20 Practical Questions About Online Balance

Updated March 26, 2016

Maintaining balance on social media, blogging and the internet is a challenge for many. It certainly is for me. Something about it sucks you in and doesn’t let go. I think it’s the 24/7 nature of it, always offering something to take our minds off the present. The internet simply does not stop.

When you work online, it seems the pull is stronger. There is always content to create, email to write, comments to answer, tweaks to make or opportunities to pursue.

If you’ve been working online for any length of time, it’s likely you understand what I mean. If you’re new to it, consider yourself warned.

I’m susceptible to internet grouchiness

I often find myself snapping at my kids, whining to my husband, being grumbly about what others have that I don’t or feeling frustrated I can’t accomplish all the things I want to accomplish.

I’m good at planting myself in a solid state of discontent.

Who wants to live like that? Not me.

Am I out of whack? Addicted to social media? Lacking balance?

I’m a firm believer in the truth setting us free.

In an effort to face the truth, sometimes I have to ask myself some hard questions. Like these:

  1. Are important things in life falling through the cracks?
  2. Am I protective of my devices and resist letting anyone else use them—even when I’m not—”just in case” I might need them?
  3. Do friends or family make comments—either in a concerned way or a joking way—about my computer / device use and how much time I spend on them?
  4. Am I not doing things now that I used to do routinely because more and more of my time is spent online?
  5. Have I gained weight or gotten out of shape?
  6. Am I drawn to the internet or social media when I’m stressed out or overwhelmed?
  7. Do I use the internet as an escape from the messiness of daily life and when I simply don’t want to face my daily responsibilities?
  8. Do I think about what’s happening online when I’m not?
  9. Do I often feel guilty for the amount of time I spend online?
  10. Do I get frustrated when someone interrupts me while on the computer or my phone?
  11. Am I noticing attention-getting behaviors in my kids because I’m not “present” otherwise?
  12. Conversely, am I noticing “fly under the radar” behavior in my kids because they know when I’m on the computer, I’m likely not going to notice what they’re doing?
  13. Do I find myself cutting corners in other areas of my life because I just don’t care as much anymore and would prefer to spend time online instead?
  14. Do I have FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out)? Do I worry something is going to happen online when I’m not there and I’ll lose out because of it?
  15. Do I panic if I forget or misplace my phone because it will mean I can’t check Facebook, Twitter or email while on the go?
  16. Have I or am I tempted to compromise morally in order to “keep up” or “get ahead” with other people I see online?
  17. Do I accept projects or do things online I don’t find enjoyable because I feel like I’ll be “left behind” or my business will suffer somehow if I don’t?
  18. Does my online life consume my thoughts such that I’m constantly thinking about it and can’t turn it off?
  19. Are my first thoughts of the day and my last thoughts at night often centered around what’s going on online?
  20. Do I check social media, stats, comments or emails incessantly?

Please know that I am in no way saying the internet or social media is evil. Nor am I say if you can answer “yes” to any of the above questions, you have a major problem.

I don’t think the internet is evil and I have no intention of cutting it out of my life. I do, however, know that while I didn’t answer “yes” to many of the questions above, I answered “yes” to more than I’d like.

I spend far too much time comparing myself to others. But that’s a waste of me.

I want to find my own groove. I wanna do my own thing.

I don’t want my online work to overshadow my real life.

48 thoughts on “20 Practical Questions About Online Balance”

  1. Yikes! Just found this and answered “yes” to more questions than I care to admit. Thanks for the reality check!

  2. Guilty. I answered ‘yes’ to too many of your questions, but not because I spend too much time online, but because I don’t have enough time. Work and household chores and other things I can’t sidestep cut into my internet time so that my blogging and socializing suffer. But maybe that’s a good thing.

  3. Great post Amy. I saw myself in too many of those questions. I have found when I unplug just for a bit nothing has really changed all that much. Maybe we need to do that more often.

  4. Amy! You have done it again! Read me like a book. Sooooo relating over here!!! I will join you in re-evaluating and re-prioritizing.

    Thanks again. Off to share this with my friends who can also relate. 🙂

    Steph

  5. I could not agree more! I’ve been blogging basically Full Time since 2010. Even on vacations I’m still ‘blogging’ and updating my FB status with links to my newest post even if it’s pre-scheduled. So, this summer I’ve already decided that I am leaving the computer at home during our little getaway it’s only 4 days…but I have not taken a computer break at all in years. So, it’s time. I need it and so does my family! I love what I do and my blog but when you work from home it’s hard to breakaway like you would if you went to work. My work is always sitting there in the office and I can jump on and do something anytime or check emails. Sometimes I feel like it consumes me! Time for a break! I’m the same way though, I keep thinking if I don’t post and such my stats are going to go down but at the end of the day my family is more important than page views.

  6. HI. Great post as usual. I found your blog last year and use your tips all the time. You have helped me so much on my blogging journey. I just want to thank you. keep up the great work. Cheers.

  7. I am one of the newbies you spoke of. I will consider myself warned. 🙂

    Although I am new to the blogging community, I can totally relate all to well to this post. Actually I posted something very similar today on my new blog. I can see where it would be easy to get caught up in the stats and trying to keep up with every one else. I am going to try to keep in mind that my blog is an outlet not a source. I hope to use it as an outlet to share whatever I feel inspired to share day to day. It will not be a source for my security, my confidence, nor in any way is my blog who I am…it does not define me…but I do define it and it can be a great tool to share my journey as a Christian wife and mother with others.

    Good luck on your new beginning.

  8. Thanks for this…I’ve been thinking about this a lot myself lately. We all need a reality check…our computer isn’t what we are going to remember when we are old and our kids won’t come see us! 🙂

    Thanks again!
    Hilary

  9. So reassuring to know that I’m not alone. I could easily answer yes to a few of these questions almost every day and many of them on a few days. Very thought provoking. Balance is so very important.

  10. This sounds like my most recent post (and last post) at The Deal Detector (www.thedealdetector.com). Thanks for sharing.

  11. So here’s the thing Amy. I have followed a few of your posts recently because I have been considering starting a blog of my own. Being some what of a private person I guess I am finding the shift a little more daunting than most… but what I want you to know is that I have taken that first step and this is largely because of you and people like you. Your comments are both encouraging and insightful. They add caution where it is necessary, but most of all the thing that I really like about you is that you have passion and drive and are taking action to see your plans come to something tangible. I am sure most people in life let that type of experience pass them by. We are all flawed, but you have a way of illustrating that its ok to have these problems and although you are doing a bit of naval gazing right now I have no doubt that you will come through it for the better. I look forward to following your success.

    1. Thanks Marcus, I appreciate your encouragement! All the best to you as you (possibly) move on this blogging thing!

  12. Amy, I love this. I admire your honesty and your ability to cut through all the noise to get to the core of what to do and why to do it.

    Today, I just posted a similar item and mentioned that I, too, am thinking of starting another blog, which seems a bit cuckoo! 😉

    Anyway–I’m right there with you. Trying to shut out everything superfluous and figure out what’s the VERY BEST thing for me and my family.

  13. As always your posts hit the spot! I answered “yes” to most of these questions. I have slowed down a bit, but need to slow down more! I love blogging, but you are absolutely correct there will always be another deal, comment, reader. Thank you for your honesty and an “eye opener”! Can’t wait to see what your next step is, I can just imagine it will be exceptional…..

    Hugs!

  14. Thanks for this post Amy! As a newer blogger I find it reassuring to know that I’m not the only one feeling these things. Thanks, also, for the reminder that we all need to stop every once in awhile & re-evaluate. Looking forward to your next post….

  15. Oh my.. I answered yes to far too many of those questions! I try so hard to only blog during nap times and in the evening, but then time with my husband suffers. I honestly know that I don’t blog as much as others, but still feel like I am spinning my wheels a lot of the time.

    The hardest part about blogging is I will never be content. There will always be another deal, another post, another bargain, another idea.. I think a schedule would be great for me, so I’m not constantly chasing.

    Thank you for your honesty.

    P.S. Some of those were really hard questions for me to admit to..

  16. Thank you Amy! I so needed to read this. I’ve been strongly convicted over the past several weeks of this very thing. And I was able to answer yes to far too many of those questions. In an effort to “keep up” with everyone else and not “miss a thing”, I’ve lost sight of my original vision. But I’m getting it back. Thanks for your transparency!

  17. I’m pleased to note that I answer nope to almost all of those questions. I only say “almost all” because I have periods of insanity but no long term episodes.

    Part of the reason is that I treat blogging as a job and developed a schedule of “work” just like any other job. That helps heaps.

  18. Whitney @ Coupon Wonder Mom

    Yay, I’m super excited about your new ventures! Can’t wait to see what you have in store.

    I’m considering a whole new blog, whole new niche. I sort of feel like a little kid who can’t find her mother in the mall… it’s crowded, loud, busy, and I’m lost trying to find my way! I want to find that blogging balance as well because I LOVE blogging, but it’s just not workin’ out right now!

    1. I’m so glad blogging is as forgiving as it is and that I can try new things on a whim! So fun as long as it doesn’t consume me.

      All the best to you and your new ventures!

  19. I answered yes to some of those questions and I don’t even have a blog yet!!!! I’ve already started to set some parameters. You are awesome…we understand the need for a break, but I will admit that I’m scared you are leaving me when I need you the most! Take care of YOU!

    Selena

  20. I’ve missed your posts in my inbox but I totally understand. I’ve stopped blogging twice for the very same reasons. To much comparing! I finally built a schedule for myself and I stick to it! I think the hardest part was realizing I wasn’t in control and I was letting the blogosphere control me. You’re Awesome for doing what’s best for you! I’m so excited to see what’s next for you. Take Care!

    Kristin

  21. Amy.. I’m with you..

    I, too, answered “yes” to more than I’d like..and I’ve made a decision to just focus on my own thing. Forget what everyone else is doing. It’s a bit tough to stopping comparing yourself to everyone else but it’ll only drive you mad.

    This was a great post

    Talk soon
    Hector

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