If you follow this blog, you know I haven’t posted in over a month. That is the longest time span without a post, since I started this thing up. And to some extent I did it intentionally. Now, I was suffering a bit from the usual blogger banes of writer’s block, lack of time, etc. But I also wanted to conduct a sort of experiment. That was an experiment on me and for me as to why I even blog in the first place.
What I’ve learned over the last few months is that much of my blogging was not as much about sharing my insight with others, but rather about getting people to respond positively to my thoughts. A couple of weeks ago, my friend Terry Smith posted on his blog, why he is tired of being a Christian. As I got to the end of the thought-provoking post, he asked the questions, “What are you tired of?” “What gives you hope?”
Essentially I said I was tired of blogging/bloggers sitting at Starbucks with their laptops seeking to change the world one key stroke at a time. In the time prior to making that comment, I started a new part-time job as a hospice chaplain, that has really zapped a lot of the free time I used to dedicate to my blog. And so I made this comment and a couple of weeks later, something happened that confirmed this for me. On a mission trip to New Orleans, I met a guy from Michigan who was incredibly fired up about doing ministry in New Orleans. He had a website for his ministry organization that he updated almost daily, but said he didn’t have a Facebook page because “the more time I spend on there, the less time I spend ‘out there’.” Now, we all know social media is the web 2.0 model and how vital that is to getting our messages out there. But what he said really resonated with me on my 3-week blogging hiatus.
I never set out to be cynical. And no, I’m not shutting down my blog. But I’m not going to try to post content every day or two so that people will read it and see how profound I can be. I want to be out doing the work of the ministry. I want to know I was spending my time doing things that were important and feel good about the fact that I didn’t have time to blog.
Many great leaders have prolific blogs. Many ministers have incredible digital ministries through blogging and social media. I’m not knocking that at all. But for me, after trying to wear that hat for a while, I want to know that I’m being all I can be offline as well. And if that means the weeds start to grow a bit in my neglected little blog page, then so be it.
I have nothing against laptops and Starbucks. I just wonder how different the world would be if those of us who blog used the time and energy we put in our blogs to do something that is meaningful offline? What do you think? I honestly hope to continue my blog and be a better blogger than I have been the last month. But, if I’m busy doing things that are just as meaningful, I’m not going to beat myself up over my unused little free corner of cyberspace. What about you? Does your motivation to blog or keep up your social media presence prevent you from having a more meaningful impact offline? I’d love to hear your thoughts.