Friday, December 14, 2012

What's On My Mind...

Lately I've been thinking a lot, (and I mean a lot!) about the role of social media in my life. It has brought about wonderful opportunities and many strong friendships, but on the other hand time spend on social media activities and work has come with a price tag. There are only so many minutes in each day, and no one can do it all. I have made some choices that I now realize perhaps weren't the smartest ones, like forgoing that meet up at a coffee shop with a girlfriend in order to finish up a project and blog post.

I was talking about this recently with one of my dear friends I met through this blog and she mentioned a quote she had heard recently, words that hit home for me. They went something along these lines...

"You're a winner online, but a loser in real life."

That stopped me in my tracks, I have to say. I don't want to wake up one day to look around and find that such a description could fit my life. So I promptly started texting friends I hadn't seen in too long, saying I missed them and when could we get together!

{citrus cake via Mint}

This weekend I'm focusing on some baking with my sweet Isabella and holiday preparations for a few parties coming next week. Ah, it's a good life...right here in my own town, offline, and hopefully I won't be forgetting that anytime soon! 

Do you have any thoughts you'd like to share on this topic?


  1. Well said. It is something to contemplate for sure. No wonder I love blogging, I get to live happy thoughts and design inspiration anytime I want to escape through the computer, and it is oftentimes not realistic. I don't want to covet things I don't have , I don't really need to change a thing in my own home, although I want to after seeing hundreds of beautiful things online all the time. It takes alot of time, and that time should be better spent in front of people with real time conversations. That's why I like to build relationships with bloggers I align with through phone conversations so it is not so fake.. Balance is the key, and it's hard sometimes! Happy baking and have a wonderful weekend Janell.
    xo Nancy

  2. Oh I hear ya!

    From pinterest, Facebook, instagram, twitter, blogging, one must wonder how good of a person they are outside of all these things. I mean really, what's left of you after you do all of that stuff all day? Oh yeah, you get to talk to your friends about it all:-/

    I'm starting my "vacation" next week too. I have a new nephew, the boys will be out of school, and it's the holidays! I want to enjoy this time and not spend too much time reading about it, pinning images of it, and so forth. Don't get me wrong, I love all of those things, but I'm realizing that finding balance is key!
    enjoy your break girl!

  3. I struggled with this for a while, and basically I decided to let my blog unofficially "die". I haven't posted in 10 months, and was very sporadic for a while before then. I work full time, and I realized I was coming home several nights a week or using a Sunday afternoon to line up posts - and not spending as much time with my husband as I wanted to. I just realized my priorities were out of whack. This realization also came around the time we finished decorating most of our home, so I also lost the motivation behinding posting - and didn't see any reason to force it. I know that isn't a realistic choice for you since your blog is such a big part of your business, but I understand the need to find more balance. I hope you're able to find a balance that works better for you - and if that means less posts, I don't think you'll lose many followers. Christine

  4. Oh goodness, I have so been thinking about this lately. In fact, I started a post that I haven't finished called "Social Media Exhaustion" because that's what it feels like. Blogging doesn't stress me out. I still love it (and consider it my job), but everything else that goes with it, and especially my personal Facebook page/friends completely wear me out sometimes. I heard someone say once that Facebook only lets you see the highlight reel of someone's life. That's hard to remember, sometimes.

    I am really looking forward to some time off over Christmas. Hope you get that time, too, to relax and enjoy "real" life. Merry Christmas, Janell!

  5. Janell, I so appreciate your posts on topics like this because I couldn't agree more. There are have been a few major things going on lately and it keeps pointing me in the direction to embrace "real life" moments as much as a I can. I hope to do that this weekend as well! Enjoy your face to face time this weekend! ;)

  6. Spot on Janell! I wrestle with this on a daily basis and have come to terms with the fact that my blog will never be the biggest or most popular. It fulfills a purpose for me, allowing my work and design aesthetic to be showcased for friends (real life and virtual) and clients, and that is OK. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, so many things to try to stay on top of that it is all consuming, exhausting and not necessarily rewarding. I even find that it can stunt my creativity with so much to see that it can limit original thought. Un plug occasionally, live in the now, that's my goal. Thanks for discussing.... Enjoy your cookie baking with Isabella and Happy Holidays!

  7. My husband and I were discussing something similar last night. He had read that the average American's bedtime is now midnight vs. 10pm, from a few years ago, due to social media. It's stealing our sleep too!

  8. I love that! I know my mother feels the same way. Me a bit less so, because my job and everything are online totally. But, I know it does take a toll when Im hacking away at the keyboard and my hubby is calling me to come spend time with him :/ good lesson for all of us to sit and think about.

  9. Interesting question...I am reading the Steve Jobs biography and Jobs felt that computers isolate us. Clearly they do, but through social media, they also connect us.

    In the larger scheme of life, it is certainly better to have face to face contact, but the blogging/social media world has opened up so many doors for so many people, that I can only view it as an overall positive.

    In the six months I have been blogging, I have learned so much and met so many nice people - I am happy I have had that opportunity!

  10. Well put Janell...and so timely during the season of "hussle and bussle". I have had the same thoughts and conversations with friends about this very topic. I really enjoy reading the comments here, from some of my favorite bloggers - so enlightening. It is definately a double edge sword. From working the social media and blogging I have been able to "meet" some incredible people, yet it does take time away from the "real" people in your daily life.
    I realized this early on and have decided that balance is the key to my success! The new year has some exciting opportunities for me and I am excited to be present and available for them!
    Happy weekend and enjoy your baking time with fun!

  11. I have been feeling exactly like that and have purposely tried to connect more to my real life and I am better for it. Like you, I have a teenage daughter and a tween daughter and I am more aware of how the behavior I am modeling will create who they are - that is my biggest motivation.

    From one Portland girl to another - let's go meet a girlfriend at Bridgeport for shopping or maybe checkout the new Tory Burch store at Pioneer Place, take our kids to Zoolights or a drive on Peacock Lane to see Christmas light and even head to Clarklewis for a date night with the hubby!!! Social media can wait!

    Merry Christmas to you!

  12. *** Nellie, I couldn't agree with you MORE!!! (And I don't even "work", BLOG, TWITTER, do FACEBOOK or anything like that!). I can't even IMAGINE having the time to do THAT, when I seem to ALWAYS be simply READING my fave design blogs!!!

    My sweet husband has actually "missed me"... and has told me so... now T*H*A*T made me REEEALLY stop and reeeally think...

    I love to read so many different blogs, but have had to CUT DOWN a B*U*N*C*H, and seldom take the time to comment anymore, realizing that there's only SO MUCH TIME available in a day...

    Family and dear friends first (we weren't blessed with children, I'm sorry to say)... and, after the horriffic tragedies of yesterday, I intend to spend MORE time telling my famly n' friends how much I love and appreciate them... ANNND, spend more time with them!!! We really HAVE no "guarantees" on tomorrow, do we?

    I think you made a good choice when you stop n' think about it, my friend.

    Sending you my very best for a wonderful Christmas and the family time that comes with it, Sweets...


  13. Such wise words! It is true that I have formed some fabulous friendships with other bloggers who live locally that I met through the social media world, but it is also true that having a social media presence means it takes away time from being in the now in "real" life! Since taking in a full time teaching position this fall I have hardly had time for my own family and friends let alone my online presence, but I am finally feeling fine about that. It is the people in my everyday life that stick with me. I find the online world a fickle place, everyone gravitating to the next "viral" DIY, etc. And then a few weeks later that is tossed by the wayside when another comes along. I see bloggers desperate for attention, I see a constant barrage of consumerism and want. It has been gratifying to step out of that and focus on what really matters in life.

  14. Janell, I have been feeling the very same way about social media. The past couple of weeks I haven't been blogging daily because I had too much to do and it felt good to feel that is was ok, not to write a blog every day. I'm getting off now to finish my decorations and enjoy my day with family. Merry Christmas! I am thankful that you dod blog, write HOF and are a blessing to so many!

  15. Yes, I'm super-concerned about the time I spend on social media (oops, here I am, doing it again). And yet, as a soon-to-be independent author, I'm heavily reliant on the online world to get word out. I imagine it's the same for you and your professional activities... I think we just have to hope to find a balance, not try to use every medium to its fullest... and set a timer ;)


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