To sort this out, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you ever lost time from work because of blogging?
- Does blogging create problems for you with other people in your life?
- Do you blog because you feel shy and uncomfortable around others?
- Have you ever felt guilty about blogging?
- Have you ever argued with someone significant in your life about blogging and the time constraints involved?
- Are you more careless in other areas of your life because of blogging?
- Have you lost interest in other areas of your life since beginning to blog?
- Do you blog to escape anything in your life?
- Do you use blogging as a replacement for social interactions in the real world?
- Do you feel compelled to blog and then feel a sense of elation once the blog entry is published - yet the high is short-lived and you feel compelled to begin again?
- Do you feel restless if you do not blog?
If you answered “Yes” to two or more of those questions, blogging could be taking over your life.
Finally, let’s consider the characteristics of an addictive personality in general.
- Impatience with self and others.
- Anxiety in an exaggerated form. It is normal to feel anxious, but in addicts it is constant and chronic. Using the substance of choice, whether it be alcohol, substances, or the Internet, brings momentary relief.
- Grandiosity - feelings of deep worthlessness and low self-esteem covered by haughtiness or pretending to "have It all together."
- Perfectionism - setting impossible and improbable goals for oneself. Perceived failures result in guilt and self-deprecation.
- Rationalizations - Addicts of any sort are pros at this. Finding justifications for doing what one wants and making it all seem reasonable and plausible.
- Isolation - Blogging is so consuming that it prohibits you from forming deep and lasting relationships outside the Internet world. You becomes a loner in the real world.
- Sensitivity - to criticisms from others related to blogging behaviors.
- Impulsivity - Having a great idea for a blog post and feeling the need to address it and write about it immediately. Becoming irritated if you are unable to blog when the idea presents itself.
- Dependence - A strong dependence on others' reactions and responses to what was posted. A need to be affirmed.
Discussing blogging as an addiction may seem odd, but it is possible to become addicted to anything. Addiction is addiction is addiction, regardless of the substance of choice. Can you identify with much of what has been written in this piece? A “Yes” may indicate a need to take a hiatus from the blogosphere for a time. If you are unable to stop blogging, then talking to a professional about this compulsion may be helpful. Underneath an addiction is a whole host of unresolved issues. The addiction just momentarily medicates the pain.