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Summary:

The blogosphere’s reaction to the attention-grabbing headline in The New York Times is equally attention-grabbing. Having lived through a health scare, I have a different perspective on not only this whole blog thing but on life, some of which I have shared in the past with […]

Cloudy Day In Miami. Miami Beach View

The blogosphere’s reaction to the attention-grabbing headline in The New York Times is equally attention-grabbing. Having lived through a health scare, I have a different perspective on not only this whole blog thing but on life, some of which I have shared in the past with the readers of this blog.

Suffice to say the problems in my case were brought on by a combination of factors, including the 24/7 lifestyle, bad health choices and yes, a desire to do everything. My doctors told me that if you are going to spend an inordinate amount of time in front of a computer screen at night, you might have a tough time going to sleep. The screen flicker makes your eyes, and your mind, think it’s daytime, hence you have trouble sleeping.

If you drink too much coffee, you are going to have trouble sleeping. If you don’t sleep your heart works longer hours and has to pump more blood and is under stress. Problems get compounded when you are a smoker, are overweight, lead a sedentary life (phone/computer) and/or are on a plane constantly.

Those were my issues, and I think are some of the same issues experienced by fellow bloggers, startup founders, journalists, corporate lawyers, cab drivers, Wall Street analysts and presidential candidates. They’re also issues many people in Silicon Valley deal with on a day-in, day-out basis but refuse to acknowledge. Do yourself a favor: Get yourself checked out by a doctor.

Having walked away alive from my health problems, I have learned a few lessons, some of them I have shared with friends, who reminded me about why I really started to blog in the first place. One of those truths in the words of my blogging guru, Doc Searls, one is about chilling out. Blogging doesn’t need to be a race. Really.” Sometimes you need to learn these lessons the hard way. I certainly have.

That is why I am in Miami this weekend — little bit for work, but mostly to sit in the Sun. Too bad, the Sun god isn’t cooperating today.

  1. You are absolutely right. Blogging is fun, and can be lucrative, but shouldn’t be one’s life — or cost someone their life. Thanks for the perspective.

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  2. [...] — just ask Om Malik. //OBSTART:do_NOT_remove_this_comment var [...]

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  3. What the article fails to mention is that heart disease is endemic in America generally. Pretty specious to cite three cases (including yours) and suggest that the blog business is to blame. I think the level of stress in American life is going up across the board thanks to changes in employment practices. Say what you will about organized labor, but you can thank unions for the 40 hour work week, health care and workplace safety laws.

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  4. hi Om,

    at first sorry about my bad “german”-english. OK: i had an heart attack too, in the last year, i was six month ill and it was very strong. So i can understand you very well. I hope, your don´t will forget jour good plans (relax, chill and mybe blog). Life ist so short … sometimes. Best regards. HGH

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  5. Should check with doctor if we can be blogging addictive :)

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  6. [...] Malik’s thoughtful take on the issue is here, and Henry Blodget says the startup life probably has more to do with the phenomenon than blogging [...]

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  7. @ Hanz I feel you. I have to always remind myself of the truism of the statement you just made

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  8. @ Jackson West,

    Amen to that. In fact Cardian-related diseases are becoming the silent killer not only in the US but also in new emergent economies like India as well. Reason: globalization is making too-much-work mentality as pervasive as Big Macs, Nokias and Coca Colas.

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  9. true words, brother om. hope the weather turns better for you. i shouldn’t tell you this, but it’s gonna be another gorgeous day in the bay :)

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  10. @ charles cooper,

    sun’s out, sitting by the pool, look at the ocean (gorgeous ladies) and getting ready to fall asleep reading a book. perfect. you guys debate, joost-microsoft-yahoo and everything else. i am out for the day!

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  11. Hi Om:
    Interesting points. Hope you have fun in Miami. Away from all the Silicon Valley noise. Having started blogging myself for couple of months now, I can definitely say it takes a toll on your life big time. I guess the race to become popular or the lucrative money that comes with blogging makes it even more difficult to go slow. So, what do u think is the solution to this big problem that is slowly becoming the silent killer? Is being an entrepreneur bad or it’s just that you pay for what you want. My point is, if you want to be successful in any of these arena you mentioned, it needs enormous amount of hard work, dedication, energy and time. Does it mean, u have to decide whether u are cut out for this before you take a plunge. Would love to hear your insights on this.

    Cheers,
    Omfut

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  12. [...] eliminating bad habits such as smoking and drinking lots of coffee.  Malik personally responded by writing a blog post in Miami while on [...]

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  13. [...] you do today, please read Om’s current post site on the main site, Relax, Chill and maybe Blog, about the detriments of drinking too much coffee, spending too much time in front of your computer [...]

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  14. Hi Om -

    Are you pickin’ up a wifi signal out there? :)

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  15. Sachin Balagopalan Sunday, April 6, 2008

    NYT should have done a story on the real epidemic in America – the 24/7 around-the-clock internet economy…

    http://tinyurl.com/3paf74

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  16. I think spending all day in front of a computer is possible – and getting to sleep can still be very easy, but you have to get a significant amount of exercise during the day – as much exercise as you would get if you had a meaningful job that included some kind of actual labor.

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  17. So computers or better computer networks triggered an industrial revolution after all. Only it’s a reverse one. Instead of letting people work less and get better heath, it’s the opposite. People work more and it might kill them earlier, guess we will know in another decade.

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  18. Enjoy your trip, Om.

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  19. The sun God is blogging. ;)

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  20. [...] bzw. Herzinfarkt gestorben sind und ein dritter, mir ebenfalls unbekannter Blogger, nämlich Om Malik, 41, seinen beiden Kollegen aufgrund eines Herzanfalls beinahe ins Grab gefolgt [...]

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  21. Hey brother! Wow, this post is an eye opener. I’m definitely going to book an appointment for an annual checkup, which I haven’t done in about 3 years. Like may founders, I sit behind my computer screen or am on the phone over 10 hours a day – everyday. My life has become very sedentary over the last 7 years. For the next 7 days I am going to be down in Southwest Florida though, I need a little R&R before my doctor’s visit. Take care!

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  22. Om,

    After the sun goes down, stop by SW 8th Street for some Ropas Viejas and Platanos Fritos.

    –rj

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  23. Om,

    Thanks for the sanity check. One NYT headline and three blogger heart attacks (including yours) does not make an alarming industry trend. Plenty of stress in the world to go around in all types of professions as you rightfully point out.

    -JB

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  24. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about my own health because of all of the above. And I’m not even 40.

    Thanks for the post, Om, and helping us to chill.

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  25. I’m just a blog reader and I find it exhausting keeping up. I can’t imagine the pressure. I’m a writer who works at home but my deadlines are months away, not hours or minutes. My sleep patterns are all out of whack. I felt a LOT better when I took daily 45 minute walks and I think I’m going to start that up again…it’s not only good for your body but it clears out your brain from information overload. Just too much damn stimulation.

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  26. For one of my sites we dropped from posting several times a day to only several times a week…and traffic went UP.

    Explain that.

    My guess: quality over quantity. And I’m much less stressed while I’m at it.

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  27. Om:
    I am glad you are doing much better. I am a big fan of the insight you bring to this area.
    My 2 cents:
    Blogging is not a race. If all you bring to the discussion is being the first to talk about a topic, then you deliver little value to the community. As long as you bring real insight when the topic is fresh (say within the last 24 hours), that delivers real value to me.

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  28. [...] of life and try to be healthy. Don’t let something happen before you come to a realization, learn from others and if you spend a lot of time at a desk, in front the computer, blogging, reading a lot of blogs [...]

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  29. Easier said than done!!! When the CIO’s and CEO’s are only too happy to sign on the dotted line of outsourcing agreement and the average IT guy here in the USA has been under the gun for the last few years – and their are mortgages and college fees to pay – how exactly you propose us to lead a stress free life? Enough of this preaching!!

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  30. [...] mentioned in the article who recently survived a heart attack – blogs about the Times story in this post titled ” Relax, Chill and maybe Blog.” It is worth reading for anyone that may be pushing it too [...]

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  31. Om,

    Thanks for the kind words. I do remember when you were starting out, and asked me for advice and stuff. It’s been gratifying to watch your growing success in life. And I’m extremely pleased that you lived through your recent “lesson”, and are doing fine.

    I’m also glad you’re chilling out. Even if it’s in Miami. (Which has been blistering hot every time I’ve been there.)

    Anyway, so here I am, overweight, 60, and watching the flickering screen too late at night, getting ready to take advice from both of us. :-)

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  32. @ Roger Jennings

    Maybe tomorrow night. today was too mellow to do anything.

    @ SRK, you have a very valid point. I just think despite the challenges, some minor behavior modifications can help go a long way.

    @ Trevor: Spot on brother.

    @ Sean: I just needed a HA to get that message through to me again.

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  33. Dude .. Miami?? you should have gone straight to the islands instead of Miami. Miami’s weather always sucks.

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  34. [...] Prolific blogger Om Malik, who suffered some life-threatening health problems late last year, shares some insights his doctor gave as to why web workers have health problems. Why my doctors told me that if you are going to spend [...]

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  35. The article definitely highlights the need for all technology workers and those intent on a 24/7 lifestyle to take breaks and reset. Meditation and yoga are a great way to do that, as well as exercise and breaks for rest. There is more scientific evidence that a program of meditation can decrease stress in the body and actually change brain structure, leading to a calmer and less stressful existence. Even just 15 minute breaks twice a day are enough to produce lasting impact and change the quality of your life.

    Michael

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  36. [...] einen Infarkt. Er überlebte knapp und mußte dem Treiben in seinem TechBlog "GigaOm" einige Zeit vom Krankenbett aus [...]

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  37. [...] You know what? I think Om has it right. Take a break and head for Miami. But for those of us who must deal with the home front. A few [...]

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  38. [...] »Can you die from Overblogging« ist eine Frage, die sich durchaus stellt. Tatsächlich hat es kürzlich zwei Todesfälle gestresster Blogger gegeben: Russell Shaw und Marc Orchant starben an Herzversagen. Om Malik, als Betreiber von GigaOM ein weiterer prominenter Autor, hatte Ende letzten Jahres einen Herzinfarkt, den er aber glücklicherweise überlebte. Er hat die Konsquenzen gezogen und will die Angelegenheit nun entspannter angehen. [...]

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  39. [...] April 7, 2008 — The Rooster In the last 24 hours there has been a flurry of posts in reaction to an article on The New York Times, basically saying that the bloggers lifestyle is a [...]

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  40. [...] einem Herzinfarkt. Wenig später ereilte den nur 41-jährigen Om Malik, Autor des Techblogs GigaOm das gleiche Schicksal; immerhin: Er überlebte knapp. Und erst vor wenigen Wochen starb mit [...]

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  41. Have fun in Miami. Get to Rascals (or is it Wolfie’s) if you can.

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  42. [...] Relax, Chill and maybe Blog > Om Malik Lessons of stressful lifestyle and, oh yes, blogging … learned. Posted in 874. [...]

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  43. Hi there! This is a good piecing reminder on the need to maintain work-life balance, opps should be blog-life balance.
    You take care and have fun in life.
    It is so very often that we want to blog about everything and anything, even more the more thematic ones, they would want to blog about everything and hope that they can share, tell others, instruct, generate traffic, publicize and so on. Its all about balance fo the sake of long term sustainability and identitiy.

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  44. [...] Relax, Chill and maybe Blog – GigaOM My doctors told me that if you are going to spend inordinate amount of time in front of a computer screen at night, you might have tough time going to sleep. The screen-flicker makes your eyes and your mind think it is day time, hence you have trouble sle (tags: lifestyle life health sleep heart stress) [...]

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  45. [...] Malik put it in a post after the Times’ story: “Suffice to say the problems in my case were brought on by a combination of factors, [...]

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  46. [...] nice to see that a few weeks after I started writing less, other, more authoritative sources, have chimed in with their findings, validating my own thoughts. [...]

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  47. Rosebud.

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  48. [...] Relax, Chill and maybe Blog – GigaOM My doctors told me that if you are going to spend an inordinate amount of time in front of a computer screen at night, you might have a tough time going to sleep. The screen flicker makes your eyes, and your mind, think it’s daytime, hence you have trou (tags: life lifestyle blogging blog) [...]

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  49. Just wanted to share my own experience of fighting computer/blogging related stress:

    Try to find a hobby which does NOT include your computer/blogging. Personally I took up golf a couple of years ago…and it helps me focus on something else for hours and make me want to finish working so I can get on the golfcourse.

    Relax and take a deep breath ;o)

    Villy

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  50. Balance in your life can be achieved by having at least one active interest that gets you away from the computer on a daily basis. You have to love it as much as blogging I guess. Surfing is one of the best ways to achieve inner and outer balance. It combines the physical and spiritual and fulfills our innate – yet for some undsicovered need – to connect with nature. Visit Our Site

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  51. [...] streaming links for details. There was a lot of buzz last week about the pace of technology causing bloggers to sacrifice health for work, but this might be a way for technology to actually help improve the situation. You can force [...]

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  52. [...] Prolific blogger Om Malik, who suffered some life-threatening health problems late last year, shares some insights his doctor gave as to why web workers have health problems. Why my doctors told me that if you are going to spend [...]

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  53. [...] I question why they would think I’m working and what they are doing working at that time. If it weren’t time sensitive news, I would consider it a function of their lives and schedules, but somehow thinking I might respond anywhere near that time is crazy. So this “all-work-anytime” culture is a problem in my opinion, because it expects a rapid response at any time of the day or night, and also breaks down an accepted time and place when business can be conducted. I doubt that is sustainable, and already is driving a lot of stress. [...]

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  54. [...] mentioned in the article who recently survived a heart attack – blogs about the Times story in this post titled ” Relax, Chill and maybe Blog.” It is worth reading for anyone that may be [...]

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  55. [...] missing out on hours of an opportunity to gaze at the beauty of Wyoming’s mountains, laze on Miami’s beaches or simply soak in the billion shades of [...]

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  56. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

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  57. [...] einem Herzinfarkt. Wenig später ereilte den nur 41-jährigen Om Malik, Autor des Techblogs GigaOm das gleiche Schicksal; immerhin: Er überlebte knapp. Und erst vor wenigen Wochen starb mit Russell [...]

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  58. This is a good reminder that sometimes it’s best to slow down and let things happes as they may. It always feels like a race to me, and I have to remind myself that everyone needs a break every now and then.

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