Online and off

mags via

All over the internet, I’m reading about people taking a break from the online noise. Can I add a resounding YES? Let me be the one-millionth person to say that I need a break from the constant onslaught of new media. I need less Twitter and Facebook in my life, mostly because I need to take a deep breath and live my own in real time.

I need to be bored for a day. I need to read a new book, thumb through the old Country Living magazines gathering dust, and snuggle up to the dog snoozing on the sofa. I need a glass of iced tea on the back deck while staring at the mounds of dirt shifting from one end of the yard to the other. I need to catch up on my laundry and sort through every school paper my kids have brought home since 2003. I need to wash paint brushes for my husband and dead head the flowers. I need a plan of attack for the embarrassment that is my basement. I need to drive my kids to basketball camp and listen when they speak. I need to look them in the eyes.

I need to set a better example.

I need to think my own thoughts. I don’t know if I’ve had an original one since I started reading other people’s blogs. Aren’t we all starting to sound alike? I want to hear the sound of my own voice rattling around in my head. I love what people create online, but keeping up with the latest posts and comments and issue of the week is exhausting. I don’t think my world was meant to be so big. I want to grow smaller, deeper, more intimate with the life playing our right in front of me every day. And I just can’t do that if I’m trying to stay abreast of the latest twitter rants on issues I don’t care about.

Here’s what I want to do–I want to follow and read and engage in the online world, but in a way that stimulates creativity and understanding, rather than sucks the life right out of me. How will I do this? I don’t rightly know. I’m open to suggestions. What or who do you follow online that you find life-giving? I personally heart Instagram. No fuss, no rants, no crazy-making. Just photos and a few funny or thought-provoking words from people I like. Instagram helps me see my own life better, and I find it’s almost impossible to make mine look or sound like someone else’s over there. It’s my real life in real time. Paintbrushes, school papers, puppy dog, and all.


What are you doing this summer to give yourself some head space from the online or in-real-life noise?


  • Perhaps we can be basement buddies? We have a big project to undertake there. Whew!

    • I literally want to curl into the fetal position when I think of it, Ann. Good luck on your project:) I hope you have some help!

  • Mark Allman

    I don’t do Facebook or Twitter. I do read blogs and some of the best I read are:


    These blogs move me and make me think.

    • Thanks for including me on this stellar list:) You mention a few that I know of, but don’t read regularly. I might need to check them out and readjust my current reading list!

  • KimberIy,
    It was nothing if not ironic: I recently changed my blog name to encourage “more traffic” only to then realize I had no inspiration to post anything. A lot of things went down this Spring and Summer that attributed to some of this, but I was still scratching my head over why? I think you nailed it: “nothing original, I need to think my own thoughts…aren’t we all starting to sound the same?” Yet, I crave a creative outlet and need to write {its not a matter of “like” anymore} and so this week instead of posting I opened up that pushed aside fictional book, buried in the files of my macbook, and wrote to help me get out of a writing and mood funk. I got more of a writing energy high than I have in months! I think because it was “my own thoughts” and when I was done writing there was no neurotic by-product of telling yourself “I don’t care about comments and traffic” but of course I do! Because really, that is pretty exhausting and just itching to turn into a real insecurity issue that has led, for me, into even more issues.
    So glad, that after weeks and weeks of feeling too cynical and depressed to read any blog posts I clicked on yours. It was not a coincidence! It was very validating. Enjoy the mags, dog naps, and flowers.


    • Leah, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Every word you wrote speaks volumes to me, and I appreciate you sharing your perspective. I’m working on a project offline as well, and you’re right–it’s so much more satisfying and less neuroses-inducing:) I hope you find a way to balance the work, and if you do, let me in on your secret.

  • JameyLynne

    “I need to think my own thoughts. I don’t know if I’ve had an original one since I started reading other people’s blogs. Aren’t we all starting to sound alike?”
    Amen, sister! I’m struggling with that in the blog world right now. I feel like I have to fit the mold in order to gain more readers and connect to other bloggers.

  • KimberlyAmici

    I can barely keep up on-line too… but in a good way. I have been turning the computer off when my kids are around (unless we are looking up a new recipe). I anticipate my plans being derailed so I can invite a neighbor over on the spur of a moment and feel good about it. Plus, I am getting up earlier, while everyone else is asleep, to find space in the quiet.

  • Tara_pohlkottepress

    yes.yes.yes. the only way i can survive within myself is to not try to keep up. sometimes that means not getting places that i love often enough (like here.) but it’s the only way i can engage and not be consumed. i’ve tried to find the perfect balance, but i think i’ve come to understand that i will never find it. so i try to just listen to the season i happen to be in. and as is the case, most often when i try to shut off – that’s when creativity shows up, and i believe its because there is finally the space for it to be invited! love this corner of the internet, you always create a place to sit down and rest.