2004_04_askerinblog.jpgA few years ago, I had a falling out with a close friend from college. It was a titanic blowout; a complete mess, with lots of nasty emails. We haven’t spoken since. Here’s my problem: my former-friend has a blog, and despite my best intentions, I find myself drawn to reading it at least once a week. What can I do to stop this pointless and irritating compulsion?
Stalker?, LES

There isn't too much harm in casually reading a blog every now and then, but if you really want to stop, here are some ideas:

Post a comment announcing your presence. Say something like, "Hey, there, I just happened upon your website, and I know we haven't talked in years, but I think your site is cool." If this prospect really terrifies you, that's a good indication that you really need to keep away from the blog. If not, though, a couple of outcomes could result. Either your friend will ignore you, send you a nasty reply, or email you back with, "Hey, long time no speak, how are you?" You can take it from there. (No need to develop into anything, just a casual, "Your website is cool" exchange, then drop it and leave it alone.)

If you have no intention of rekindling the hip, reaching out may not be the best idea, though. Delete the blog from your bookmarks. Ween yourself off of it; try to check it less and less. Find other blogs to distract yourself.

Bottom line, though, is it's just a blog, and anyone who is willing to put their thoughts and ideas on the internet has to be aware that anyone - former , ex-lovers, co-workers, parents - could be reading, and takes that risk when posting. A good tip is to keep your audience in mind when you are blogging, because you just never know who might be reading.

Related: What to do if your friend has a bad blog.