|There's more than one way to do things|
Well, as with anything, you have to call your shots. There are, after all, so many hours in the day.
I used to check slashdot (and a couple of different newsgroups) out every couple of days/weeks to make sure I was up on the headlines. Now, I rarely go there, in part because of the, er, free-wheeling nature of the place.
I spend a lot of my free time here (perhaps more than I should). By doing so, I've not only learned a lot about Perl, but I've also collected a huge number of random links (enough so that I'm working on a script to consolidate those and upload them to a central respository as an exercise.)
But, in order to truly learn something, you've got to roll up your sleeves and write some code. Only through making your own mistakes will you learn to prevent them. It's great to read how others solved problems, but if you don't make some of your own, you won't be able to make the transitions from apprentice to journeyman to master.
Some time away may be helpful, but I don't recommend you completely isolate yourself from all communities, just budget a set amount of time for the communities you find most helpful. If you have certain coding practices you follow, regardless of the language, use that same discipline in your community participation.
(And, yes, I'm finding I have less and less patience with zealotry.)