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C'est la Vie: Life... Offline

For those of us in the blog-osphere, there is a delicate balance to be achieved. How do you spend "enough, but not too much" time online? You want to have a web presence, but real-life relationships demand your time. All of this jargon is kind of silly too. What is "real life" anyway? Is it the things we do and the people we choose to interact with? More and more our relationships don't necessarily take place face-to-face and I would argue that doesn't make them any less valuable.

The whole thing is an interesting problem. Online dating has proved, in some cases, that relationships can in fact be started via the internet. For myself, I feel the online world is just an extension of existing relationships. If I didn't know you before, chances are our relationship isn't going very deep in the near future. And just as soon as I wrote that last sentence it occurred to me how many people could argue that point. Perhaps some of your most vital friendships or working relationships were born from an online (maybe even chance) meeting.

So maybe it's just my own personal struggle... but I doubt I can be alone. "Life" happens in my house, in my neighborhood, my city. There are people to meet for coffee. There are conversations to be had at the grocery store or at school pick-ups. For heaven's sake there are children crying for a snack or because of a dirty diaper even as you are trying to read this! There are daily responsibilities that cannot be accomplished from behind a computer screen.

I'm beginning to understand why we all feel so busy. Twenty years ago if we had told someone we had just "posted a tweet" they would have thought we were from an alien planet. You can't make up stuff like that! (It almost sounds a little naughty without a frame of reference.) We still have all of the day-in and day-out responsibilities our own mothers and grandmothers had, but now we are trying to add relationships with people all over the country and globe to the mix. (This is more than hand-writing an occasional letter. We are more connected than ever.)  And I love it, but life offline takes time. The people in my immediate proximity have to take preference simply because they are here. As soon as I take more time for online relationships, I have by default begun to neglect my offline relationships.

I think I'm talking myself in circles, so it's time to log off for now. How do you feel?? How much time is too much to be online? What are online priorities and what are the big time wasters?

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