Online and off

mags via kimberlyanncoyle.com

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.

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

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  • 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:

    http://www.leannepenny.com/
    http://tanyamarlow.com/
    http://www.gritandglory.com/
    http://www.messymiddle.com/
    http://accidentaldevotional.com/
    http://www.findtimefortea.com/

    🙂

    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.

    Cheers,
    Leah

    • 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.