Life Adventures
Comments 24

Plugged + Unplugged

Plugged + Unplugged

Plugged and unplugged, words which have added new meanings to their definition in recent years.  Gone are the days when only an electrical item was plugged in or unplugged.  Now music is unplugged, art is unplugged, ears are plugged and of course our topic for today, social media is most definitely plugged and makes us all feel as if we are also plugged in.  Fingers on the pulse, don’t miss a thing, fear of missing out (I am not young enough to say FOMO…), keeping up with the plugged in Joneses.  We all like to know what is happening, but do we really need to know every microcosm of information available to us?

Neighbours used to chat over the garden fence or at the butchers about last night’s TV or what Mrs So and So is up to, now we seem to want to actively create our own gossip.  We put it out there, of our own accord and we put our family gossip out too.  Posts on Facebook, endless photos which used to be reserved for a get together with willing family and friends, a glass of Martini and the slide projector on a flock wallpapered wall or if you were extra fancy, a screen dedicated to slide viewing.  An evening of photos from the Costa del Seaside featuring sunburn and out of focus landscapes with the odd castle thrown in for good measure.

Now we feel the need to post every single photo we have ever taken on Facebook for all to see,  comment on and ‘like’.  Is this a bad thing though?  At least family and friends can all see what you are up to, not just the invited few getting squiffy on Bacardi (from the Duty Free shop of course).  I do think we rather over share on social media, I am not convinced we need to see you on the beach in your bright yellow cossie twenty nine times.  Just because we can take two hundred photos on our phone, to get ‘just the right one’ doesn’t mean that they all need to be shared.

It is nice to see what friends are up to and be able to leave a little comment here and there.  I also think that it is still a lovely thing to be able to get together and flick though the albums after a wedding or holiday, have a chat and maybe a craft beer or two.

At least if we are discussing telly face to face there is less chance that Mrs Brown will give away the ending to last night’s Game of Thrones!  Social media and spoilers is not a good thing.

Chatting is a good thing though and I think that we can chat with all the people we want to via Facebook or FaceTime or Skype and of course chatty e mails are a marvelous thing too.  I love that I have met so many fab souls because and only because of the internet, there is no way I would have got to know these people without it.  Blogs, Facebook groups, Instagram are all lovely places to see what we are all up to and find like minded sprites to hang out with either online or maybe you will be lucky enough to meet one day.  Hanging out online is definitely a reason I like to be plugged in and not unplugged.  Everything in moderation is a good phrase to be applied here I think, chat to your people, but don’t worry too much about keeping up with everything and everyone.  Keep up with you and yours, not them and theirs.

Letters, remember letters?  When we had to write to our pals across the country or the world and pop on a stamp. Pen Pals. Do people have pen pals now?  Email pals?  I love that email is so nice and quick, especially if you need something right now, immediately please, but I also love a letter with nice spelling and correct grammar and the handwriting which usually you can read but there is always a vital word which you just can’t figure out.  Letters and postcards are the best, postcards from holiday destinations with a photo of the hotel on the front where you have made a biro cross over your room!  Yes, more of that please.  It was always a rule of childhood holidays that we send out postcards and I still do, they are such a joy to zoom across from city to city or country to country bringing news from afar or not so afar.  I love email and it is super useful, but you can’t hold it in your hand and admire the exotic stamp in the corner!

Ironically as I write this, my e mail is not working, I have had no emails for two days now.  The horror!  Not really, I am sure the latest Old Navy special offer can wait for my attention along with the vital news from Amazon about lingering items in my cart.  I have to admit to having a little (okay a medium size) panic when I realized that I was getting no e mails through.  I tried to fix it, then realized that I am inept at such tasks and should just get a cup of tea instead and brace myself for a chat with my email provider’s ‘technical support’.  My email remains unplugged today as I have school Halloween events to organize and attend, so Target’s latest 50% off will just have to wait.

Are you a plugged in or an unplugged person?  Or are you keeping a balance?  Everything in moderation.

This post is part of a series inspired by this post from Erin at Design for Mankind.  More posts on the subject can be found at Pip’s blog Meet Me at Mikes where we are all chatting in the comments section.  Pop over if you like.

I am also adding this post to the fab Weekend Rewind over at Maxabella Loves.

This entry was posted in: Life Adventures


I live in St Louis, MO, but I am originally from Lincoln, Great Britain. My family and I have lived in the Mid West for over 15 years now. My blog is where I blog and chat about all kinds of creative stuff.


  1. I am definitely a plugged in person but I have starting holding back on the over-sharing of photos. I also don’t post everything I have been up to. Now when I share (in person) something with a friend that didn’t get a Facebook update they are almost surprised that it happened 🙂

    • I know what you mean, I agree, every move you make does not have to be a Facebook post or an Instagram picture!

  2. Plugged in in moderation for me, Claire. I agree that there can be over sharing – I don’t really need to see where people are dining out and it is a big weird having a fav to face catch up and realising that you already know all the gossip! I try to keep communications on my blog shout my family a bit vague – hard not to include them because they are a huge part of my life and what my daily acrivities revolve around – but I keep them out of my Facebook feed unless it’s exremely significant and I have their permission. And I like to think of my online buddies as my pen pals – just in electronic form!

    • Yes! Online pen pals! I agree about family sharing, I hardly ever put pictures on any social media including my blog which involve my kids, I think people over share way too much with kid stuff.

  3. loved this i can relate!!!
    i say… i have no MOFO FOMO hahahah!!!!! if i can pull off FOMO you can too!

    the old days of visiting over photo albums, slideshows and cocktails that is lovely, we are the last generation to experience that. a shame really.

    on the internet sharing…
    i have a friend that i visit with in person who’s a FB oversharer. when we get together the convo goes something like this… hey did you see my post last tuesday about the pot roast i made.
    me: yes, i did and we went back and forth about the pot roast post on FB. (and i’m thinking are we going to talk on that pot roast again)
    her: oh yeah well anyway….
    and then we proceed to have the same conversation about her pot roast. and you know (and she knows) i’m a vegetarian so i’m super excited to recap about her fucking pot roast again!!!!
    i want to punch myself in the head.

    the same person photo dumps 200 bad phone pics of the same scene.
    love her but that shit wacks me right out.

    i’m like robyna when i talk about life things in person with friends, they are shocked this or that has gone down or is happening because our life isn’t a running commentary on FB or my blog!!!
    i’m not one for filtering myself but i do filter some information about our private life… does that FB friend from 5th grade that i haven’t seen in 40 yrs care that i have to fight with the man-boys to clean up toast crumbs from the counter? probably not.
    everyone has their own sharing style, there’s really no right or wrong i guess.

    longest blog comment EVER. xx

    • You win the prize for longest comment and possibly the funniest too! Don’t you love people who post their every last photo and opinion and meal on Facebook, mainly out of focus too! Social media should come with a ‘How to use your own brain’s filter effectively’ tutorial!

      • YESSSSSS because does the person that photo dumps blurry pictures for all of us actually enjoy when others do it? i would guess NO! but their 200 picture photo dump of blurriness is fascinating.
        for shit sakes i want to shake people.

  4. I’m laughing at the bit about ‘getting squiffy on the Bacardi’ watching a slide show! Haha I remember my mum and dad having one, or maybe going round to someone else’s house with them as a child. Wow, haven’t things moved on?

    I have penpals – a few in the BWP group – and still love to send postcards. And then I keep them forever, clinging onto the tangible evidence of life. In fact, I really lament the loss of proper, thick ticket stubs from the cinema and other places. I used to love those and now it’s all etickets, show your phone, or a thin little receipt…am feeling nostalgic now! xx

    • I know, what do we have to stick in diaries now? A bar code on your phone? Boo. Postcards are the best, I keep all mine too. I remember going to peoples houses to see their holiday photos, it used to totally be a night out!

  5. This is such a great post Clare, i am definitely plugged these days and I really enjoy the connection and community that has given me. But yes sometimes I do get overwhelmed by it all, I can’t possibly keep up with everyone else’s lives , blogs and interesting things they have read so I’ve had to just accept that. I think mostly I have a good balance, I check in when I can and sometimes I deliberately make an effort to seek out what someone has been up to rather than relying on my reader feed or emails. I do still chat with my neighbours, go out with friends and yes love a bit of snail mail, but I love that the internet has allowed me to meet so many wonderful people from all over the world, I enjoy hanging out online with them and yes online learning has been amazing too. Which reminds me are you tinkersketching in November? Emily x

    • It really is all about balance isn’t it. I am so happy to have met so many cool people via blogs and courses. Yes I am joining Tinkersketch!

  6. Lovely post Clare. I too remember the days before technology took over our lives, when you caught up on gossip at school/uni/work and got together with friends without already knowing exactly what they’d been up to every day since you saw them last. It’s a been a double edged sword. It makes me sad when you see people now absorbed by their phones instead of taking in what is actually happening around them. For me technology has a time and a place, and that is not always and everywhere.

  7. I remember letters. They were the best!
    I recently blogged about sending cards. Actually cards made of cardboard and sent in the mail. They are right up there with letters.
    Great post!
    Nice to meet you (found you on Weekend Rewind at Maxabella’s)

    • Thanks for popping by Leanne. You have the best blog name ever by the way! Cards are completely up there with letters, in fact maybe even better because – pictures!

  8. 1. Reading about you needing a cup of tea instead of working out how to fix your email made me realise that I had a cup of tea going cold beside me and reminded me to drink it
    2. I want to send you a postcard from China now. Nothing like a postcard!

  9. I’m definitely an unplugged person living in a very plugged world. I’m not quite sure how I ended up working and living online, but I roll with it. I’m far too shy to ever be a decent blogger / social media type. x

  10. Oh I would say I’m very plugged in, but I do hold back on oversharing my personal photos and what I ate for breakfast.

    I have recently acknowledged the need to reflect a less “plugged in” life to my kids. So I’ve been plugging in a doing things at times where the kids don’t see.

    It’s a very strange world we live in currently an I feel that’s why people are looking for their “local” something and markets and craftiness are making their way back into peoples lives.

    When we “plug in” less we feel less busy and less stressed. Hopefully this may have a ripple effect. Zoe xx

    • I agree Zoe, kids see what we do and copy, whether they realize or not. The important thing is that we realize. I wonder if we have hit maximum ‘plugged in’ and now the pendulum is swinging back to a less plugged life. Balance balance balance and real life is key!

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