Tuesday, July 24, 2012

On (Not) Maintaining an Online Presence When You're Away

I may have mentioned that we're away from our usual domicile for an extended stay in Maine. (Ahem. I think I've mentioned it about 100 times; but perhaps you missed that.) When I'm at home, I keep up a fairly regular online communique, via my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blog reading and commenting, email, and the like. In fact, in the last year, I've upped the ante in my online activities, for a variety of reasons. And I was under the impression that I'd be able to maintain that -- at about 90% capacity, so to speak -- while I'm here in Maine. After all, I have my laptop, which I take to the library for wifi connection, and I have my handy smartphone for regular FB, tweets, photo uploads, email, etc.

Well. Enter reality.

It's been more difficult than I'd thought.

For one reason, the girls aren't super excited to hang out at the library for more than two hours while I blog, read blogs, and carry on other online activity. I suppose I can understand that.

A few times, I've worked on posts at the cabin, writing them in Word and then copying them into my blog on my next trip to the library. That seemed really workable until recently. It seems that there's more of a vacation atmosphere at the cabin than there is at my "real" house. Quelle surprise, eh?

We have been visiting with friends. We've been boating, tubing, kneeboarding, and wakeboarding. We've been reading. My parents arrive tomorrow for a ten-day visit, and my cousin and her family arrive next week. We have lots of plans.

Perhaps this should cause me anxiety. Like other bloggers, I've read articles and posts on how to increase and keep readership. According to experts, I should write several posts at a time and then schedule them to publish over a period of days. Or I could solicit guest writers to post in my absence. I don't want to sound the death knell for my blog, do I?

Obviously not. I like my blog. I like to write. I like to provide interesting content for folks. But.

I wrote a post recently called A Celebration of Sabbath. If I really believe what I wrote (and I do), I need to be okay with sacrificing my online presence -- my virtual life -- for the blessings and benefits of living my real life.

So that's what I'm doing. While I won't disappear altogether, I'm going to downsize for a little bit.

And I hope you won't completely forget me.


  1. So glad you are having a fabulous, relaxing time! (I surely won't forget you)

  2. I think online life is most meaningful when we have some time away from it. I've noticed the blogosphere has gone quiet recently and I'm perfectly happy with that - you're right it is a kind of Sabbath. And the great thing is that I can always catch up on other people's blog posts if I've been away myself. So I say, have fun, live life, and then you can tell us about it when you have time! Enjoy the summer, Ellen.

  3. This I can empathise with. I blog at home, and I blog for my work department, too. When I'm on vacation - as I am for the next week - I find myself twitching to write posts for the work blog, because I know you're supposed to keep uploading new and interesting stuff. At the same time, it won't feel like a holiday if I go on doing all the same old stuff. Enjoy your cabin break! It's probably good for us to have "down" time, really.

  4. Okay, it is time for you to come home now. I miss youuuuuuu.

  5. Pseudo Supermum, thanks for your comments! And I know what you're talking about: yesterday, while towing my kids on the tube behind the boat, I was actually mentally composing a post! Is there a support group for people like us??

  6. Jeanne, I miss you, too! I'm popping in and out for a few more weeks before I'm truly "back." :-)


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