In the “Dont Believe Everything You Read” post we discussed the hidden cost of blogging,

If blogging is taking us away from an opportunity that can increase our income, or is jeopardizing our career or real life relationships, than the cost to blog just went up.

To expand on that, even though blogging and social networking may be costing us time away from our friends and family, we can also receive a benefit from it.

Today’s LessonBarCamp AMS 2005 Opening - 35

Let’s say our significant other or friends turn a deaf ear when we talk about that which brings us joy. Maybe it’s our love of decorating, crafts, writing, sports, self help topics, etc., with blogging, we can usually find someone who’s interested.

I see that as a benefit.

First, we’re not boring our loved ones with topics they have no interest in, and secondly we’ve found liked minded people who willingly listen. Who may even respond. Like minded people from whom we can also learn more.

We’ve found another advantage to blogging and all is well in our world.

Or is it?

What happens when our loved ones become jealous of our online relationships?

Does the cost of blogging go higher?

Do we give up the chance of being heard just to please others?

Or do we find a way to balance both – our real life relationships AND our online ones?

Today’s Assignment

How do your real life friends feel about your online activities?

Do they get jealous?

Or are they happy you’ve found an outlet and aren’t bending their ear with topics they have no interest in?

Care to share?

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  1. BorisNo Gravatar says:

    Dear Barbara,
    How do my real life friends feel about my on-line activities? Some of them don’t know about my on-line activities, just because I don’t feel the need of telling them.
    Other who know, don’t really care… 🙂
    I think that my significant other feels that activities on-line are a waste of time and I won’t waste a minute of my time trying to correct her… In the other hand she spends a lot of time in Facebook and in revenge I think it is a waste of time as well… 😉
    The most important thing is what I think about my activities and relationships on-line. And what I think about this is that my activities and relationships on-line are just a manifestation of my growth and commitment to what I love the most. Yes, when you see my blog and realize than I haven’t published any post since 3 weeks ago, you will conclude that my commitment is very low. But this is just the surface of the Iceberg, and the results at long term will say a different story….
    By the way, I am planning to interview some people who are doing what they really love. Would you be interested in being interviewed for my humble Blog? 🙂
    Thanks for your continuous and wise advices.
    All the best,
    Check out Boris’s awesome post.The Honeymoon is over when…My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Boris,

      I know what you’re saying about not broadcasting that you have a blog. I do the same with some of my friends. It’s like we know who’s interested in what we do online and who’s not.

      With regard to the interview, I’d be honored. Send me a message via my contact form and we’ll go from there.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gail Gardner and Barbara Swafford, Stan Carter Jr.. Stan Carter Jr. said: The Cost Of Being Heard […]

  3. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    I am happy to say I made a new real time friend yesterday at yoga class and we lunched and are on the same page in most things….except she does not blog or read blogs nor is she interested….

    My book group does not even read my blog and then is amazed at the interesting books I share with them and wonder about how I found them. One member has read several of my reviews as her lead off for the discussion and we both just wink and each other and say nothing to the rest of the group.

    My partner likes that I blog and have a fair low cost “hobby” but since it does not make money – well hurry up please and get a read job with income would please him more.

    My blogging friends and my blogging community are important to me and do bring me great joy….90% of my work has been alone out in the field. Most of my friends from the kid’s school experience have never invited me to anything…

    My profession is one of always being the outsider – some folks can not believe I grocery shop! And heaven forbid I should have wine in the cart! then I am one of those community activists – what a dreadful thing to be these days! and I volunteer so some say I make them feel guilty…

    I just have to keep going with what I feel is right for me…and now that most of my family is dead maybe I should go ahead and write a book!!!

    I have to say this post made me chuckle…and smile Now there is a positive! Thank you for sharing

    I have yet to get to writers blogk I think it is up and running, still catching up from my month job…
    Check out Patricia’s awesome post.When NO Is The Right Thing To SayMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Patricia,

      That’s great to hear you made another real life friend since spending time away from our blogs is important.

      I don’t think you’re alone in having family and friends show little to no interest in your online activities. After reading the comments, it appears that’s the case with most bloggers.

      RE: Writers’ Blogk (my next project). The site is open but due to other commitments, I haven’t opened it up to guest posts yet. Soon…. 🙂

  4. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    No one understands how much time and effort is involved more than another blogger. I am not sure if I call it a “cost” but there are things that I have to spend less time on in order to blog. I have got less time for coffee chats with friends, that’s for sure. My husband feels “neglected” sometimes, so I have to find ways to keep a balance.
    Check out Evelyn Lim’s awesome post.Inspirational Story- The Rich Merchant in a TsunamiMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Evelyn,

      I agree. Unless the other person is a blogger too, they don’t realize all that goes into having a blog. Nor do they understand why we’re so attached to our “babies”.

      That’s true. Once we add blogging to our schedules, the time we once had for coffee chats with friends is lessened, as is time we spend with family.

      • helenNo Gravatar says:

        Another one joins the choir… True, so true. People look at entries and think: “hmm, I just have to write 3 – 5 times a week? Easy!”. But it’s sooooo much more and if you’re not the most technical person in the world (I could be talking about myself 😉 then even WordPress can be tough sometimes!

        • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

          Hi Helen,

          Isn’t that the truth? Blogging is much more difficult than we may have first imagined. Although we assume all we need to do is write, it’s not long before we figure out we also need to learn (some) technical stuff.

  5. Delia LloydNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I think this is a great topic for a blog about blogging. My husband and I talk about this a great deal. While he’s very supportive of my blog, he constantly reminds me that the real world matters more than the on line world, and that even while we represent various relationships with friends, partners, children on line, we must “live” those lives in the here and now, not just “perform” them. I try to remind myself of this every day, not always successfully….

    Delia Lloyd

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Delia,

      That’s a good point. We *should* live in the here and now and not online, but like you said, that can be hard to do.

      Like you, my husband is very supportive of my blogging activities, but he questions Facebook and why people would want to share so much with complete strangers. (In some aspects, I agree.)

  6. I’m married to a techie nerd, so we can always talk tech stuff together. Blogging, however, is something my kids do, so I share that information mainly with them.

    I think the main important thingee is a firm foundation/understanding/appreciation for each other’s life. I love karate, for example, he doesn’t. He loves traveling, for example, I do not. I know the values on online friendship, he doesn’t really go for that. etc.etc.etc.

    Together though, we’re still pretty nifty indeed! 🙂

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Barbara,

      How cool. Your kids also blog. That has be be a great bond between you and them.

      That’s a good point. It’s not uncommon for our loved ones to have different interests than we do, and as long as we can respect that, it makes for good compromise.

  7. I try to limit how much I talk about my blog with others. In fact, I like it better when they initiate the conversation about it. Then I know they’re truly interested and I don’t have to worry about talking their ears off. I always love it if someone finds my blog and then yells at me because I never told them about it. That’s reassurance to me that I’m not a blabbermouth who annoys people.
    Check out Junk Drawer Kathy’s awesome post.Is There an Expert in the HouseMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kathy,

      It’s good to see you. How’s that book coming along?

      I hear you. If others know we blog and bring up the topic, we feel a lot more comfortable discussing it, rather than initiating the conversation and having them roll their eyes and have that look like “oh no, here we go….”. 🙂

  8. Hi Barbara – I talk about my blog all the time. Friends and family do read, perhaps more frequently now that I put them all on the newsletter, poor things – which links back to the blog. There are a wide range of proficiencies with computers and the internet in the mix of friends and family we have. Some don’t even have email, others are on Facebook a lot, others blog, others want to. I do know we’ve inspired a couple of people to start their own blogs. We’re just going to keep doing what we do because it’s working for us.
    Check out Betsy Wuebker’s awesome post.European Christmas Markets on the Bucket ListMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Betsy,

      By talking about your blog and emailing your newsletter to family and friends, you’re definitely keeping the topic on the forefront. I think it also makes a difference when others see how excited we are about blogging. Although they may not be inspired to start one, often they’re happy we’ve found something that brings us joy.

  9. Alien GhostNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara, 

    I don’t know if blogging is a “cost” or not. If a guy spends time away from family, blogging instead of being at a bar, talking with friends what interest him? It is all too relative and depends on each situation. 

    I don’t talk about my blog to family, friends or co-workers, so they don’t know, and it is mostly because of the reasons you mentioned; their interests are different so why bother them. Some have found out and read from time to time, but that’s all. 

    The funny part is that my son (22) doesn’t have a blog and doesn’t read mine since consider it a “parent’s thing” (talk about switched rolls!) 

    Check out Alien Ghost’s awesome post.Escaping the MudMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Raul,

      I hear you. It’s all relative. One thing about blogging is most of us blog from home and our family is close by, so it’s not like we’re spending time “away” from them. (well, maybe mentally)

      That’s too funny about your son considering a blog to be a “parent thing”. Just think, when he gets older, you can teach him the ropes. 🙂

  10. I used to care about how my real life friends felt about my blogging. It’s been a long time since I stopped caring. 🙂
    Check out vered | blogger for hire’s awesome post.Your Life- As It Is Right Now- Forever Do You Take This DealMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      I like your new avatar. 🙂

      What you said is true. In the beginning we’re often more concerned about having our friends like and read our blogs, but as time goes by, it doesn’t matter.

  11. Hi Barbara,

    Good topic. My family knows I have a personal blog – some read it, some don’t. Either way, that’s fine with me. A few even follow Practically Intuitive but again, that’s fine with me. The woo is not a topic that resonates with everyone. 🙂

    I spend a lot of time online – writing, reading, moderating different forums – it’s where I am happiest. But yes, I recognize that there is a world outside of online (prior to the internet, I read a lot mostly) and there are times when I will just stay offline for a day or so to feel untethered.

    Husband has his interests, I have mine and occasionally they intersect! Why, just last week we went to a sports bar and watched the Caps hockey game on the big screen and had burgers.
    Check out Lisa@practicallyintuitive’s awesome post.Enlightenment for me!My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Lisa,

      I’m glad you brought that up. If we blog about a topic our family and friends have no interest in, we certainly can’t expect them to read or follow our progress.

      Like you, I enjoy being online. With so much information out there, it’s easy to get engrossed in it. And easy to forget to live life, too.

      It sounds like you had a great time watching the hockey game. I hope your team won. 🙂

  12. SaraNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara — I like how you turned things around in this post.

    Regarding your questions: Most of my non-blogging friends get that wandering look when I try to discuss blogging with them. I’ve learned to discuss other topics with them.

    My kids think this is just a long term hobby and hopefully, I’ll grow out of it:~)

    My boyfriend is another story…he loves my blogging and writing. He reads my posts and the comments. He will even visit my site occasionally while at work and call me to let me know about a new comment someone left:~) I am pleased he enjoys my passion for blogging and writing.

    One thing kind of bothers me about the subject of “real” friends and “online” friends I don’t see a great deal of difference, except I can’t see the online person. A friend is a friend. Friendship is about communication and sharing. So what if it’s not face-to-face?

    In my grandmother’s time, letters were often used to communicate with friends who lived in other states or even other countries. It’s not any different today when we write on FB, Twitter, send emails, or leave comments and replies to each other. In some way, blogging is just like instant “letter writing.”

    And that’s my 216 words on this interesting subject:~)
    Check out Sara’s awesome post.First LoveMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Sara,

      LOL. I doubt you’ll grow out of your blogging hobby.

      That’s wonderful how supportive your boyfriend is. And I’ll bet you’re just as supportive of his interests.

      That’s a great observation with regard to our online friends vs our real life friends. Yes. A friend is a friend and like you said, it shouldn’t matter if we can’t see them, or even if we never meet them in person. Kinda reminds me of when we used to have penpals, and like you said, when your grandmother sent letters.

      The more I think about what you said, the more I’m thinking that’s a great topic for a future blog post. 🙂

  13. Sue RoddaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi, my name is Sue Rodda and just finished reading your post on “The Cost Of Being Heard”. You raised some very important points.

    I think it’s very important to have an outlet where you can share your thoughts and opinions about the things that matter most to you and, lets face it, our loved ones do indeed love us but they’re not going to be “head-over-heels” about some of the things that are most important to us, so blogging is a great outlet to share those things. However, I also believe that there needs to be a balance, as there should be with everything in life.

    The cost becomes great if our sense of balance is lost, and blogging begins to take precedence over cultivating the important relationships in our life, or if it gets in the way of carrying out responsibilities.

    I’ve heard it said that “blogging” can become an all-consuming passion for some, and that is fine as long as there isn’t anyone adversely affected by it. For the rest of us, however, I believe balance is the key to being able to “have our say” through blogging while, at the same time, maintaining our relationships with those around us.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Sue,

      It’s great meeting you.

      You’re right. Balance is the key. With it being so easy to become consumed with blogging, like you said, it’s could also be easy to neglect our real life relationships, or worse, our responsibilities.

      I think that’s where taking breaks from blogging comes in. It gives us a chance to not only evaluate if our blog is taking us in the direction we’re trying to go, but to also look at our real life and determine if blogging has affected it negatively.

  14. When I first started blogging in 2007, one of my very best friends almost became an x-friend. She did not like that I was blogging, that I was sharing some really personal stuff for the world to see. She just plain didn’t like that I was doing something that she wasn’t involved in. She blamed my online friend that helped me to set up my blog. She was jealous of my relationship with him and with the other relationships that I was developing online. She resented that I was moving forward and she was stuck in the rut of her comfort zone that she had made for herself. She hated that I refused to stay still in the rut with her. Our friendship was very rocky for about 6 months before she realized that I was not standing still for any body. It was time for me to move forward in ways that weren’t available to me until I started my blog. Our friendship almost didn’t survive. I am glad that it did.

    She has done some growing of her own over the past two years that has been amazing to watch. I am glad that she and I overcame our differences and were able to again find common ground.
    Check out Patricia – Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker’s awesome post.My Thanksgiving Will Be Spent With Pneumonia As A CompanionMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      Thank you for sharing your story. I’m guessing this happens more times than we’re aware of, especially when friends are growing at a different pace.

      Although your relationship was rocky, that says a lot that you proceeded forward. Not only have you created a fabulous blog, but you’ve created a great resource for others who are or have been in the same situation as you.

      I’m happy to hear your friendship endured. I’ll bet, it’s even stronger.

      P.S. I just read you’re down with pneumonia, Get well quick. I’m sending ((hugs)) and prayers your way.

  15. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. it’s a bit like an addiction – or can be .. we do need to do what we can do within our own family life .. it just can’t take over, or shouldn’t do.

    Once a major benefit is identified – then perhaps our off line friends will join us ..

    Those that aren’t on line and involved .. just don’t understand .. one of my sister-in-laws can see what I’m doing .. but to my two brothers and other sister-in-law I might as well be on Cloud 63 .. also they make no reference to my blog or the historical aspects it holds.

    It’s interesting .. I must now go read what everyone else has said .. have a great weekend .. Hilary
    Check out Hilary’s awesome post.Hanging Hooke My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Hilary,

      That’s true. Blogging can become an addiction, just like any other, so as you said, we need to not let this hobby of ours take over our life.

      That would be great if our off line friends joined in, however unless they see the benefits blogging brings, I doubt any amount of prodding will help.

      • HilaryNo Gravatar says:

        Hi Barb .. I think you must be addicted – it’s 2.16 am .. unless you’re with Dr Who & Time Travelling?!

        I just showed someone my blog yesterday – I’ve been talking about it for ages and they’ve seen it before .. but .. OH! – shock is that yours .. yes – I’ll have a closer look .. honestly!!

        People will realise eventually .. two friends who’ve got businesses can’t see the benefit – but they will!! One has a blog – but few followers .. and is amazed that I’m over the 80 mark now ..

        The cost = fun!! Cheers have a good week & some sleep please!! Hilary
        Check out Hilary’s awesome post.Hanging Hooke My Profile

        • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

          Haha Hilary,

          I’m on “snow watch” right now. We have a storm headed our way and if it snows a lot, we’ll need the crew to go out and do snow removal. (you might say I’m working the graveyard shift. 🙂 ).

          I know what you’re saying. Even though blogging isn’t “the popular” thing right now, can you imagine when others start blogging and tell us about their blog and we reply. “I’ve been blogging for YEARS.”

          Have a great week too, Hilary. ((Hugs)) to you and your mum.

          • HilaryNo Gravatar says:

            Thanks Barb – often wondered what you were doing up sooo late .. now I know. We’re due a smattering of snow later in the week – but your ‘dumps’ are much worse than ours – but you’re much better at sorting them!

            Good for you .. and as you say – we’ll show them!! thanks re Mum .. she’ll be pleased to hear! Go well & not quite sure what to say about the snow! Hope all will be well though .. H
            Check out Hilary’s awesome post.Hanging Hooke My Profile

  16. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barb! I hafta laugh – most of my friends don’t know what blogs ARE! I’ve tried to entice them to at least read mine but they are even more shy and intimidated by computers than I am! Whoa. Yeah, I know!

    Hubs used to read my blog fairly often but not lately. I think he gets enough health advice just living here! 🙂
    Check out suzen’s awesome post.Are You ZAPPED by Your Cell PhoneMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Suzen,

      Haha! I hear you. Even though blogging has been around for many years, it seems like most people do not know what a blog is nor do they seem to care. That said, what I find fascinating is anyone who searches online has probably landed on a blog and are totally unaware they did.

  17. The only time when I feel funny talking to my offline friends about blogging is when I hear myself say, “My online friend so and so said…” It sounds like I have invisible friends, lol. As more time passes I’ve been able to talk to more of my online friends on the phone and would love to eventually meet them in person.

    I agree with what Sara has said about there not being a whole lot of difference between online/offline friends. If an offline friend was jealous of the blogging, I think it would more likely be because they were envious that I’d found something I enjoy doing and they were still searching. As for them being jealous of me having online friends, that’s where I don’t see a difference between online/offline.
    Check out Davina Haisell’s awesome post.Misstakes Dew HappenMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      I hear you. I will often repeat something a blogging buddy wrote and will say the same, “my online friend”. I’m not sure why we feel the need to say “online”, when like both you and Sara mentioned, a friend is a friend.

  18. Even though these are things I have considered over the last few years of blogging and have made adjustments in how I blog, it’s not really something I’ve dealt with. That is to say, my hubby and has never complained about my blogging. He is happy I have found an outlet and is very supportive. He’s told me as long as I enjoy doing it I should and if I don’t then I should stop. My kids have never really complained expect maybe when I yell at them to leave me alone because I’m writing a post. 🙂

    For the most part, I’ve been very fortunate and the cost of blogging has never been that high.
    Check out Debbie @ Three Weddings’s awesome post.Debbie’s DesignsMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Debbie,

      I agree. Having the support of our loved ones is very important when we blog. Like you mentioned, your husband is happy you’ve found an outlet where you can meet, share and/or vent. I’m guessing for those who don’t have that kind of support, blogging could end up being stressful rather than fun.

  19. Hi Barbara,

    The first year that I started Life’s Little Inspirations, my mother who owned a beauty shop( the one I worked at for 20 years and knew everyone, ) kept telling all the clients that Wendi had a BLOB. For six long months I had to correct her, “No mom, it’s a blog, not a blob, it’s a place where writers write.”
    “But what’s it for again?”
    My husband was supportive in theory and so were my friends, though my husband read it and my friends were a lot like my mother, they didn’t get it and didn’t get the online thing and so just drifted away, and my husband didn’t like the fact that it took away from the family. I could do it- as long as I managed to seamlessly do everything I always had done before without any wrinkles in the system- or believe me- I heard about it.
    By year two, I heard- maybe it was time to get a real job…this was turning out to be more like a hobby in his mind- and then right about the time he lost faith- people started to ask me to coach and consult with them and almost all of the contacts came from LLI. Though I wasn’t advertising, or even trying to use LLI for business- he suddenly saw the value again. My blogging days were now considered golden! By year three, The writing picked up as well, and of course, by the time Blue Sun was formed, I heard from everyone… “You built all of this out of that little blog, it’s amazing, I always had faith in you from the very beginning!”

    Funny how it seemed like I was trudging on this lonely road proving myself every step of the way to everyone in the real world and saying…just wait…you’ll see, there is a plan…just wait…
    But…no, that is only my imagination!
    Check out Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirations’s awesome post.Are you ready to get emotionally nakedMy Profile

    • LOL, Wendi. I almost spit coffee all over my keyboard just now… Wendy has a BLOB 🙂 I love your story and how things have evolved for you — congrats. “You’ll see, there is a plan…” Awesome!
      Check out Davina Haisell’s awesome post.Jannie’s EncoreMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Wendi,

      LOL, That’s what my husband called it too – a BLOB.

      I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the story of your journey. It goes to show how when we have a vision and believe, dreams do come true. And with blogging, although our blogger friends see the potential, it’s the real life ones who may often see our countless hours at our computers as a total waste of time.

      I remember when I first put ads on one of my other blogs, some of my family/friends would laugh when I’d tell them I had made a few cents from an ad click. Later on when I told them I got my first check from AdSense and it was over $100, all of a sudden it became, “How much did WE make on the blog today?” WE??? Yeah, right!

  20. EllenNo Gravatar says:

    Truthfully, my real-life friends have absolutely no idea what on earth I do online! I do wish that they would understand that I’m not just “playing with my computer” all day!

    However, I very much value my fellow bloggers for understanding, empathizing, and relating to my profession. I suppose that they are the equivalent to the co-workers I would have if I worked in a traditional office job.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Ellen,

      That’s true, isn’t it? Many of our real life friends just think we’re “playing”. If only they knew?

      I’m with you. Fellow bloggers are awesome. Not only can they empathize with us, but they support us each step of the way.

  21. green coffeeNo Gravatar says:

    Like most of the comments here, my real life friends and family don’t really understand what I do online. The worst has got to be my mom who thinks that I don’t have a real job and is only playing on the computer all day. Little does she know that I earn much more than a regular office employee. But in the end, I guess it’s better that she doesn’t know because this way, she thinks I have no money and never asks me for any.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Green Coffee,

      That’s funny. But you’ve raised a good point. If our offline friends and family think all we do is “play” online, the possibility of us also making money would be the furthest thing from their minds.

  22. JennNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    My friends and family are mixed — I have a few who are also geeks like me, some that just enjoy blogging because they enjoy the online socialization and others who love to write.
    Then there are those who just shake their heads in amazement — why would we do this at all? LOL

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jenn,

      How lucky you are to have real life friends who also blog. In my circle, most don’t even know what a blog is. But like with you, those who do, shake their heads and wonder “why”. 🙂

  23. They really don’t get jealous because they understand that it’s about interacting for the business. Plus, I do time management and know my priorities especially when family is involved.

  24. I’ve found that my friends and wife were skeptical when I started blogging but as it has picked up some have gotten jealous and refuse to visit the site. I understand and just try not to talk about anything related to it with them