How do you live with daily inspiration in a distracting world?

What has been the most inspiring time of your life? Do you have one?

A time that you felt the most creative thought, the most wonder, the most directed in your decisions? A time of personal enlightenment?

The last several months I have struggled with discontent. Okay, let’s be honest. The last YEAR πŸ™‚ Maybe longer…

I finally asked myself the above questions and was a little surprised by my answer.

My most inspiring time of life? I would have to admit that it was 1999-2005. My college undergraduate experience.

Me. Circa 2004 in live performance for my Junior Recital. Image by Ron Adair.
  • I was a Music Major at USU and was so in love with my major that I would sit on the front row of every class and tap my feet in anticipation for class to start. (Total music geek!)
  • I had phenomenal instructors who were passionate about their calling as a teacher. It was not unusual for me to leave a class or private lesson with major life applications that I could draw from their simple music instruction.
  • I journaled a lot.
  • I drove to and from campus in silence because I had so many great things to think about.
  • I spent about 8 hours a day creating/performing music that was inspiring in its message and its craft.
  • I had really great friends.

SIDE NOTE: I was also insanely busy, constantly studying and doing homework or practicing, freaking out about deadlines or tests, going through the usual college heart aches and insecurities, and over working myself.

But overall, I was essentially happy and inspired the majority of the time.

Why do I not feel that way now? What has changed?

Obviously, I’m no longer a student on a campus, but in many ways I’m an even better student now than I was then. I take regular classes both online and in my community, not to mention I read voraciously. Getting information and being in a learning environment was not the difference.

I am married now and have a family. But that shouldn’t matter either.

I’m actually less busy now than I was in college–so technically that should be working in my favor too.

What is the difference? As soon as the thought came, I immediately knew it was true.

Distraction. My level of distraction has significantly changed.

Those early college years I didn’t have a cell phone. Facebook didn’t exist yet. I had an email account but it was not even close to being the major player it is today. Blogging was something I’d only heard about but didn’t have time or interest for. The first ipod I saw was in my senior year and it was still considered an expensive luxury item.

But really, no one was plugged in all that much yet. We’d ride the campus bus and talk to people. We’d walk across campus and talk to our friends. We made eye contact. We were left to our own thoughts during any moment of downtime.

That was the difference.


I wanted that back. I wanted to reclaim the enlightened life I led back then.

I wanted my mind back…you know, when I could think through entire thoughts and get some depth out of them without buzzing in my brain to the next thing to check.

But how do you do that and co exist with the world we live in today? I can’t go cold turkey on digital technology, nor do I want to.

It’s a problem that both scares and fascinates me. I’m making it a matter of personal study and research to find some answers.

How do you cope?

Do you feel that you live slow enough to take in regular moments of enlightenment and take advantage of digital distractions? Can you have both? Is your most inspired time of life right now? I want to know! I’ll be actively responding to this conversation for the next 24 hours HERE. Please share your thoughts!


Brooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah. She is by nature, overly introspective. She listens to Gregorian chant in the morning, Jack Johnson in the afternoon and in the evening? Β She makes her own music! You should hear her yodel πŸ™‚

Brooke teaches inspiring online photography classes that bring you confidence in your skills and creativity.


35 Responses

  1. Thanks so much for this post, Brooke. I am going to try a “technology timeout” for awhile, I think. I have been feeling so burned out and like I am always “plugged in” but yet like I am never accomplishing anything. For me, I think I am going to set aside specific times during the day when I can check in on thing–it just isn’t working for me to be always available via phone, text, email, facebook message, etc. Hopefully by having established check-in times it will free me to be more creative and free the rest of the day.

    1. I love this Sara! Setting up personal boundaries is really important. I think it’s quite significant that we allow ourselves to connect with the outside world during times of quiet and privacy that we would never call someone on the phone or have someone over πŸ™‚ ha ha! How many times have I checked my email lying in bed or at some insane hour like 3 a.m.? Drawing the line on when we’ll make ourselves available is a brilliant idea πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

  2. I am actually so very busy I feel insane most of the time. Actually, I often forward your emails to my assistant and we both enjoy reading them and discussing. I have found that right now in my life, lawyer, single mom to 3 tweens, etc., I take a lunch break. It can be with a friend, my mom, or my kids. We leave the house and everything digital and take a seat at one of our fav local eateries and just enjoy an hour of so of good food and conversation. This is not the ideal solution, but between my busy schedule and my kids school and activities – it works for us. For me during the week and for my kids on weekends. Yes, I do cook! So, it’s not about the convenience or the food itself, it’s just about being out and the conversations – minus the distractions that follow us home. Sometimes, when we have extra time, we add a walk. Of course, we live in a mild climate, which makes it much easier. But even in cold weather, a nice bowl of soup and a cup of coffee make a wonderful break from the constant junk swirling around us all. Thanks for the topic! Elizabeth

    1. Oooh! Elizabeth! I love that you have this tradition of taking a fun lunch break and leave the house and leave digital! You talk about how this gives you the time to have some good conversation–something that is often neglected today with the real face to face people in our life as we connect in short fragmented thoughts with people in the virtual world. Having that as a regular or daily experience can do so much to nourish our soul and strengthen those relationships that are really the most important! Thank you so much for sharing!!!!

  3. This was such a fantastic message Brooke. I read it in the e-mail and I was like, whatever challenge she issues I’m going to do it! And then there was nothing … I don’t really have any ideas perse (although personal boundaries and technology time outs all sound great) however, I’m all ears. I need to set some broader boundaries with technology. πŸ™‚

    1. Ha ha ha!!! Actually, I did have some challenges I thought of leaving, but opted out πŸ™‚ I thought the post was getting too long, and really, I’d much rather have a conversation about it at this stage! I’m interested in possibly creating a course on “digital detox” and would love to know where everyone’s hang ups are and what they find helps them out πŸ™‚

      1. Ooh a course would be interesting!

        I do think the digital technology is wonderful, awful … It is wonderful because, like someone else said, it was because of technology that I found your site here (through Clickin’ Moms) … it is through technology that I have a FB group of 20 like-minded ladies learning photography and am daily challenged and growing.

        On the other hand the digital noise is tough. It can be hard to be in the present moment when you are always plugged in. And it is hard to not compare your work and growth with others.

        So I think you have some very valid and interesting thoughts and I look forward to reading more about this πŸ™‚

  4. I have felt like this for quite a while. In fact, just today I was berating myself for the time I was spending on Facebook, email, etc instead of spending it with my daughter. I also find that the time I spend on Facebook actually makes me feel like somewhat of a failure as a photographer…always comparing my work and journey to someone else’s and feeling like I don’t measure up. Talk about squashing creativity!!
    Social media and technology have become addictions that seem to take more from life than give. One example that I will give…I was at my 8 year olds basketball game recently. As I looked out across the packed bleachers, I saw one parent after another with their heads buried in their phones or tablets. Hardly, anyone was watching their child. I was saddened by this. What if their child looked over at them and saw that they weren’t even paying attention to their game? How does it feel when someone isn’t paying attention to what you are doing? After seeing that, I promised myself that I would be fully present at my son’s games. If my kid looked over he would see his mothers smiling face looking back at him.
    Last random thought…I have wondered if a photography business can survive and thrive without Facebook. Most of my business doesn’t come from Facebook anyway…it generates from my blog.
    I could go on and on about my thoughts regarding social media. πŸ™‚ ha!
    Thanks for this post and I look forward to reading the other comments.

    1. Oh wow! Melissa! Thank you so much for sharing your experience! That story about parents at the game is so sad, and yet I can absolutely see it in my mind and believe it! I’m so glad that you learned from that observation and declared that you wouldn’t do that yourself at the games. That will make a huge impact on your son!

      I love how you describe facebook as taking more than it gives. I feel very similar. Sometimes going through a good cleanse of our “friends” and our “likes” can help clean up the newsfeed, or even selecting certain people or businesses never show up in the newsfeed (this is an awesome feature I just discovered!) But boundaries seem to be a really key factor with facebook being a useful space.

      Can you have a photo business without facebook?? Great question. I think you totally can. You may end up with different clients, but maybe that is the client that you want πŸ™‚ One of my favorite people/and photographers–Treacy Mize–doesn’t even have a blog. Her entire marketing strategy is based on her email list. (which I personally think is brilliant..but she has a well crafted inspiring message to share with people that isn’t just photography, so it wouldn’t feel like constant sales pitches and glimpses of the latest sessions.) Regardless, I do believe that there are other ways to market yourself that are still quite effective, if that is what you feel more comfortable with and more fulfilled by. I haven’t paid attention to my facebook page hardly ever. I have an automated widget that posts my blog posts there, and occassionally (and I mean super occasionally) I do a real status post, but not very often. Surprisingly it still manages to grow. A lot of my hits do come from facebook, but not from me actually being active there. It’s simply where/how people see my post and then they link over to my blog. There are ways πŸ™‚

  5. I think the phenomenon you describe is the normal result of a good college education. I think students today–even with all the technology and social networks–still experience it. College is a wonderful insular world where one can be a grown-up yet still indulge in exploring subjects that are exciting without the responsibilities of being a grown-up. I often long to go back to my college years (when, by the way, email barely existed, and I didn’t get a school account until my last year of college!!). I’ve been toying with the idea of an internet diet, too, because lately it’s been bringing me down–making me doubt myself and the value of what I do. However, I don’t want to give it up either because of things like your post and all of the wonderful places I go to learn new things. I’m not sure what the solution is except to try to live in the moment. When I’m not being enriched by technology, I try to let it go for a while. When I’m not feeling inspired, I try to go out and do a hard thing. For me a hard thing could be anything from just walking out the door to planning a complicated project. It just depends on where I might be in my journey. I’m really struggling with one of those times right now. And who knows, maybe it’s just the winter blues, but I still have to find a way to come out on the other side. I think I’m happiest when I’m learning something, so when I embark on a new quest for knowledge, that is when I live the most balanced and contented life. That is when technology serves a purpose. So what do I want to learn about right now? (Eeeek. I wrote an essay!!)

    1. Jen, you’re right πŸ™‚ College is a magical time πŸ™‚ alas πŸ™‚

      You’re right, there are so many great things about technology, the internet, the information that is so easily available. Finding the balance is obvious quest. Why is that always the answer! ha ha!

  6. Brooke! This is so timely and strikes so many chords with me! I too have struggled with feeling dissatisfied, and uninspired, but had yet to connect the dots. For me, it was doubly confusing, becuase it is only in my recent life that I have discovered my love for photography. I had even begun to wonder if spending so much time on my photography was the source of my feelings. I now feel the true culprit may be my email, my facebook, my phone.

    The times I feel most inspired, fulfilled, and happy are the times I spend out in nature – exloring, hiking, camping, photographing, unplugged. I don’t even think to check email or facebook when I am out there, absorbed with nature and photographing the landscape.

    So! I think I need to do more of that, when I can. But I also love the idea Sara mentioned – to have specific times to check in, plug in, or go online. I’m going to try it and see if makes a difference for me.

    Thanks for such an awesome post and for connecting the dots for me!

    1. Oh Michele πŸ™‚ We’re kindred spirits! I feel the same way about the outdoors! I love that it can be an escape and bring such great clarity. Unfortunately, I see far too many people who can’t even disconnect in the woods. I pass people all the time on the trail who are on their phone πŸ™‚ Funny world.

      Funny you mention spending so much time on photography…I think there is wisdom in the old adage of “moderation in all things”. I have given years of my life to absorbing all things photography. Looking back I see that I could have retained more and probably benefited from a bit more balance in my life and interests. I was the extreme though…I only read photography books, I only read photography blogs, I only did photography in all my work time and pleasure time, and its all I talked about. Red alert πŸ™‚ It’s led to more than one burn out experience.
      Now I give myself some space.

  7. Brooke! So much goodness in this post I can’t stand it. The past few years I’ve been feeling so many of these same things. I just said to my husband the other day ‘I want to feel how I did when I was in college again’.

    As a technology resource teacher by day I am plugged in all.the.time. I do technology at work. I do technology at home to keep my business afloat. It’s really starting to wear on me and I actually haven’t liked the evolution of technology that I’ve seen happen in my day job over the past 3 years. I see technology being thrown out as a solution to problems and not as the creative teaching tool it SHOULD be.

    Whew…all of that to get to the point of how I’ve been so frustrated with it all that I’ve decided not to return to the school where I work in the fall. I feel like I truly lost my purpose in my day job and I’m looking to reclaim it through my business next year.

    Your perspective is interesting for me to read though because it’s a reminder that I really do need to find that balance of technology time vs. unplugged time next year. It’s too too easy to lose time to these technology tools and feel hugely disconnected in this crazily connected world.

    I hope yo are able to find that balance too!


    1. Oh my! Beryl, you have an interesting perspective being a technology resource teacher! It would certainly be a challenge to have a little disconnected time each day in that case! What a big decision to choose to not go back to your teaching job next year! It will be interesting to see how you take the extra time and balance it out. You’ll still need to be connected, but I’d be interested to see how your creativity level correlates with a bit more balance πŸ™‚

  8. Hi Brooke
    Great, thought provoking blog. I can honestly say that now is the most creative time in my life and technology is the reason for this. I had no creativity in my life at college (I studied Religious Studies) and it is only because of Facebook that I found out about your course which fanned in to flame my creativity. I’m so inspired by what I see and read online. I lay awake at night thinking about photos I want to take and movies I want to make.

    I wonder how much of the issue is technology and how much of it is just a stage of life thing? The reality is that you have responsibility for things you didn’t have responsibility for when you were a student. At college, one is the centre of one’s universe. But now, it’s different. Having a family is mentally exhausting! I used to struggle to keep on top of my life but now I have to keep on top of 3 other people’s lives! When children are young I think they zap energy, memory power and creativity with it. And that’s okay. It’s just a phase.

    Now that my kids are older, I feel I have more head space to create. We all have synced icals which has really helped me keep on top of everything. I am better at keeping in touch with my family thanks to Facebook – even my 72 year old mum! I’m embracing the bits of technology that work for me and my family.

    But, I don’t read many blogs (maybe 3 or 4 posts a month!), I’m hardly ever on Twitter and I don’t bother with the other stuff (what is Google+ anyhow?!). I don’t watch TV. I only look at the stuff that excites me or inspires me.

    At the start of the year, I prepared a timetable of my week. It was fascinating seeing how I spend my time mapped out. I wanted to stop feeling guilty that I should be doing, for example, the washing, when I was working (I work from home). It has really helped. My time is divided up between work, kids, husband, home, God, photography, etc. I have a new rule too – no Facebook between 9.30 am and 5 pm, unless it is for work. That’s helped too.

    Sorry this reply is so long. Live the moment! Love to you and yours. hx

    1. Lovely Hayley! So great to hear from you! Thank you so much for your perspective! I absolutely agree that the internet is an amazing place and can indeed be a source of great inspiration in our lives and connect us together with people we would never have connected with otherwise (like me and you! How awesome is that!) The thing that I love about what you said, is that you have adequately shown how you have the presence of technology (and it plays an inspirational role) but that you have chosen to let it only play a part of your life, rather than let it BE your life. The boundaries that you have set up for yourself allow you to still have those meaningful experiences both when you’re plugged in and when you’re not. Congrats to you! Not that many people are so well disciplined!

      And yes… seasons of life do play a part. Being a mom does change things. Heavens, even though I’ve only been a mom for three years, the difference between the newborn stage and the three old stage is significant! I suppose I’m not being fair to myself to judge my life now vs. life in college when I as a person have also changed significantly in what I value, who I value, and what I want my life to be like. My dreams have changed (for the better–I like to think;). Life is a constant evolution.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and giving us a little peek into your life and how you make it all work! I was really hoping someone would comment and say that “NOW” is the most creative time in their life πŸ™‚

  9. Brooke, I loved your post!! I read it on my phone and for some reason I was interpreting it as “what was the happiest time of my life?”, and without a doubt, I am living it now. My dream was to become a mum and I ever since I had my first daughter 5 years ago, I never asked for another wish. I now have three, so you can imagine how excited and thankful I am! that said, a working mum and coming home to the routine, was a killer, and it was when i found photography (a few years ago), which is indeed my passion, that i got excited about life, and felt the most creative I have ever been (although i am not too creative)…but my biggest fear is that I grow old and regret the moments I stole from my girls because I spent time on my phone, reading one more email, one more text…I am excited when I lose my phone in the house and realize that i have survived hours without looking at it! I even have my phone when i am breastfeeding my one month old, how pathetic is that! in a week we leave for my parents farm in Argentina, in the middle of the country, middle of no where, where internet is scares…I am excited to have a technology break! And please do share any tips you have…as much as we need it, it clearly can steal our lives away….

    1. ha ha! I am certainly happy right now in my life, and in many ways happier now that I have a family than I was as a single person in college πŸ™‚ But living more consistently with inspiration and big revelations as a regular occurrence, seemed to happen more back in college than it does today πŸ™‚

      I love that you say you are excited when you lose your phone!!! I do the same thing! It’s nice to not be tied to it! And if we are living our dream as mothers, it would be so perfect to have the daily enlightenment to accompany πŸ™‚ Thank you for your comments!

  10. What a great post, and very timely for me. I have been experiencing this very thing, and for the same reason. I am so connected and it is very hard to pull myself away for fear that I might be missing something. It feels like I am so busy, but getting nothing done. I am having to force myself to take a “tech timeout.” This morning I did a mediation and journaling session for the first time in a long time, and I feel like my mind has been cleaned out of some unnecessary mind chatter. I just have to commit to making some changes. I once read that doing things like watching tv, internet, etc stunts your creativity. I just have to remind myself of that, and it helps to step away from the technology.

    Thanks for writing this post! It was an extra kick in the butt I needed!

    1. OOOOOH!

      “The fear that I might miss something”…

      I think you hit the nail on the head, Wendy! This is a clincher for most of us! And yet, we’re not really missing all that we think we are, are we?? πŸ˜‰

  11. Brooke, you have struck a chord with so many people! It think many of us will be signing up for your class!

    I definitely want to find permanent ways of not being so distracted by social media. I have times when I go on a fast from social media only to end up having the habit return once I’m back into it.

    Like Michele said I do so much better when I’m out in nature or out of the house and in on activity with my family. I LOVE it when I realize that I’ve completely forgotten about my iphone or checking email or facebook. It makes me feel great!

    I have to say that I’m feeling in a very creative moment of my life. I love the workshop that I’m creating and I’m completely engrossed in it. I also feel the most creative when I’m putting all of my creative energy into my family. It gives me a rush and happiness that digital distractions just can’t begin to equal.

    But why am I drawn to check to see if someone posted something? Why do I act like something urgent must have popped into FB in the last 5 minutes that can’t wait another second?

    And what a great insight that Melissa mentioned about being present and not being buried in an iphone.

    Anyway, you’ve mentioned so many great things in this post, Brooke. One of the ways I break away from digital when it feels too heavy is by purposely leaving my iphone at home. Sometimes when I’m going somewhere with my family or just running errands I will leave it so that I’m not even able to check what’s happening.

    It feels so freeing to know that I CAN live without it! πŸ™‚

    1. I love that you leave your phone at home on purpose! I don’t do that enough! I do it on date nights, because I hate to see couples at restaurants who aren’t talking to each other but they’re surfing their phones… so sad…

  12. I can relate to this post so much and it’s something I’ve been researching. One resource that I’ve loved is a book called “Idisorder” it breaks down the multiple facets and factors that could be creating a “disorder” and then gives steps to conquer those things. It’s a great read;

    1. Oooh! Thank you for hte recommendation Maren! I’m checking it out ASAP! I’m also reading “Hamlet’s Blackberry” right now and it is to die for inspiring on the idea of living a meaningful life in the digital age πŸ™‚

  13. Hi Brooke,

    I am so glad you posted this! I struggle with this on a daily basis. I am in what I call ‘survival mode’. With 2 jobs (one being my own business that I’m trying to get off the ground), my hubby and dogs, friends, etc, I only seem to have time for the bare minimum and can’t make it all happen to the extent that I want to. Things that make this even worse are things like facebook, twitter, and pintrest. Instead of taking time to relax and be creative, I search through pintrest to find different forms of inspiration there and big surprise – I’m not finding it.

    I made a commitment to do more yoga and run more this year which is one of the ways that I find my creative juices flowing. Now, in addition to that, I am thinking that I need to take more time to unplug and really focus on growing things in my life as opposed to just surviving with everything.

    Thank you for posting this. You are always a huge form of inspiration to me and always post such though provoking blogs. πŸ™‚

    1. so interesting that you bring up not being inspired by some of the online things πŸ™‚ I think that sites like pinterest CAN be inspiring, and they CAN be draining. An interesting thought I heard from Sam Blake–an Australian photographer whom I heard speak on creativity–she mentioned how if we search for inspiration in the same places that everyone else does that our work will look like everyone else’s πŸ™‚ I really liked that–because it makes perfect sense. Our true style and creativity is more likely to arise when we are searching for it in different places πŸ™‚

  14. For as long as I can remember, I have had a desire to create. I would have to agree, Brooke, that my most creative process was in college. I have thought about why that is. I think for many reasons it was because there was only me to think about, worry about. I could do pretty much as I pleased and create as I wanted, what I wanted when I wanted. I could think as much as I wanted.
    Ten years after college, I found myself the mother of three young boys, the oldest being 3. I longed for those college days. I had no time to create, think let alone time for me. Four years after that a little girl came into our lives. What a blessing to be a mom, but I still longed for those creative days. There wasn’t much creativity for me in changing diapers, cleaning toilets, cooking meals, washing clothes, or was there?
    Fast forward 10 years again, my oldest is about ready to leave our little home, my youngest son will turn 14 on Sunday, and I’m sitting hear wondering what happened.
    People warned me of this. If I had a dollar for how many times someone said “Enjoy them, they will be gone before you know it”, I could buy myself a new camera.
    Time is flying. My biggest question now is, have I enjoyed the dash? Did I enjoy my children as much as I could have. I didn’t ‘create’ with them. I know that I didn’t because I was too overwhelmed, but looking back, I could have, and wish I had.
    What has this taught me?
    I still have some time. I want to enjoy each and every moment I have with them. Look at them, think with them, create with them. Teenagers don’t always allow their mom to participate with them in such a way, but sometimes they do, and if I’m distracted with other things such as technology, learning or ‘me’, I will miss those opportunities.
    This all probably sounds a bit cheesy as it relates to your question, but I am so grateful that somewhere along the line, I have learned to live in the present and create in the present.
    I have become very wary of what internet sites I allow in my world. I am still on FB, twitter and instagram, but I think all those sites really do is teach us to be narcissistic. I try to only use the internet for a purpose, and sometimes that is to check on my kids, because that is how they communicate. Sometimes I will seek answers to a question I have in my head, and it is awesome that most answers to my questions are just a few keystrokes away, but I always give myself a time frame so I’m not sucked in completely for hours on end.
    I very rarely check other photography sites. Comparison is deadly, and frankly, I just know that I could never be someone who I’m not, in the photography field or another creative field for that matter. I’m me. That’s it.
    I have limited my time online, and I feel so much better. I used to use computer time for my ‘relaxation”. Now I am trying to take naps instead.
    Thanks for the thought provoking question Brooke.

    1. Jennifer! Thank you so much for your insight! I love how you said, ” I am so grateful that somewhere along the line, I have learned to live in the present and create in the present.” Just the concept of creating WITH your children is not thought of very often. That has been one fun thing with photography with me and my son, is that we can create together and he loves to see his pictures and videos that we make together. But looking for other things to create together is important too…a meal, a song, a train track, a tower, a game…I’m so glad that you used the word CREATE because it is a verb and it is active and it has a result. Too often the plugged in world we can get distracted in can lead to no action, passive time, and no results. I agree that it can be an amazing tool, but with limitations like you have mentioned. Thank you for the thoughts on creating πŸ™‚ Such a good thing to ponder on how we can do more of that in our lives and with our families.

  15. This topic has been on my mind a lot as well. Just a few weeks ago, I went through my friends list and hid from my news feed the people that fit some or all of the following criteria: only posted political stuff that got me riled up, posted too frequently about every thought that ever crosses their mind, or people that I only know casually. I have people that I know from high school that I didn’t really spend much time with in real life, so I don’t need to see every single picture of their kids. Sounds a little mean, but it’s too time consuming. I also went through and un-liked a bunch a pages that weren’t relevant to me – mostly photography things. I only kept the photographers that really inspire me. I bet I got rid of close to 100 pages. I would really like to delete the Facebook app from my phone – I just haven’t been able to bring myself to do that yet. πŸ™‚ But I’m hoping to get to the point where I only check it every few days. I do love the sharing aspect of this technology. I need to get to a point where if I take a picture I love, I don’t have to share it with the world. Then I’ll really be better able to cut back on technology.

    1. Oh Sara! We are kindred spirits πŸ˜‰ I did the same facebook cleanse that you just described a few weeks ago with nearly the same criteria. It’s amazing how much that cleaned up my newsfeed! I DID actually delete the facebook app from my phone and it has been glorious. Now I only check facebook when I’m in my office–which is pretty limited to only a few times a day…if not once a day. That has been really helpful to me. Another thing I did recently was to unsubscribe from most newsletters–only keeping the ones that I truly love and get excited to read.

  16. Brooke – I so needed to read this today. I’ve just been feeling more and more overwhelmed by the constant stream of stuff I’m supposed to learn, do, read, etc, etc, etc that I get from FB, twitter, blogs, email. And in addition to photography I also do freelance web design which means I am virtually tethered to my computer. And I’m totally in need of a detox and disconnection and reprioritization of my time. But it’s been so hard to disconnect because as someone else mentioned in the comments, I’m afraid of missing something. Like if I’m not on FB every 5 minutes I’ll miss that one vital piece of information or connection or I’ll get left behind. Which is ridiculous! And even though I’ve found so much inspiration online, I’m also finding it more and more a source of negative energy in my life as I compare myself to everyone. UGH! I’d done a FB cleanse not too long ago but I now realize that’s not even enough. And today was just a particularly bad day so I’ve just deactivated it and deleted the app from my phone. Phew. That felt good. Step one of my detox complete. I’ll definitely be interested in hearing more about your digital detox!

    1. Wow Katherine! Congrats on deactivating and deleting your app from your phone! Here’s to more life back πŸ™‚ I’m deactivating my account this week too, and am pretty excited to see what happens to my mind…hoping for more space to free up there! You’re so right on that fear of “missing out!” on something. One of the most inspiring people that I follow online–isn’t online all that much. She’s not even that involved with Social Media, but when she sends her newsletter I get so excited to read it because I know I’m going to be inspired by her thoughts. The thing is, the reason she’s so inspired in her words (and she has said this herself) is because of all the books she reads and all the experiences she has. She’s not getting inputs and inspiration from the same place as everyone else does, so that is why her voice sounds so unique and different to me. I want to be like that πŸ™‚ I want to start having thoughts of my own, instead of trendy thoughts πŸ˜‰

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