Media Woe Is Us; Or, How Blogging Might Be Harmful to One’s Health
posted by April 6 at 20:41 PMon
Maybe the reason so many people in editorial have been out sick this year is this. According to that piece—on the cover of today’s New York Times—blogging might be bad for you. Like, REALLY bad for you.
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.
Physical and emotional stress? Totally. But, uh, dying? Wow.
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.
Huh. Not that convincing. Um, NYT? Sixty-year-olds have heart attacks all the time. And two deaths isn’t much of a trend, which is clearly why they threw in that third guy—if it happens three times, it’s a trend!—but still, a 41-year-old having a heart attack is a lot more common now that we live in a nation of obese people than it used to be. Sure, you could say, as the article does, that blogging can easily be done while eating, and eating leads to overeating, and overeating leads to obesity, but that’s a pretty attenuated argument. I sort of wasn’t buying it, this article, this “trend.” But then I got to this:
“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.”
“This is not sustainable,” he said.
Reminds me of certain people I could mention.