I used to think that if a community is virtual, then by definition it is not real.
But online community is also a means to meet like-minded people and galvanize ideas in a way that's hard to do in person, because we might never meet in person. Online networks are real because they catalyze real transformation. So I'm trying to be a part of good blog conversations, rather than just a spectator or consumer.
I've been thinking about where the tipping point of helpful-less helpful takes place for me. I love writing on this blog; it gives me a measure of accountability for life changes, and it's fun, and sometimes I hear from you (which is lovely, may I hear more). What is perhaps less helpful online is the validation I get from checking my e-mail, blog stats or Facebook.
I've spoken on this blog about media fasts that I usually do about once a year. This year, we'll be taking a boat for about 18 days in November-December, and during that time we'll be completely unplugged (well, actually we'll still be writing but there won't be internet). I was cured of my NYTimes addiction when they started their paid subscription service. Less because I couldn't check articles, more because I was just annoyed at them. I'm going to limit looking at blog stats to once a week (but know I value you, my one reader in Iran, I value you a lot!).
Have you had any good (or bad) media-fasting experience? Is there a particular media that's more or less helpful to you?