I tend to think a lot, maybe too much sometimes, but it can also be a good thing.  Sometimes it is good to think and ponder things.  Recently I have been setting my mind on this giant thing called the Internet, or maybe more precisely social media and my role in this strange digital world.  I believe that there are good things that have come from the age of tweets, facebook updates, instagram posts, and the like, but like all things, there is a negative and even a dark side of this world as well.  It’s a negativity that can start small and grow until this little device in your pocket or on your desktop is at best a giant time suck and at worst a sneak soul suck.  My goal with this new year is to be more intentional with my time and involvement in this world.

There are photographers whose work and attitude toward the craft have long inspired me, there names are Ash and Jeremy Parsons, and their business is We Are the Parsons.  Recently they quit social media for a year, all of it, and chronicled their journey.  I have listened to their podcast, read their posts on it, and a few weeks ago I took part in something new that they offer – a detox. They want to help other people maneuver this tricky battlefield of a healthy relationship with social media, so, through a detox and thoughtful reflections and exercises, they offer their wisdom.   The week following Thanksgiving I started the detox.  So I deleted Instagram and Facebook from my phone. It was actually really freeing.  Every free second, bathroom break, time in line, I didn’t feel drawn by some invisible force to take out my phone.  I mean, I guess I did feel the draw, but then I remembered my detox and I left it there, sitting, and then engaged in my world.  And what a freeing thing that was.

The official detox has ended but I have been left wondering what my involvement on social media and sharing my life online will be.  I have given it a lot of thought, and I am still not sure I have gathered all my thoughts on the matter (I mean it is a huge subject – books could be filled with thoughts of this weighty subject).  But here are some of my thoughts in no particular order.

  1. I do enjoy some things that social media has to offer.  Connection to people that you know and love, inspiration from others who are thoughtful about what they put out into the world, humor, and maybe biggest of all, a place to share my creative and vulnerable self.  I have an urge and desire to share things that my weird brain thinks about, but at the same time I don’t want to add to the digital noise…which leads to my next point.
  2. I want to be thoughtful and discerning about what I put online and what I view.  What that means for me : a) trimming down the number of people I follow, b) limiting the number of times I check these pages per day and sticking with that. c) really thinking about what I am posting and not just posting to post. c) giving myself “challenges” (more on this later)
  3. Make writing more of a focus with all of my work, put thoughtful words along with thoughtful photos.

With that, I have decided to challenge myself with a couple things this New Year.

  1. I have a new challenge that I want to try for a little bit.  I’m not gonna say I am going to do this forever, but I would like to see where it goes.  If I decide to stop, I think I would still like to do another theme or challenge myself in some other way.  What I am going to try for a little bit is only posting images on instagram that don’t show Jonah’s face.  I think it could be a good way to challenge myself.  And try to be thoughtful in the writing that goes with the images.
  2. The photos that I take on my phone that I love that do have his face, I think I will put on my personal blog.
  3. I am doing a 365 project, those will be with my “big camera” and be posted about once a week on this blog.

Okay!  That’s all for now.  Here is to a thoughtful and memory-filled New Year!1-365small-1 IMG_0252-21. 1/365 My husband and my baby outside of my childhood home.  It represents a lot to me about my past and my future. 2.My first instagram challenge shot from this morning.  Jonah with his Nana.

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