Friday, February 5, 2010

Finding a Healthy Balance

On the radio the other day, the DJ was talking about a University of Leeds study that linked depression with excessive internet use. The idea being that some people replaced their face to face social interaction with online relationships, causing a depressive state. They weren't sure, however, if the internet use caused the depression or if depressed people were drawn to the internet. If you're interested in reading about the study, you can find it here:

As my friend, Rachel Lynne blogged yesterday (, writers are solitary creatures. We spend a lot of time on the computer and internet. The friendships we make online are wonderful and no less real for being long distance. But we need to take care to balance those friendships with those that we see on a day to day basis.

So, today I'm headed out on day trip provided by Outdoor Recreation on post with my friend, C. We're touring some fabric stores here in the local area. Hopefully I will find some great embellishments for a purse I want to make. Then I'm coming home and jumping on the computer to look for my writer friends and do some sprinting.

Tomorrow will be a well-balanced day for me and I'm sure to enjoy myself with ALL my friends.

Do you ever feel as though your online world has taken over your physical one? What do you do ensure you keep a healthy balance?


aspirewriter said...

No tips here I'm afraid. I spend far too much time on the internet! I wonder if shy people are drawn to the internet more because they find that more comfortable than face to face conversation. There are a lot of online communities that help people with depression, social anxiety - so it's not all bad I suppose.


P.L. Parker said...

I find being on the internet depressing. Feel like I have to do it to get my name out there, but wastes way too much time as far as I'm concerned. And I ask myself, is it really doing any good? Between work (I'm on a computer all day), my family and some tiny personal time, just not much motivation to spend my "leisure" time on the internet.

Danica Avet said...

I only use the internet on weekdays, leaving my weekends free for family time, me time, and anything else I need to do. Because we're all told how important it is to have our names out on the web for when we're published, I tweet, I blog, I facebook, and any other number of things to get my name out there. But if I hadn't set aside certain times to be someone other than the writer, I think it would suck all the creative energy out of me.

This is a great topic for anyone in these days of the internet superhighway. I look forward to reading more from you :)

Happy Friday

Caroline Clemmons said...

Riley, How interesting. My daughter and I have talked lately about face to face friendships being replaced by the internet, Facebook, YouTube, twitter, and others. Not that those are bad but, as you pointed out, people need that personal contact with other people.

I live in North Central Texas. My husband tried to get an assignment to the Munich area, but wasn't chosen. We've visited several times, and I have ancestors from Bavaria, Innsbruck, and Switzerland--along with all those Scot-Irish. I'm glad you're not one of those Americans who only shops on base. My mom's neighbor lived in Germany five years and never left base unless someone else was driving and speaking for her. Amazing, huh? What a missed opportunity!

Happy blogging and writing.

Mariposa Cruz said...

Being new to e-publishing, I'm still working on the whole "balance" thing myself. With all the articles promoting social networking, the good old "go outside and play" perspective is refreshing.

April said...

A few years ago I traveled across country not knowing where I would end up. As I evaluated places to live, I used the internet to find groups like Toastmasters, RWA chapter meetings, etc. so that I could meet people in activities I was likely to take part in if I lived there. It helped me find where I wanted to be and to meet people who have become my friends where I now live.

GPS said...

I don't think its depressing at all. Up till recently I worked full time so I welcomed the alone time on the computer. Now that I'm retired and writing full time I try to balance it with in person family and friend time. But I love my cyber friends and I've made friends on the internet that I've now met in person so I think its a great mix!!

Alice Audrey said...

Actually, in the years I've been more active on the Internet, I've been less depressed. I could, however, use a bit more exercise. :)

Carly Carson said...

Hi Riley,

I love the internet and I've connected with old friends on Facebook, which has been fun. I don't find it depressing at all. But, having teens in the house, I do wonder if they are replacing face to face time with online time. They're always chatting and texting, but not getting out of the house as much as I think they should. I read an article this week that said teens are not rushing to get their driving licenses like they used to and the guess is that it's due to the fact they can socialize online.

Carly Carson said...

I forgot to say I love the colors on your site.

Riley Quinn said...

Wow, interesting mix of comments. I think you may be right, Sarah, that shy people probably find it easier to socialize online than in person. I know I'm more outgoing online than in person.

I think it does make a difference if you're on the computer for your day job, just how much time you don't want to be there in your offtime.

It's definitely helpful, as April mentioned. In fact, before I moved to DC, I went online and became penpals with some people, so when I got there, I already had face to face friends.

For me, I'll take it as a warning. If I start to feel down, I'll evaluate how much time I'm spending online and try to balance it out better.

Caroline, where in TX are you from? I lived in Waco for a year and then moved to Harker Heights before coming to Germany. Yes, I hear of people who rarely leave the American communities here. It is a waste because we have met some wonderful people (especially our neighbors - we live off post) and learned so much about their culture as compared to ours. I'll be sharing bits here and there.

Thanks everyone, for taking the time to post. I appreciate it.

Rachel Lynne said...

Hi Riley, back from my Busy, Busy day , LOL. Interesting study. I am in the minority on your comments but I think the net has made me more social. I LOVE the internet. I have access to information and viewpoints from around the globe I can read foreign newspapers, do inordinate amounts of research about the most obscure things, I LOVE THE NET.I also love chatting, getting onto political chatrooms and arguing with idiots, I LOVE THE NET (oops, I said that :)
Most of my friends communicate over facebook and emails so it is all normal for me. We're all too busy to talk on the phone. Worst thing is I don't connect with my non wired friends and family. I have to make myself pick up the phone and call my 86 year old grandmother. If she'd let me hook her up I'd chat every day!
I'm gonna work on her ...

Talk to ya soon,

Riley Quinn said...

LOL, Rachel. My grandparents are online, if you can believe it. Glad you love the net. I'll admit, it's made a lot of things easier for me too.

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