The bubble glow dream…..

I had a scary dream last night. Here’s how it went:

Me: “Hi, my name is Al and I’m a blogoholic.”

(Group, in unison): “Hi, Al.”

Moderator: “You do know this is Alcoholics Anonymous, don’t you?”

Me: “Yes, but there’s no support group for blogoholics. WordPress has all kinds of support groups for how to blog, but that just gets you in deeper. It’s like they want you in their clutches. Please hear my story!”

Moderator: “OK, if the group agrees” (murmuring of assent among the group, as if relieved that their problems are nowhere near as bad).

Me: ” I’ve been blogging for over two and a half years. At first, I was pretty open about my blogging. I thought that developing my writing was a good thing. I convinced myself that I didn’t care if anyone commented or not. It was just me and that keyboard, exorcising all those crazy thought demons that had been clogging up my brain waves. But then it happened. Someone commented. They said they thought I was funny. Me, the guy who couldn’t remember a joke or tell a funny story, was suddenly funny to someone else. I thought maybe it was an aberration that would pass and I shouldn’t get too excited.”

Moderator: “That doesn’t sound so bad. What happened next?”

Me: “Then another comment got posted. It was also positive. I felt little beads of sweat forming on my brow. I tingled at the thought that I had actually reached out into cyberspace and my ‘voice’ was being heard. What’s more, they liked it. I was more elated than a bunch of scientists at SETI finally getting an extraterrestrial signal from outer space.” (scattered laughter among group)

Moderator: “Did you hear a sound like a little ‘ping’ in the back of your head? That’s usually the first sign of addiction.”

Me: “”Yes, that’s exactly what it was like. My wife tried to tell me it was the stove timer (she was making a delicious brisket, by the way), but I knew better. I began to realize that I couldn’t leave it at that, you know, just appreciating the occasional comment. I wanted more. I found out that WordPress was keeping a stats site. It kept up with how many people were visiting and reading your blogs and making comments. It even told me where they were from. It became my bible. The bar graph was intoxicating. Oops, I’m sorry, am I allowed to say that here? Anyway, I also discovered that other bloggers were getting a lot more visits and followers than me. My competitive juices started to flow. I was obsessed with building my numbers. I tried every topic I could think of to increase the number of followers of my blog site. I kept telling myself that if I got just one more follower then I would quit. But then WordPress started posting my ‘milestones’. They were encouraging me to go for the next plateau. They were the worst kind of enablers!”

Moderator: “We all know about enablers, Al.”

Me: “Then things really began to snowball. My wife started to talk about the amount of time I was spending at the computer. She said I wasn’t spending enough time there. She felt invested in my blog and was embarrassed when her friends asked how many followers I had. There was nowhere to turn, not that I wanted to turn anywhere anyway. But on the other hand, I was afraid I was going to be sucked into the black hole that all bloggers fear…the post-a-day group!”

Moderator: “Everyone talks about ‘hitting bottom’ just before they come here. What was your bottom?”

Me: “For me it was the glowing bubble. WordPress has a symbol, an indicator bubble that glows bright when someone has posted a comment on one of your blogs. It’s the first thing a blogger looks for when they open WordPress. I convinced myself that I was only casually aware of it at first, but I was only kidding myself. It became my life. I would post a blog and sit there for hours waiting and counting each time the bubble glowed. But even that wasn’t enough. I started to comment on every other blog on WordPress so they would have to comment back and make the bubble glow. I was bubble bingeing! I was so ashamed.”

Moderator: “Take heart, Al. I think your coming here and relating this story will help you start to recover from this addiction. Here’s a suggestion. A lot of us here journal our story. We find writing it down helps us to let it go” (group nods in agreement).

Me: “Thanks, I’ll do that. Maybe it will get Freshly Pressed.”

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About Al

Retired from a couple of professions, trying my hand at writing about the events in our lives.
This entry was posted in Misc and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to The bubble glow dream…..

  1. Red Hen says:

    Oh, all so true. And you`ve identified the little hooks in WP velcro here too!. Oh, yes, it`s addictive!

    • Al says:

      Yes, it certainly is. But I think I’m starting to get a handl…..er…uh…wait…the bubble just lit up….I’ll be back in a flash….

  2. Pingback: OK, WordPress, this is just plain cruel……. | thecvillean

  3. Barbara says:

    If you get freshly pressed, do they notify you?

    • Al says:

      I don’t really know, but I would guess they do. By the way, you are now my new bubble glow hero!

    • Barbara says:

      PS I have no desire to stop blogging and am utterly unwilling to admit that I am powerless over blogging and my life is unmanageable!!

      • Al says:

        Don’t ever worry about how much you blog. If you’re like me, it’s a great release and a way to express yourself to nonjudgmental readers.

        My initial blogs were a disaster! They mostly had a political slant to them but they were not worth your time. I learned early on that readers want to know about your life and experiences, not your opinions. That doesn’t mean I don’t do some satirical stuff occasionally. Hopefully, my more recent posts will be of more interest to you anyway.

        I’ve enjoyed reading yours. I haven’t commented on all of them but have read quite a few. The honeymoon trip to Egypt was neat and the pictures were outstanding. The kiss on the camel was classic! I marveled at the picture of the lone person on the rock outcropping looking over the valley of rocks. That one is National Geographic worthy.

        Also, Wilson is a cool pup. Hope to see more of him.

  4. Laughed out loud, which is bad because I could wake the baby and then wouldn’t be able to watch for the glowing bubble.

    • Al says:

      You might want to consider putting a monitor over the baby’s crib so he/she could look at the bubble too. Think of it as kind of a WordPress mobile.

      Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  5. pattisj says:

    I’m even further behind! Is there a prize for that? I’m glad to find I’m not the only blogging addict, but why would anyone seek a cure?

  6. Coming East says:

    I am so glad you are addicted! I’m a little behind in my blog reading, so I just saw this today. Your post is a good tea break for me and an afternoon pick-me-up. If it gets too much for you, though, you can join me for a BB meeting I attend weekly—Blithering Bloggers.

  7. The first step is admitting you’re addicted…but many of us know the feeling. Enjoyed the post!

  8. Ah – I remember a time when I didn’t post every day. Happy days. I’m too far gone now to ever come back.

  9. Jodi says:

    Except for the bubble this could be me. I don’t know about the bubble. TELL ME MORE!!

    Freshly pressed almost always has pictures, (I follow them in my reader) and they once did a post of what gets freshly pressed.

    I hope you get pressed Al, it’s nice feeling (at least that’s what I’m told.)

  10. misswhiplash says:

    oh yea, and the bubble would get so big it would burst…splosh! splosh! splosh

  11. misswhiplash says:

    you great twit! You had me in tears!!! That was so funny and sounded just like me. It seems that if you live in the USA you have more chance of being FP’d so me living in BG I stand no chance at all whatsoever…do you think I care? NO I DO NOT! and why do I not care? Because if you FP’d you would have hundreds of comments to reply to and that would take a long while and then you would not have time to write another post.

    NO…Dear Al please stay just as sweet as you are, Don’t let a thing ever change you ( its a song but I can’t remember the rest)

  12. pegoleg says:

    I’m afraid to comment – the bubble will start glowing and you’ll fall off the wagon!

    • Al says:

      It’s OK, Peg. You’re one of my favorite enablers.

      • pegoleg says:

        Did you JUST change your header and avatar photos?

        • Al says:

          Have no idea what you’re talking about. I do have a twin though in an alternate universe. Perhaps you logged into his by mistake??

          P.S. Can you read this one better?

          • pegoleg says:

            MUCH better, thanks! I’m sure it has something to do with my advanced age, but black backgrounds like you HAD are really slow going for me. Did you change the whole theme, or just tweak it? I’m considering changing my header photo but that’s a big step.

            • Al says:

              It’s a complete makeover. Even lost all my widgets. (Don’t you hate it when you lose a widget?) Changing the header picture is pretty easy but the new gravatar was a hassle.

  13. I’m probably one of your enablers, Al. But just work the Program, Big Guy. The hard part will be making amends to everyone you’ve harmed. Two and a half years of blog posts. Think of the people you may have harmed…it’s mind blowing, huh? πŸ˜‰

  14. I’ve never seen the glowing bubble. Don’t worry Al, my blog will always make yours look good. Dianne

  15. Bernice says:

    The red number at the top of Facebook is my life alert. By the way, I haven’t had a red number from you in a while. (Very very funny blog. You should have been a writer for Johnny Carson.)

  16. Here’s another little comment bubble for you Al. I must say the “Post A Day” thing is a step too far for me. Once you get into that, the whole thing seems to be getting more and more like a coffee morning. Mind you, I love coffee so what’s the problem with that’s. Anyway, why not just take the brakes off and go crazy. Who’s up for the “Post an Hour” challenge.

  17. There’s no hope! πŸ˜‰

Your turn to write, but please don't be wittier than me. My ego is quite fragile.

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