A blog about Politics, Texas, and Academia

Blogging is Hazardous to Your Health

In Are you kidding me?, Blogs, Media, Technology on April 7, 2008 at 8:00 am

Seriously…weight loss or gain, sleep disorders, exhaustion from blogging? Sheesh. I’m glad that I’m just a nobody who doesn’t get paid to do this…

As for blogging being the cause of stress and even death in these individual’s lives, substitute blogging for any other job like let’s say, a surgeon, air traffic controller, or even a mother of three year old twins and this story wouldn’t even be making the news rounds.

Here’s a piece from the full story at the NY Times:

They work long hours, often to exhaustion. Many are paid by the piece — not garments, but blog posts. This is the digital-era sweatshop. You may know it by a different name: home.

A growing work force of home-office laborers and entrepreneurs, armed with computers and smartphones and wired to the hilt, are toiling under great physical and emotional stress created by the around-the-clock Internet economy that demands a constant stream of news and comment.

Of course, the bloggers can work elsewhere, and they profess a love of the nonstop action and perhaps the chance to create a global media outlet without a major up-front investment. At the same time, some are starting to wonder if something has gone very wrong. In the last few months, two among their ranks have died suddenly.

Two weeks ago in North Lauderdale, Fla., funeral services were held for Russell Shaw, a prolific blogger on technology subjects who died at 60 of a heart attack. In December, another tech blogger, Marc Orchant, died at 50 of a massive coronary. A third, Om Malik, 41, survived a heart attack in December.

To be sure, there is no official diagnosis of death by blogging, and the premature demise of two people obviously does not qualify as an epidemic. There is also no certainty that the stress of the work contributed to their deaths. But friends and family of the deceased, and fellow information workers, say those deaths have them thinking about the dangers of their work style.

The pressure even gets to those who work for themselves — and are being well-compensated for it.

“I haven’t died yet,” said Michael Arrington, the founder and co-editor of TechCrunch, a popular technology blog. The site has brought in millions in advertising revenue, but there has been a hefty cost. Mr. Arrington says he has gained 30 pounds in the last three years, developed a severe sleeping disorder and turned his home into an office for him and four employees. “At some point, I’ll have a nervous breakdown and be admitted to the hospital, or something else will happen.”

Some advise for the “working” bloggers of the world, take a vacation and destress. It’s just a job like everyone else’s. At least you are getting paid to do so. Would you rather be broke and without work?

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