When Blogging Kills

Blogger TombstoneThere is no limit to just how much the internet has revolutionized our world. Not only has information become an immediately accessible commodity, but it has also changed the way people all around the world are working. Especially in the world of blogging, people are able to transform their homes into offices and effectively become their own bosses. While this sounds like every worker’s dream, for many people, home offices quickly become little else than digital sweatshops.

The internet never sleeps, and that means blog workers can’t either. Working in an entity that has no regard for time zones or exhaustion, bloggers constantly feel the pressure to report on the latest and greatest. That means even at the expense of personal health.

Bloggers are increasingly reporting instances of sleep problems, weight change, and outright exhaustion. The increased pressure and competition of certain industries such as news and technology are proving particularly stressful. And the proof is immediate and sad.

Russell Shaw, a noted technology blogger, died of a heart attack at the age of 60. Similarly, Marc Orchant passed away at 50 from a massive coronary.

While there is no way to directly link their stressful jobs with their deaths, there is general agreement (even among bloggers) that the lifestyle is not sustainable. When your home is your office, it means you are never away from your job. There’s no time to unwind, relax, or escape. You’re always just one click away from the office, your next story, and more success.

This is especially true for bloggers that are paid per post. The number of posts they can write usually doesn’t have a cap, so every post means more profit. In this environment, people push themselves beyond healthy limits because the opportunity to make money is constantly available.

It doesn’t matter, however, if you’re being paid by the post or by traffic. Blogging is all about being the first to the story. You can be edged out by the competition by mere seconds and still lose out financially.

And bloggers are certainly compensated. It can be a small paycheck (around $1000 a month) to upwards of six figures a year. Obviously, done right, it’s a lucrative field.

But people are questioning more and more whether it’s all worth it. It’s not just the health of the bloggers at risk. It’s also the very essence of reporting. As readership, advertisements, and profits become the focus, journalistic integrity and accuracy are often pushed to the wayside.

So the question remains—is there a happy medium? Can blogging coexist with healthy, happy workers? That depends largely on the individual blogger. If each blogger can carve out standard hours in the day and treat blogging like another job, it will go miles towards personal health. Blogs should also consider staffing multiple people who work at differing times. This way, every hour of breaking news is covered, but it’s not all on the shoulders of the same person.

So be safe all you fervent bloggers. Slow down, take a nap, and then get back to your trusty keyboard.

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