Two weeks ago, we had a big regional church meeting for hundreds of the LDS congregations in our area. The president of the Church’s women’s organization was one of the people who spoke. Her remarks about mothers and computers caught my attention. Sister Beck expressed the hope that mothers would benefit from having computers as tools in their homes, but worried about those who might neglect more important things (children, for example) for the less important things that can steal one’s time on the internet.
Shortly before hearing her talk, I had posted a lengthy review of Mimi’s Cafe, which, while pleasant enough, isn’t close to being my favorite or my highest local recommendation. I love to write reviews, but it seems obvious that the reviews I write are not that important or valuable–to me or anyone else. I simply enjoy writing them. This has caused me to think in the days since her talk about the worth of blogging, my blogging particularly. I don’t have it all figured out yet.
Things I know:
1) Keeping a journal is good, and blogging is often a form of journal keeping.
I have never managed to keep a journal for any extended period, although I think it is a good thing to do. Although I have not been the world’s most consistent blogger (and worse recently), I have managed to record lots of things about my life with my blog. The thought that someone might read motivates me and then I end up with a much better record than I would have if I weren’t posting it.
2) Blogging is fun!
3) Blogging (and other forms of social media) can be a good thing to do, a good use of time. Sister Beck’s talk made me wonder whether in blogging (and in writing restaurant reviews on Urbanspoon) I am wasting my time on something that isn’t very valuable (and is sometimes a complete waste of time). However, I was initially motivated to blog by Elder Eyring’s talk on keeping a gratitude journal and by Elder Ballard’s talk on sharing the gospel. Although I lost sight of the gratitude theme of this blog over time–probably because grateful optimism doesn’t come naturally to me–that is exactly why a gratitude-centered blog is helpful to me–because it doesn’t come naturally. And so if I re-remind myself periodically that my intent is to write about my life with a positive gloss (not a whiny or negative one), this can really be helpful. When I write about my glass as half full rather than half empty, it becomes true. Writing it down helps me to conceptualize it that way.
I have enjoyed reading other’s blogs–I think of my cousins’ wives who I would not have known as well, and of others who have inspired me, helped me to count my own blessings, made me laugh (we’re all on this motherhood ship together) or just offered useful tips. Motherhood is isolating and some of us are more clueless than others. I need useful tips!
4) Sister Beck is right. The internet can be a big time-sink. There are a lot of valuable things I could do with my time; it is far too easy to let the internet eat it all up.
Big questions left over: I’m still thinking about all this. These thoughts push me in the direction of writing more about my kids (though with an 11 turning 12 year old this is increasingly problematic), more about gratitude and important things, and less on restaurant and product reviews. Unfortunately, I really like writing product reviews. Suppose we designate writing product reviews my hobby (I don’t scrapbook, waterski, ride horses, play Bunko, watch television, or cross-stitch). Hobbies are defensible, aren’t they? Are they? How much leisure time can we spend on doing things that really aren’t valuable or important, but just fun?