Blogging: A Blight or a Boon to Marriage?

Commentator Julie Zickefoose and her husband Bill both maintain their own Web blogs. She knows that their obsessive quests to keep those blogs interesting are changing their relationship, but she hasn't figured out how, yet.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

Commentator Julie Zickefoose has been trying to discuss a lot of things with her husband lately. She just hasn't been able to connect with him, at least, not the way she used to.

JULIE ZICKEFOOSE: Sometimes I feel like I just don't see enough of my husband. He's too busy at work to email much anymore. When he works at home we email up and down the stairs. Hey, I miss you. Aww, he misses me.

(SOUNDBITE OF TYPING)

ZICKEFOOSE: I miss you too.

Anymore, if I want to find out what's going on in his life, I've got to log on and fire up his blog. I'm trying to figure out when these slim, white machines took over our lives. Make no mistake, they have taken over.

I'm a naturalist. I spend part of each day out in the woods, watching birds and animals. I was very slow to embrace computers as anything more than confusing typewriters. I remember when I fired mine up once a week or so. Now it runs dawn to midnight, always on alert.

Bill lugs his laptop wherever he goes. He bought a wireless unit so he can wander all over the house and still be online. This cyper-coupe was fairly gradual, until Bill started keeping a blog. Suddenly, he was making daily entries as if his life depended on it. What's with that? I thought. He kept telling me I needed to keep a blog too. I didn't get it, until I tried it. It was like they say it is when you first try heroin. Whoops! Addicted.

I have a hit counter now that tells me how many different people have looked at my blog. I collect reader comments as if each were an affirmation of my worth as a human being. There's a person in Germany who scolds me, auf Deutsch, when I miss a day. This is weird, scary, and strangely satisfying at the same time. How did they find me? Why would they care?

Bill and I now judge events in our lives as to whether they are blog-worthy. When we're together, we have an unspoken agreement as to who gets to blog about whatever cool thing we encounter. It usually comes down to whoever's fastest with the camera, or who calls it first. If Bill tells me he's going to blog about a certain topic, I've got to pick something else. He gets kind of mad if I swipe his topic. And he's crestfallen if I haven't read his entry before we go to bed. A remarkably specific etiquette is emerging in this uncharted land.

SIEGEL: blogging, effect on relationships. 1,430,000 entries. Honey! Check this out! Honey?

Where is he? New message. To: B. Where are you? Can we talk?

SIEGEL: Julie Zickefoose and her husband, Bill Thompson, live, email and blog in the backwoods of Whipple, Ohio.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.