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Pat Dryburgh

I have an addiction. It’s been a part of my life since I was in Bible College. For a long time it’s been a big part of my identity. I’ve aligned my value to it. I’ve handed part of my heart to it.

The worst addictions are the ones that are accepted by society. An addiction is, in my opinion, harder to break if no one is telling you what you have is actually an addiction. The first step is recognize to the problem, right?

A month or so ago, Carlos Whittaker, a blogger from Atlanta, GA took what he called a “blogatical.” He stepped away from all things blogging, including Twitter. His reasoning was that he had allowed his identity to be wrapped up in his online persona. He was finding his value in what those who read and responded to his blog had to say.

Carlos’ example inspired me to recognize my own addiction. I can’t say I’m anywhere near as popular as Carlos, or any number of bloggers. However, for the past few years a great deal of my identity has been found in my web stats.

I know it sounds strange, especially to someone reading this who may not currently publish a blog or participate in twitter or other social media sites. I’m embarrassed to even say it, but know that I need to recognize the problem before it gets worse.

For the last two weeks, I have abstained from checking my Google Analytics and Feedburner numbers. I had developed the habit of checking both every single day, even more when I wrote a big article I thought would generate new traffic. I can’t say it has been easy, but I am proud to say that I have now successfully made it 14 days without looking. I decided to make this part of participating in Lent, as corny as that may seem. However, to me this really is a spiritual issue as well as a psychological issue.

I will say, this has not been made any easier by the release of a new iPhone app called Ego created by Garrett Murray. Ego gives publishers a one-stop look at web statistics from Feedburner, Mint, and Twitter. The worst part is that the app looks so good, I almost want to buy it and not sync it with my web services…

Alas, I know the best thing for now is to abstain. I honestly want to reach a point where these numbers don’t mean as much as they do now. I guess time and discipline are the only things I can lean on at the moment.

Well, an encouraging word or two wouldn’t hurt either.

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