, somewhat hidden addiction.  They are serious because real needs can be neglected, and hidden meaning no one can pick you out in crowd as the addicted blogger.  The addicted bloggers feel the usual symptoms of an addiction: the feeling of uneasiness and anxiety when not posting, and then the rush of enjoyment or relief upon releasing a new post.  But how bad can an addiction to blogging get, really?

A man by the name of Mr. Wiggins took his laptop with him on an anniversary trip with his wife, only to be caught in the bathroom with his laptop on his knees.  He also began neglecting his work – editing magazine articles – to post on his own blog. As his boss said, “Here he is working all night on something read by five second cousins and a dog, and I’m willing to pay him.”  Another man, Tony Pierce, admitted that his blogging “began to feel like an addiction when he noticed that he would rather be with his computer than with his girlfriend.”

Katie says that usually blogging does not become an addiction, where the blogger stops blogging because either “the novelty wears off” or “the realization that no one is reading sets in.”  However, if the number of readers increases there is a higher chance that the blogger will become addicted.  Thinking about it, I do think I’d spend more time on my blog if I had a lot of people reading it.  

There were definitely similarities between those who were addicted to blogging.  Each one, of course, made me try to evaluate if I was becoming addicted to blogging.  I realize that I do sometimes spend more time than I should on a blog post, using it as a form of procrastination.  This is the same as some students from the article, claiming it was very effective for procrastination because it still felt like they were “doing something important.”

That being said, if you have any of the following symptoms, please consider the possibility that blogging may be becoming an addiction:

  • You find yourself scribbling notes down about blogging everywhere you go
  • You begin neglecting your job
  • If you haven’t posted on your blog in a while, you feel:
    • Anxious
    • Guilty
    • Lazy
  • You find yourself spending way too much time creating the perfect blog post
  • When you are in the company of friends, you think “I would rather be blogging.”
  • You blog as a form of procrastination, to the point of doing poorly in classes
  • You find yourself actually telling people in conversation, “That would make a great blog post.”

Unfortunately, there were not many success stories in Katie’s article who overcame their addiction to blogging.  One did so by changing jobs to something he enjoyed more, and another had no choice but to go cold turkey – no more blogging, period.  The best advice I have gathered from the article is to do your best to find the reasons why you blog so much, and try to alleviate those with other things.

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16 comments

  1. Miss Bombshell

    Just the thought of someone being an obsessive blogger is a little strange but, I can see how it could be a major issue. I just got done reading about this new condition called nomophobia, which is a real phobia of being detached from ones mobile device. So the connection between both makes it even more realistic for me to believe this actually exists. For someone who suffers from obsessive blogging has to be extremely detached from the real world but completely connected with the internet world. And this sheds light on the fact that society’s idea of reality is totally tainted and forever changing due to the internet and devices that allow us to connect to the internet. Who would have ever thought that something that is seen as a hobby could be the cause of people losing their jobs, ending relationships, or even being socially disconnected. But how do you treat someone who has such high anxiety if they don’t blog? Do you treat them the same way you would treat someone with a drug addiction? This is all very interesting but it’s sad more than anything because most people don’t know this exist and some may even be suffering from this disorder and may not even know it.

  2. hillary601

    I completely understand the difficulty of this addiction. This is like my addiction to fan fiction. I read my FF all the time. I talk about the stories I read with people who don’t even care. My boyfriend learned to tune me out when I talk about it. When I’m with my friends, I want to be reading. When I’m with my boyfriend I want to be reading. When I finish excersising, I pick up my phone to read. Before bed, I have to read fan fiction. When I’m working, I want to be reading fan fiction. Ff Is not necessarily a blog but I completely understand the problem here. It gets to the point where I think about it all of the time. I’m a complete addict. I know I need help but I LOVE it so much and it is hard to stop. I think this addiction or these types of addictions are really bad because my friends and families complain about it all the time. I want to say it isn’t hurting anyone but it is. I think there could be a rehab for these kind of things. There should be a rehabilitation center. I can’t imagine going cold turkey. I have been a fan fiction addic since last summer and I’d hate quit. Ive read more this past year than I’ve read my whole life combined. I want to say it’s improving my verbal skills. I’ve learned a lot of new words. I’ve learned a lot of other great things from fan fiction. So if people learn a lot from the blogs they are addicted to than I think it could be beneficial. But on the other hand , there is more to life than knowledge.

  3. yadyayala105

    I think that blogging addiction does exist. OH MY GOSH IT DOES! It is kind of annoying when you’re with people and all they want to do is post things on twitter, instagram, or Facebook. I am not really big with blogging or social networking cites. I will go on if I’m bored on the bus or alone at home but I find it really disrespectful when I am with someone and all they want to do is go on their phone and check if someone liked their picture. It is an addiction that many people face now with cellphones and portable technology. Technology and blogging is supposed to allow us to connect with others and express out ideas that bring people closer together. When you become this obsessive about a blog or posting something on the internet I feel like it has the opposite affect and makes you antisocial. You do not really look forward to social interaction and you get excited more about your virtual world than the actual living world. Being obsessed it too time consuming and it takes away the energy you should be giving to your loved ones. Obsessing could lead to isolation and honestly I think people will turn a little crazy if their obsession continues to escalate. Stop blogging about life and actually enjoy it! Take some time of the computer or the cellphone because once you realize that you were wrong it may be too late.

  4. Brian

    Although this is referring to blogging, I believe that the same idea can be applied to almost any other obsession. In the work place, many companies install IP recorders or IP blockers to block certain websites. For example, I know that Facebook is completely blocked on work computers at the company that my mother works at. Even without full access to the internet people still find random things to obsess over and use to procrastinate on their work. Therefore, can blogging be a serious addiction? And the answer is: only as much as anything else. When something like blogging gets overly obsessive then the person needs to set their priorities. For example, if the person doesn’t go to work or check up on family because of their blogs it is a good indicator to take a break. People may find great purpose in blogging since they are able to create a better image of themselves online than in real life or because they like the fact that people listen to them as a blogger when in real life many people might not care. However, anything done in excess is not good for you and blogging is no exception. If you are able to recognize your excessive blogging habits all you need is a short break or vacation, then it’s perfectly healthy, even therapeutic, to go back to blogging.

  5. mjdenis38

    I find it hard to imagine that someone could become addicted to blogging. But, then again what isn’t an addiction nowadays? I would group it together with internet addiction or computer addiction becaue the person cannot get off of the computer. Blogging might be a hobby for some, but I think that people would have something better to do. Yet, if we were to consider it as an addiction, then I think the main source of the problem is that the blogger just wants to be more interactive online. They want to be known, and gain followers. Now if blogging is your full time job, then it becomes important, because that is your source of income. In a way blogging is like social media addiction because we are sharing our thoughts and feelings alone with other personal information all the time, so people can see “how interesting” we are. What people really need to do is just enjoy their life without having to share it, and then wouldn’t be addicted to blogging.

  6. gisellehernandez412

    Wow, I guess I never really thought about blogging as an addiction but I can absolutely see it. I remember when Facebook first started to become popular–I was about 14–I was borderline obsessed with it. This was just a phase, thank God, but it helped me to connect to these blogging addicts. I remember being away from my computer or maybe at a friends house wondering if I would have any Facebook notifications when I got home. Thinking back to this, I’m freaked out. Why was I so concerned with what was happening online? I guess this is what these addicts are dealing with–just at a more extreme level. In my opinion, I feel that being obsessed with the Internt is kind of creepy and weird; I’m always a little freaked out by people who are really attached to social media to the point where its all they think about. Maybe this is why the time I spend on social media sites is so minimal these days. Anyway, I feel that if people are aware of the symptoms, as with any addictions, they can prevent themselves from becoming addicts. I think, a main issue with this addiction is that it keeps people from reality and from fully experiencing life. The best way to realize this, I think, is to quit cold-turkey so that the addicts can quickly come to terms with what they’ve been missing out on.

  7. mlew210

    I thought this article was actually pretty funny. When the author mentioned that the addiction wears off after the blogger realizes that no one is reading it, I nodded my head in agreement. I have definitely gotten the same feeling. There was a time where I would get all excited when I saw that I had a page visit. It was like discovering that a high school crush actually acknowledged your existence; I just couldn’t get enough of it. But then I reached a point where I would look at the post I was writing up and think to myself why I was actually writing it. Sure, it was a requirement for the class, but I felt like all of my effort was a waste. That was when my so called addiction to blogging really ended. Anyways, I don’t really find people being addicted to blogging all that surprising. People can get addicted to anything (cookie clicker anyone?), and it just so happens that blogging is also an addiction for some. I think that addictions are just the result of boredom that often finds itself into our lives from time to time. I personally don’t find myself thinking about my blog 24/7, although I do wish I had the time to improve the overall quality of mine. If I ever did get addicted to blogging (again?), then I am almost 100% sure I would cold turkey it the day the class finally ended. I really enjoy blogging, but I don’t really have a reason to continue my work (no one even read its lol).

  8. karencronin

    It does appear that there are reasons for some people’s blogging addiction. Several of the people interviewed for Hafner’s article seemed to have some issues going on that had nothing to do with blogging. One person admitted to not enjoying his job, so he used blogging as a way to avoid his work. Clearly, this person needed to get a new job. Others used blogging to procrastinate. This again seems to be a way of avoiding doing something else. Occasional procrastination happens, but when it is continual you have figure out what you need to do to make things better for yourself. The article also mentioned a couple of guys who seemed to want to blog rather than spend time with their significant others. I am not sure how long those relationships could last. An addiction of any kind is not good. It means you are doing something to excess and probably not doing things that you are supposed to be doing. I think the article, by pointing out why people are addicted to blogging, tries to let readers know you need to figure out how to make your life balanced, which will in turn reduce the blogging. While this article focused on addiction to blogging, I am sure there are just as many people now who are addicted to reading blogs.

  9. evanhuaru

    I can really see blogging to become a really bad addiction for some people. Even though writing blog posts are requirements for this class blogging can actually be really fun. Personally, I really love the feeling when I write a really good blog post and people will actually read and like it. After feeling that kind of sensation, I can relate to people who are addicted to blogging. Since I might not have that many readers I don’t feel as obligated to produce more blog posts. However, if that were to change and I had a ton more readers, my perspective on writing posts would completely change. The fact that you know people actually enjoy reading your writing makes a person feel really good. I would say being addicted to blogging is just like getting a runner’s high. You put so much effort into running and when you reach a certain point you just feel on top of the world and all your efforts pay off. I also find myself recently procrastinating more now that I have entered the blogging world. I spend hours just reading other peoples blogs so I start to lose track of time and actually forget to do some of my own homework. That being said, taking the article in deep consideration I don’t want blogging to effect my personal life so I’m determined to cut down on my readings.

  10. ktomiak25

    I see internet addictions all around me in both friends and classmates. Personally I am very into my personal blog, but I can handle taking a few days/hours/minutes/seconds off in order to focus on “real life”. I don’t know too many bloggers but I can definitely imagine how they could get addicted. It is certainly fun, and there are always new things to add, tweak, or change on your blog, new people to follow, new posts to read… it could take up a lot of time if you are serious about getting it all accomplished. Some people are lucky enough to get a big enough readership that they can devout enough time to their blog and still get paid via sponsors – so they don’t have to worry about missing work, etc. For others, it is a big deal and gets in the way of their more important tasks. I see classmates all the time on Facebook and Twitter in class, and while it’s likely more out of boredom than “addiction” I do believe they have an instinct as soon as they open their computer to check a certain site- and I think that is how bloggers must feel. It’s definitely distracting them, and not good at all.

  11. tedrihn

    I can agree with you that blogging does take up a lot of my time but am I addicted to it? No, I believe that blogging isn’t a real addiction. To be completely honest I just believe that some people think it is an addiction because their mental strength isn’t strong enough to bear the real life in which they are a part of. They would rather spend all of their time in a virtual world because they don’t like the real one. I have witnessed it first hand. My brother spends all day long on the computer and he is doing terribly in high school because of it. He isn’t addicted to it because he doesn’t need to be on it. He just chooses to because he likes doing that way more than doing anything else to pass the time. I do agree that like a bad habit blogging can be broken but there isn’t really an effective treatment for it. You can’t just slap on a patch and have your cravings for one last post fulfilled. I understand that blogging can be fun, but to love it so much as to mentally or physically become addicted to it just sounds hinky to me. It just seems very unrealistic for everyday normal people like you or me.

  12. hg163

    It is a little weird to think about someone having a blogging obsession. Then again, it was probably weird to think about people having an obsession with their phones a decade ago, so anything is possible. It’s also possible to be addicted to technology in general, so it’s probably not so surprising that someone can be addicted to blogging after all. It also makes sense when you include other variables as well. For example, if someone has a big enough blog and the readers rely on the blogger, at least somewhat, for information, then I could definitely see someone have an addiction to blogging. It is also something that is generally fun to do. When you are writing about, and sometimes doing research about, a particular topic that you enjoy, it is likely that you will see time quickly fly by you without even realizing it. I personally am nowhere near addicted to blogging, so my perspective on this topic is going to be slightly different than someone else’s. The blogger probably wouldn’t see it as an addiction, but rather as providing people with information regarding a particular topic (although to be fair, anyone with an addiction could come up with an excuse).
    It’s probably really easy to tell someone to just quit blogging altogether, but it would be like telling a smoker to just quit smoking (on a slightly smaller level, though): it just wouldn’t work. Maybe a better strategy would be to tell the blogger to decrease the amount of posts they do over time, this way it is a lot more natural. Then again, I’m not really a psychologist so I probably wouldn’t know the best solution.

  13. lisak0

    It’s sort of sad to see that people can be addicted to blogging…that story about the man who is addicted to blogging really makes me sad…poor girlfriend. I guess it’s like any other addiction, and is not THAT harmful. Well, maybe their social lives would just plummet, but their health won’t be that ruined… I had to double check the list to make sure I’m on the good side! Thankfully, I’m not addicted but I do enjoy blogging. I feel that it’s a leisurely activity. Once an idea hits me, I immediately write it down for a future post. I don’t think I’m addicted!! Even if I had a million followers, I don’t think I would be addicted. I would take my time with my posts more because I would probably guess that my followers will be loyal no matter what. It is saddening though that social media can take over peoples’ lives. Addictions are cruel and can change a person. I hope everyone’s addictions are overcome. I’ve never personally come across with an individual who was addicted to blogging, and I hope I never do! I don’t even know how to help a person…

  14. briellebuis

    I think that everyone is going to say that our generation is addicted to technology no matter what the form. At least if we are addicted to blogging we are practicing writing (which is another thing that we are often criticized for). Obviously everyone is addicted in some way or sort to something in their life, weather it is their cell phone, shopping, or working out, people are always going to want to find their escape some how. I personally do not understand being addicted to blogging but I guess it is similar to any other outlet. Our generation is simply always going to be linked to being addicted to some sort of technology.

  15. jordannao

    Becoming addicted in this day and age is extremely easy especially since most young individuals are always around the computers and the internet. It is hard to say this but knowing how to use ht internet and the computer has become almost as important as learning how to talk properly or learn how to walk. I believe this easy accessibility to the internet and the computers are one the reasons why the addiction to blogs can happen so often around those that we might know. In addition, a a lot of individuals have some sort of disorders whether it is depressions or if they are not loved enough what ever it is… And sometimes they find that love and likeness through blogging and that is when it becomes even more addicting. Blogging to a certain point is definitely a positive outcome since you can get exposed to many different types of ideas, thoughts and see different writings… But, anything above the limit can actually cause addiction and hurt more those that are blogging than actually doing benefits.

  16. dmhgs

    I feel like our generation is filled with distractions. For example we can’t work on a homework assignment unless there’s music or something. It can’t be completely silent otherwise we lose our concentration and start to look for things to distract us. I find my self constantly checking on Facebook or Twitter whenever I have a free chance. Sometimes even seconds after I’ve checked it. It’s a little scary sometimes. I’m definitely addicted. I’ve never felt this way about a blog though. But I can definitely see who an avid blogger would become addicted through my experience with other social media. I feel really good when a lot of people like my status or retweet my tweet. And I’ve started checking my blog more frequently after I’ve posted something to see if I have a new follower or a new like. It’s all about the appreciation, for me at least.

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