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day to day, learning all the time | Monday, February 24th, 2014

As We Are on Mondays features photos taken by all of us; them of me and me of them.

My time and attention on this space is shifting, initially due to facts beyond my own computer capabilities and I am disappointed with myself for relying on it and others. I’m real close to pulling out my film camera,  spending dollars on processing, keeping photo albums again which you might just have to come over to see over coffee and conversation. I’ve been “online” for a lot of years now; I’ve connected with some wonderful people, been inspired creatively, shared moments of my day to day in parenting mostly, stocked my small online shop and I’ve cultivated habits that have increased my screen time more that I know is good for me. I think it was Flickr that got me started and lately I haven’t kept up with their changes. It seems that many of us have strayed, found other communities perhaps. My casual facebook logins have increased in the past 6 months but I am also increasingly annoyed with the amount of weeding of content required to stay connected with friends and family there. Pinterest! Say no more, i’m in.  Instagram. The very word gnarls my grain. I thought I’d just dip my toes by posting a couple random photos and peruse in an otherwise fleeting moment. Inevitably I am treading Instagram waters. I’ve sort of lost focus. I think it’s happening with a lot of folk. These days I see the same images posted on blogs, flickr, instagram, facebook, pinterest… It’s redundant and I don’t feel like it’s connecting us as it maybe used to. What is the reason for the double, triple, quadruple postings of the same content? It seems like a reach but for what? I’m grateful for so much and overwhelmed at the same time. Everything in moderation right? The pendulum swings over a fine balance. Just noticing, thinking, pondering. What do you think?

23 Comments »

  1. i am with you completely. i said goodbye to my blog at the start of this year, had a quick tear and then quickly moved into the most beautiful mind space. it was the best decision i have made in ages, it sort of freed my spirit in an unexpected way. i never got into instagram or facebook and now only read a handful of blogs and pin.

    Comment by Kristi — February 24, 2014 @ 3:57 am

  2. For me, because I have so many people I really know on facebook I’m not comfortable posting a lot of personal photos because I don’t want to share my whole life. I’d rather do that with strangers I guess (I don’t know why). Though sometimes I’ll want to use an instagram filter and then think my parents would like to see a photo so I link it to facebook. With my good camera I like to share more photos on flickr and then still trying to blog occasionally and share different photos. I know I see so many of the same things on various sites. And yes, way too much screen time. It’s overwhelming. I need to start with the whole family committing to one day a week screen free (everything). We’d get so much more done.

    Comment by Stacy — February 24, 2014 @ 9:13 am

  3. completely understandable, but i for one will miss your beautiful photos and inspirational glimpses into your days :)

    Comment by erin — February 24, 2014 @ 10:26 am

  4. I finally let my blog slip away this year, too. Still trying to figure out what the right “fit” is. Sometimes I do live instagram as it doesn’t have the filler and as much repeat content, but also lacks the deeper connections I sometimes found with blogging. I just don’t know…let me know if you find the magic answer!

    Comment by luckybeans — February 24, 2014 @ 11:45 am

  5. well, this seems to be a recurring theme amongst those of us who have had blogs for some time. i have had mine for i think seven years this year (same as you?) and reading what you have just written mirrors my own thoughts. especially the multiple postings of photos. seven years ago the blogging community was so much smaller and it rocked. it seemed to make the world a smaller place and for me, living in new zealand, a long way from anywhere, this was life changing really. i have travelled but to be in contact with women from all corners on a daily basis was a thrill. now i think there are so many blogs out there that i barely get comments anymore. and of course, technology has changed so rapidly providing faster alternatives that the blogs seem old and stodgy almost. i don’t know that its a good thing, all these images we can view. i can’t help but think it takes away, less is more. that said i too am a pinner and have a facebook page for my craft and tend to spend most of my screen time there. you’re right - moderation. balance. last weekend we woke to a power cut and i loved it. the neighbourhood was so quiet as we had coffee on the deck and i was sorry when it came back on as it felt like we had got up somehow unsullied, untouched and i wanted to keep it that way for a while before exposing ourselves.

    i have followed your blog all this time and am so in awe of you sharing your beautiful children the way you have. thank you. my babies are 21 and almost 17 and both went right through a waldorf school - (prairie has two years left to go and tommy is at the university music school) so i love seeing your journey which in turn lets me remember ours. it is a wonderful way to educate our children.

    so ella, selfishly i say don’t stop! i still like the blogging platform. i like to take the time to read what someone has written. its such a pleasant change from scrolling through a mass of imagery that we probably can’t really process. i’ll hang onto mine for a while longer as there is still the odd person who tells me how much they love the blog and seeing what i am up to.

    bon chance xxx

    Comment by louise — February 24, 2014 @ 5:25 pm

  6. I completely hear what you’re saying. To be honest, I feel that I spend too much time online (or on my iPhone) because I’m kind of bored with my life right now. I love being a SAHM but I only have 2 IRL friends, and we hardly see each other. I miss that connection and at least online I can get a peak at other women’s lives. Totally frivolous I know.

    I think because screen time has replaced TV time for our generation we are no longer even coming together as a family for 1-on-1 time. And we are all looking for that connection elsewhere.

    But it’s very hard as an older parent to make real life friends. At least that’s what I’m finding. It’s not like I have loads in common with the other Moms I meet.

    Comment by Melanie Routhier — February 24, 2014 @ 7:00 pm

  7. Personally I think blogging takes more effort, and I appreciate that required effort. I love perusing beautiful items/images/ideas on pinterest, flicker and the like, but to what end? With a blog I feel like there is something of value in the end result. I’m also trying to figure out what/where to cut back in terms of screen time. I love the idea of Facebook, but the content really is lacking for the most part… which brings me back to blogging. But that’s just me. If you do decide to leave this space I’ll miss seeing you and your boys (and Astrid) grow. I’ve come just a wee bit attached to your family. Silly, but it happens.

    Comment by allison-lee — February 24, 2014 @ 9:03 pm

  8. My laptop broke some time before christmas. It totally put my online time down. Mostly it´s ok with me. When i´m online i´ve gone to the blogs i´ve been reading for a long time. I agree with less is more. I do love instagram but i´ve cancelled many feeds that i´ve followed.

    I´d loved the time of creative online classes, because i didn´t have the creative people around me.
    The Internet and online community have brought the love for crocheting, sewing, gocco printing and photography to me.

    The connections have changed a bit in the last few years. I remember times when i swapped and wrote letters.

    Real life has changed too. We got a family of four. I started working again and we do community and political work in our city. I like what my life is right now.

    But i wish i would take me more time to write letters, postcards to family, friends and online friends that i´ve made over the years.

    Dear Ella,
    i´ve landed on your blog before you had your second boy. I like your way of writing and the photos you take i adore. I´ve never heard of Okanagan before. If i travel to Canada i would go there. I enjoy your way of waldorf. And seeing bits and pieces of it on your blog.
    Thank you for taking the time to share with us.

    Dearest greetings from germany
    where a new day of waldorf kindergarten and school starts when the wee people i care and love crawl out there beds.

    Astrid

    Comment by Astrid — February 24, 2014 @ 10:53 pm

  9. I don’t belong to FB, instagram, pinterest, flicker, tumblr, etc. etc. etc. It is intentional. Funnily enough, it is my MIL, who lives across the country and read her FB religiously, who frequently gives me updates on my own (adult) children’s lives. I simply don’t want to get sucked in to more time in front of a screen (9 hours at work is enough, thank you). About the only techie thing I do is read blogs. I don’t even watch TV — which frankly helps to reduce stress.

    As you indicate, too many folks are plugged-in (to drivel, all too frequently), but tuned-out to the people around them. One only has to sit in a restaurant and observe how many folks are looking at their phones and not at the person across the table from them–or even if they might be talking to the person, they are still eye-glued to their phone. How rude!

    However, as a blog reader, it is clear the landscape is changing. Bloggers, justifiably for those who have been doing it for years, are getting tired, distracted by new mediums, and the effort it must take to put one together (no, I don’t have a blog either). I will say that from blog reading and commenting, I have made a good friend who doesn’t live close, but with whom a connection was established and over the years we have shared our joys and sorrows. From blog reading, I have watched young families (like yours) grow, learned new skills, heard about new books, and explored new ideas. So I am grateful for the effort bloggers make, but totally understand if the time has come to change direction.

    As for your contemplation of which (electronic) road(s) to choose, should you decide to end your blog I would definitely miss watching your boys explore their world, experiencing your creativity and your intentional parenting, but I simply encourage you to make the healthiest choice for yourself and your family. Pax.

    Comment by Mary — February 25, 2014 @ 5:58 am

  10. I think I am the lone facebook hold out. My husband has an account so we can keep an eye on our teen’s postings. I am so with you. It is like people create different personas to show on facebook and nothing real or connecting. Twitter, instagram, pinterest……I work in IT so I get enough screen time at work. I do enjoy reading blogs although my list has dwindled as some have been commercialized or maybe people feel pressured to write every day.In any event a lot of dear blogs in the beginning lost their heart.

    P.S. I do love your posts even if they are far between. Your photos are beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing these past years it is appreciated.

    Comment by Erin — February 25, 2014 @ 8:32 am

  11. hi ella-
    as a long time reader, i have gained so much inspiration from your blog and photos. that said, I let go of my own a year or two ago and felt free. felt guilty. felt afraid of losing the community or the documenting or the drive to capture the beauty around me. i am a photographer so i am inspired by instagram. however i choose carefully whom i follow and vice versa. i never got into pinterest, but i have looked at a few and am SUPER in love. maybe too in love as i felt like it would be a vortex for me to get sucked into! :)
    i let go of facebook years ago, but recently got back on just to keep in touch with a few dear friends whom i dont see. i want “friends” to be friends. people I care to share my life with. i enjoy inspiration from those like yourself in the instagram or blog reading land. honestly yours is one of 4 blogs that i read now. because I love your photographs and ideas. i used to be connected to flickr. i need to keep up. i love it when i am in it, but havent gotten into the changes. also, since using instagram and mainly my phone lately and black and white/color film as you mentioned- i havent had much to post on flickr. i like it as an organizational tool for my photos in case my computer crashes or need to refer and download images when i am not at home. it is a great tool, but not necessarily for social connection and inspiration for me anymore as it used to be. but i havent spent a lot of time there recently so perhaps that would change if I did.

    i felt honestly as though i was spending more time documenting and posting the things that i did in my making life and my time with my children than i actually was able to do. letting go of the blog and the need to document and post everything allowed more time to enjoy what was in front of me in real life. it feels good to share and be a part of an online community. there is comfort and inspiration in those whom i have followed and commented with for a while for sure. it is fun to see what other moms with similar values and interests do with their kids and honestly i think it has really given me some amazing ideas.

    that said, the life time is so much more valuable than screen time. and i enjoy having it be a small part of my life, i love the feeling of freedom to document or not document anything i do and to connect with the world around me in ways that i hadnt before been able to as i was thinking about what i would post or write.

    my two cents. xo

    Comment by mary — February 25, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

  12. Oh Ella,
    My personal scenario is very different. I love to document through words and photos. I have a private blog. I consider it a living scrapbook for my children to view one day in the future. It is raw and real, it makes me laugh and cry and relive many amasing moments. I write freely, I want the children to know whom their mama is and was. I also enjoy looking back in time and seeing where we were all at. There are a few that live outside of the city limits that have access, so they can watch us all grow and change and evolve. I do not partake in facebook or any of the other social media you mention. I think blogging is more personal, whether it be to a world wide audience or only a select few.

    I have read your blog for a long time and consider it to be an amasing reflection of your mothering and your love of your family. We can all dibble dabble, sometimes wishing to blog frequently, while other times only every so often. If nothing else, your children will appreciate the time you put into it one day (and I am certain you will too!)

    xo
    S

    Comment by Mama S — February 25, 2014 @ 3:23 pm

  13. …..and then i read this today, yes, on a blog of an old elementary school friend….

    “I sometimes wonder if my life went along the wrong trajectory, because self doubt and me are like ‘this’. I wonder this because I used to love playing in the darkroom and making light on paper, but photography is a computer now and computer programs don’t smell like the anticipation of an image burning and seeping and soaking and rinsing into permanence.” -Jessica Peters (journalist)

    I guess we all wonder and doubt sometimes!

    Comment by Mama S — February 26, 2014 @ 3:35 pm

  14. Thank you so much for your thoughtful responses. So much of what you’ve brought forward rings true and hits home. It seems we all agree on the most part. It’s nice to just gather an awareness of things going on around us. xoxo.

    Comment by admin — February 26, 2014 @ 7:30 pm

  15. This is such an important discussion, I think. I, too, have struggled to keep up online. I am annoyed with myself for how much time I spend on Facebook and I never feel fulfilled after being there. I do love Pinterest and quite enjoy and am inspired by my time there, and luckily I’ve never gotten into Instagram or Twitter. Flickr, which I used to love, just seems overwhelming to me now. It’s so different than before. I’ve been looking at my lifestyle and how I spend my time. How does Coco see me spend my time? I love blogging but it’s difficult to cultivate the mental space to do it. There is a bit of a cycle happening wherein I spend time online which drains me of the creative energy that I WANT to use online. More and more lately I find I’m reaching into my physical community much more than my online one. Blogging has been important to me and I don’t want to give it up, but it isn’t what it used to be and I rarely check in on other blogs anymore. That settles it…you’ve inspired to me step back from Facebook. I only really used it in the beginning to post my blog posts and I’m going to get back to that.

    Comment by Gwen — February 27, 2014 @ 11:18 am

  16. Hi ella! Very interesting post, I just deleted my flickr account and I only use FB and Instagram. I never owned a blog and all my profiles are private, I am a very private person. Before reading your blog I was thinking of erasing some blogs that I have followed over the years because I feel our life choices are so different that I realize I get judge mental when the bloggers get pregnant for the 4,5 or 6 time and then complain about exhaustion and depression. I a a mother of one living in the city that enjoys good clothing, going out for dinner and traveling so I have felt very disconnected from many of the popular blogs, I think I don’t even enjoy DIY anymore! I enjoy blogs like yours, Jodi and Joanna Godard but that’s it… Maybe blogging it is coming to an end but I will really miss yours. I do love to pin! Take care!

    Comment by Lina — February 28, 2014 @ 11:58 am

  17. Hi there! Your words definitely ring true to me. I’ve tried to maintain a blog but find it so difficult because I am such a private person. Although I have really appreciate some of the beautiful blogs out there (yours among them), I have found that it is a real downer to spend too much time in front of the screen. I long resisted facebook and then got into checking it everyday and finally decided to quit. I haven’t missed it one bit!
    I hope you continue to blog, but completely understand if you don’t. My daughter counts her matrioshka doll from you among her favorites! Please keep up your etsy shop.

    Comment by Laura — March 2, 2014 @ 9:54 am

  18. Hello lovely, we’ve spoken about this separately, but I have to put in my two bits worth. I understand and I too rarely post anything these days and I’m okay with that. I don’t feel the need to draw a line through it, but don’t MISS it as I once did when I didn’t post for a while. The connections I’ve made both in physical friendships with those who live locally to me and my cyber friendships with those like you who are so far away, have made these years so wonderful, so valuable and something I am never going to want to completely say goodbye to. You are a connection to another time in my life too, living in the place you do, another connection to even more happy things for me.

    I think when we started out blogging was more personal and less commercial, apparent in your issues with photos and my own with never updating my “look”. I’m amazed at how professional similar sites are these days and how commercial they appear to be, or how I don’t know, it’s a different tone, less craft and parenting choices - more LIFESTYLE in a somewhat more commercial or consumerist way. Remember Krista, (I think that’s right) who lived on the island? with her guys, bought an older house, had similar healthy living ideals to you, Claire of Loobylu (who now lives on Saltspring) I have very fond memories of the blogs from when my babes were young and you too - the inspiration, the sharing. Everyone replied to each other’s comments and there were connections. I find that less now, less connection, but have not lost it with the “oldies”. Don’t disappear completely, find a balance that suits - would love to stay connected.

    Comment by victoria — March 5, 2014 @ 12:17 am

  19. hello… :)

    just speaking of photos… and photo albums… a great option is photo books you get printed online and shipped to you… maybe you already do this?

    we’ve found a company that does a pretty amazing job as well as providing software that gives you a great deal of control over the creative layout process… send me an email if you’d like to know more! I’ll send you a link to a few of my recent projects… the album that we did for 2012 sits in our living room and the kids love flipping through it on a regular basis… there’s nothing like holding a book in your hands and pages at your fingertips.

    cheers, vicki

    Comment by Vicki — March 6, 2014 @ 11:50 pm

  20. I feel the same way. It’s all a bit too much at the moment! I only pin a couple of things…which I quite like and find useful and I read a handful of blogs. I don’t do facebook, instagram (I really don’t want to constantly use my smart phone around my children) and twitter. And I don’t blog myself. I’ve taken to printing photos myself and popping them in an album. Simple and easy. As soon as I feel overwhelmed…I know it’s time to cut back on my computer time. I am finding that the more I do this…the more I seem to connect with others in real life and the more relaxed my mind feels. Keep pondering…I think it’s wise to wonder if what you’re doing is serving you and your family well.

    Comment by Nicole — March 12, 2014 @ 11:48 pm

  21. hi, please don’t stop writing,
    I love your pictures and you has been so inspiring so far!
    i used to felt eggs on easter and dye with onion peel just because you ;)

    i hope to read your posts soon ♥

    hugs from Italy

    Ester

    Comment by kosenrufu mama — March 18, 2014 @ 9:11 am

  22. Hi Ella,

    I found your blog long ago and have appreciated connection and inspiration although I have not been great at maintaining personal connection with far-flung mamas I’ve met through blogs. I still really enjoy the check-ins. The online world is truly a different place. Personally I find it exciting, but it is in such a place of shifting. I’ve let my blog go due to lack of time, but intend to start anew with more focus on my personal career development. I depend on my iphone for so much documentation, thus Instagram is a great place for some of the simple connection with the lives of friends and other homeschoolers during a few spots in the day. I use facebook to keep simple connection with old friends and also to be part of discussion groups for homeschool and events happening locally (all in private groups).

    I think blogs are quite different now. When my kids were infants, blogs — mama blogs — were incredibly grounding places of real connection. Just reading another’s experience was so helpful. Yours, Ella, was such a great model while I was finding out what I wanted for my family. Thank you for sharing so much and creating a place of connection. Now blogs are places for ideas and business and still mama chronicles, but a little bigger I guess.

    I use all three. They are tools and different places of connection and I don’t mind the shift so much. I have spans of days with a bit too much checking in, some days of no checking in, but usually a good balance.

    I would miss you here if you let it go!
    xo Shelley

    Comment by Shelley — April 3, 2014 @ 8:34 am

  23. so with you. I found myself coming to my old blog tonight (and therefore, to you) and missing it in a way - i miss the fantastic people I met through keeping it, and sometimes I miss having that connection to others and having a voice out there in the darkness. So sometimes I consider starting blogging again, but then… i just feel tired.

    Been instagram-ing a little here and there (you know this) but it just feels so fleeting and lacks that connection that I seemed to feel with other souls, through blogging. It felt as though there was a real process when blogging, and with other media it feels so vague and unintentional and…. instant. There and gone, woosh.

    Don’t know what the answer is, but I do know that I miss you! and so many wonderful others out there.

    wondering…. are others out there still blogging (in the good old days, not repeated advertised posts etc) I have no idea.

    xo
    sharilyn

    Comment by sharilyn — May 3, 2014 @ 1:44 am

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