Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Spring Fever + Choosing Absence

I have the biggest case of spring fever. We’ve had such beautiful weather here in California after much rain, I’m so drawn to the blue skies and the warmth from the sunshine coming from the outdoors. Opening up the windows and doors to all this fresh air has inspired reorganization and cleaning projects at home as well, and a few days away from blogging.

I was writing up a post on trays because they’re the most helpful organizational tool and have that knack for making a random grouping look tray chic, pardon the pun.

 tray with succulents

image via

I’m still working on the roundup but I hit a wall and it dawned on me that I’m lacking the motivation to write this week. Perhaps it’s because it marks the beginning of my 8th year of blogging, a small milestone, so I’m taking time to pause and reflect.

Spring fever has my attention on daffodils in bloom and the lure of long coffee dates with friends. I’m feeling the same way I did in school in spring when I was trapped in a classroom staring out the window feeling restless and unable to focus, wanting to play hooky.

Blogging has changed so much since I started in 2009. What began as a fun hobby turned into a business, which I’m very thankful for since I love what I do. Over the years, the income stream has changed which is why bloggers (including myself) take on more sponsored posts. I do believe brand partnerships are a good thing if they make sense, are on message and mutually beneficial. But I’m also wary of turning off readers, it’s a delicate tightrope to walk.

Social media changed the way we share information and where we spend our time online. Pinterest was so powerful when it came on the scene (still is) and then came Instagram. I wonder what’s next and whether I’ll be able to keep up and I confess I get mentally exhausted at the idea of even trying. I’ve never been one to chase followers or likes because it doesn’t feel authentic to me to do that, but it’s undeniable that social media is powerful and bigger followings earn you the coveted title of “influencer” which leads to greater opportunities.

Despite that pull, I’ve chosen at times to be purposefully absent from social media. Changing algorithms on Pinterest and Facebook made followings less impactful since posts don’t equal views anymore, so I question whether and how much time to spend there at all. More importantly I’ve found that choosing absence opens up wider pockets of time that I’m able to fill with more productive work or meaningful experiences.

It’s nice to receive accolades, to be recognized for your work and to be featured, that type of exposure is an honor and can lead to greater opportunities, it has value. But in a society with a 24 hour news cycle where people move on quickly to the next best thing, I don’t think it’s worth killing yourself or sacrificing what brings you serenity to chase online fame and fortune. For me, contributing my verse to the play is enough.

Choosing periods of absence online helps me appreciate so much more the simple pleasures found in my personal life that come from that ray of sunshine through the window and my real human connections.

I’m curious of your thoughts on social media and the time spent online in your personal life, do you find yourself spending too many hours checking in online, or instead choosing absence? If, so how has it affected you?


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