Take in the moment

October 18, 2013 |  Category:   life

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This is Lake Crescent, one of the stops that we made on our drive towards Canada while we were out west this summer. It was one of those scenic views that took your breath away. As soon as we got out of the car, the iPhones came out, of course, as everyone in our traveling party snapped pics and uploaded them to IG or Facebook. It’s like we’re not capable anymore of just taking in a moment without snapping a photo and sharing it with everyone (and I do recognize the irony of posting this photo here). How did it become this way? Are we so conditioned now to capture these moments digitally instead of trying to burn them in our memories? Because it didn’t happen if there isn’t a photo…

 

It’s interesting, but as part of a generation who did live more than half our lives without computers and the internet, it’s almost unfathomable to imagine what life was like without either. What did we do when we had a question back in those days? Did we just walk around not ever getting our question answered? So does that mean we are holding much more information in our heads now? The internet is too ingrained in our lives and reaching for that phone and checking email and logging on to social networks has almost become automatic, like part of our muscle memory. I’m finding that I have to untrain myself from some of these habits as I try to pull away a bit from online life.
 
I was thinking the other day about “the good old days of blogging”, when I used to write here everyday and the thought kind of boggled my mind. Not really sure what I was writing about daily, but I must have made blogging a priority back in those days because I’m finding it hard to fit it all in lately. I also think that I felt more comfortable writing about things more freely including issues centering around parenting so there was more to write about. I know that I haven’t been posting as much lately and I know that it’s been sort of boring around here (and yes, I have lost readers due to these changes), but it feels like a more comfortable balance. Not everything has to or should be shared (on another tangent I was thinking recently how glad I wasn’t on Facebook when I was pregnant with either of the 2 girls). I have a lot to think about in terms of setting an example for the girls on how to use social media responsibly whenever they do enter that world. We aren’t there yet (and more on that later), but it’s inevitable.
 
Like everything that is addicting, moderation is healthy. I used to feel like I would be missing out if I wasn’t chatting with friends throughout the day on social networks. What I learned was that I was missing my focus and the ability to enjoy a moment all to myself.

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  • Lulu October 18, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    I do miss your stories about the girls. But i also understand what you are doing. My boys are your girls age, they dont even want pictures taken anymore.

  • Melissa@Julia's Bookbag October 18, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    I sometimes wish I lived in a world without FB……I guess I COULD live in that world, make that choice for myself, but I would miss reading about what far flung cousins and friends are up to….. SO HAPPY I wasn’t online when I was preggo too!

  • Deirdre October 18, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I was on my 3rd grader’s field trip today and one of the boys said to another, “Oh, you’re on instagram? Follow me!” I almost couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It is true that we can’t just experience things anymore. How many people went to the MoMA Rain Room JUST to document it? And how is this affecting our kids when they see pictures of their friends together on Instagram and they’re not invited? It’s hard enough to have those things happen as adults.

    And yet I’m so thankful to have connections to old friends through social networks, and see pictures of their kids and feel like I know them a bit better because of it.

    It’s a world we have to learn how to be in and teach our kids to navigate, for the good and the bad, I guess.

    • Jenna October 19, 2013 at 8:19 am

      instagram accounts for 3rd graders are ridiculous, D!

  • Kathleen October 18, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    I don’t comment as often as I should (or would like) but just wanted to say that I’m still here and really love reading what you have to share – regardless of how that sharing changes. XO

    • Jenna October 19, 2013 at 8:19 am

      Thanks Kathleen.

  • Desiree October 18, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    So true. Not everything has to be shared all the time with everyone. I think it is healthy to tune out to the social media zone and tune into the real world and keep a balance between these two. Blogging should be something that is fun and enjoyable not something that should become a must or a fear of missing out of some kind.
    Have a nice weekend.

  • Kiana October 20, 2013 at 2:30 am

    I refused to get on FB for years and when I finally joined, I put up all these privacy settings to make sure no one could find me and now irony of all ironies, I have a blog where I post about my life, show pictures of myself and my baby boy and share my thoughts with the world. I fully appreciate what a contradiction I have become. I guess I don’t worry about it too much because no one reads my blog anyway so I never feel that I have to censor myself. In a way, I think that more exposure kills a blog faster than anything because you start to worry more about posting what your audience wants to read than what’s actually true about your life.

    • Jenna October 20, 2013 at 2:45 am

      I think you’re right about the exposure being a big factor in killing some blogs, but I don’t think in my case I am worrying about posting what readers might like to read rather than what is an unfiltered look about my life – I’ve never done that and it wouldn’t change regardless of how many readers i have. I think it’s rather that the exposure is making me feel like pulling back a bit which is why I am not unhappy that my readership has grown smaller over the last 2 years. The internet is also a much different place than when I first started to blog here almost 6 years ago.

      • Kiana October 20, 2013 at 4:26 pm

        Oh Jenna, I hope you know I didn’t mean your blog. I meant blogs in general can get ruined when the bloggers start posting things that don’t reflect their life or their beliefs or their reality. I don’t think of your blog like this at all. I want to be clear on that. :=)

  • Lena October 20, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I loved your blog then and I love it now. Blogosphere changed so much, and while most blogs commercialized to a comical degree, and especially parenting blogs, yours remain true. I think you found a very good middle ground. And while I miss more overt post, I would certainly feel like an intruder to read them, now that the girls are older and internet is such a different place.

    I remember reading your blog, when I was not a parent and lived in a different country. I still love New York as I first saw it through your photos.

  • Xanna October 20, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Hello Jenna! This is my first time posting a comment though i have been following your blog for about a year. Not sure what exactly prompted this but i thought it’s time to say Hi! I am so grateful to have chanced upon Sweet Fine Day, for yours is the one and only blog that strangely gives me emotional fulfilment from reading it.. Perhaps it’s the zen-ness you exude from the style of your writing, or the way you pen your inner thoughts so well.. I find myself being able to relate to your thoughts, and it feels great to know someone identifies with you on things other people probably care the least about. Most of all I love seeking solace through writing too, an introvert kind of thing. I hope you don’t stop writing. Lots of silent supporters out there like me, i’m sure.

  • SY October 20, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m entirely guilty of posting both on IG and Fbook…this summer though, we were in Maui and we only have about 6-8 pictures from the entire trip. The good news is that the lack of photos were because we were too busy snorkeling, swimming and hiking with them. I am slowly learning that perhaps I don’t need to post every milestone in our lives. Thanks for the reminder, it’s going to take me some time to kick the habit a bit.

  • Meike October 21, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Jenna, you’re so right. Thank you for asking questions like that and reminding us of the days back when there was no internet, or not as much, or just not as overwhelmingly there. I love your blog and your frankness about things. I love how it’s not as picture-perfect as the others out there (even though your photos are so, so beautiful). Please keep on writing and posting.

  • Helle February 8, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    I know you wrote this a long time ago, but still – moderation is healthy – exactly, that is why I basically stopped reading any blogs in June last year, was spending way too much time reading about other people instead of doing enough in my own life. I am slowly going back to some of the blogs I read, yours is one of them, many others have been left behind.

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