Tag Archives: social media

How To Live In The Now – social media, content and unplugging

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We live in a world of now, now, now, gimme, gimme, gimme.

How did we become so obsessed with now. We don’t even have time to focus on the futuresome, it seems do not even care about the past, we just want it all and we want it now.

We are so in need, in lust for the now that anything else makes us impatient.

We are surrounded by the ‘instant’ – Twitter, Facebook. Vine. Insta(nt)gram

I primarily connected my figurative life line to social media in 2007 as a way to connect with my family and friends at home in London and across the globe, an easy way to share what I was doing and get the social reach easily to everyone I cared about when I was on the run and didn’t have time for a call or to write a letter  – technology has allowed me to face time with my Mum while I am out shopping to get her buy in on a dress I like or some shoes I’m contemplating adding to the collection. While I am connected to my family, I am also, now, so conditioned to getting everything out there right now – real time sharing, real time experiences.
I want to know if I’ve won – now. I want to know what people think – now. Who is liking my status, who is viewing my blog, what is my friend in another part of the world doing right now, I want my food order in 3 minutes.  I need the information and I need it now.

Capturing the moment

Capturing the moment

Don’t get me wrong – I love social media and what it has enabled us to do as individuals and as a global community, I like a fast pace, I like to have everything at my fingertips, but I’ve become so motivated by instant gratification that I’m not stopping to smell the flowers. I’m not taking in my life – the memories. Yes; every inch of the memory is captured in 140 characters or a heavily filtered and edited photo stored in a virtual cloud for the future, but am I living in that moment? Or am I merely capturing it?
Am I really listening or am I merely hearing?
Am I missing what’s really going on around me, now, because I’m so obsessed with the now.

My husband has created a social (media) experiment for us, mainly me, but us – can we, one day a week, tune out, shut down and turn off – can we leave our iphones, our ipad and our computer alone and just live in the moment, see the world through just one lens.

It’s time to take my moments. To realise that to really appreciate the now. I need to stop, inhale and absorb. Otherwise, my life will have flashed by in a series of uploads, tweets and posts.

Life is too short to not really LIVE in the now.

For more on our figurative life lines and our constant connection here is a great article on Huff Post – Disconnect: A New Movie Sounds the Alarm About Our Hyper-Connected Lives.

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My Dad and I at my wedding – one of the many life changing events this year.
Photo credit to: David Toms Photography

My father, calls me and asks “why haven’t you blogged in a while….I want to read your blog”. This is coming from the man who thinks I’m an over-sharer and can’t understand why everything has to be on social media these days. So I find it ironic that he is asking me to put more of me and my personal life out in to the social universe for him to read and proudly share with his friends and in some cases, his clients, but like the dutiful daughter that I am, I aim to comply and promise I will.

Four months have gone by since then and many, many, life changing events and still I haven’t been inspired to write, I don’t know why, I suppose it’s writers block, or lack of confidence, or ego, that my life isn’t that exciting, that other people want to read about it. But my Dad does and that’s what boosts me to lie awake on a Monday night until 5am writing.

I start writing about something completely ridiculous – my thoughts on the Kardashians. Mr. K tells me it’s a shallow topic (my thought – well that’s the point of them isn’t it?) and one that he doesn’t think really puts me in a good light, so I hit delete and go back to sleep.

I feel like I’m having a crisis of confidence, a lack of clear creative thought – why do I blog? What is the point? Who cares what I think?

I take another few days to think and then decide that I would go by my own blogging rules, my 3 rules that go against the blogging grain:

1)      I have to be an established writer:

False – Did Picasso or Van Gogh worry; did they care if everyone loved their work?

You write in the way you want and people will come to you. Writing is an art. A form of expression, Some people will love it. Others will hate it – be ok with that.

2)      You need a huge audience:

False – It doesn’t matter if you have 3 views or 30,000 views, this is what you want to write about. It’s your outlet. Are your writing for money and fame or to express yourself? It’s not a failure to only have 4 views in a week and one of them is your Mum, or in my case, my Dad.

3)      You must blog each week:

False – A lot of people carve out time. Force themselves or commit to blogging once a week. I don’t agree. Forcing yourself to write by a particular time is like asking someone to be innovative on a timer. Creativity, innovation and art come to you when you’re ready. They cannot be forced so don’t push yourself in to something that isn’t ready yet.

There are no ‘one size fits all’ rules for blogging, these may work for me, but not for everyone. Find what works for you and don’t panic when it isn’t working – take time out, breath and the words will flow.

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Blogging: Going Against The Grain