Disconnect to Reconnect
‘There is Often no Wifi out in Mother Nature, but Trust me… You’ll Find a Better Connection’
The title somewhat speaks for itself… I am sure you have read numerous blogs on the ‘connection’ we may have to our phones, computers, social media and technology in general. How dependent we all have become and how many of our lives are revolving around it. I can’t deny that dependency and am guilty of carrying my phone everywhere I go, freaking out if I cant find it, often checking it every few minutes to see what the latest updates are: whether it is on Facebook, Instagram, emails or text messages. What sweet photos have been posted? Where are people at these days? Who has been more recently engaged (Since I could probably count at least 30 people within the last couple months on my own Facebook Homepage). Checking to see how my latest Instagram post is doing and replying to all the comments… It is NEVER ending!
Social media can be a very good thing if used in balance, and for the right reasons… But what are the right reasons? And who has the power to define that balance? What’s too much? Could some people use more social media in their lives? I think its all personal and relative, and depends on one another personalities, jobs and abilities to draw the line between ‘too much’ and ‘too little’. Is there even such thing as too little, or would that maybe be best? Back at the end of June I decided to leave my stable 8-4, Monday – Friday job to take on all this ‘Social Media Marketing’ full time, just to see what could come from it. As if I wasn’t already on my phone enough BEFORE taking this all on…
Without Social Media I can say I wouldn’t have many of the same friends I do now, which I have met through instameets, company partnerships, and simply chatting through the app. Having found one another through similar interests, photos, features etc. These people are some of the most AMAZING individuals I have ever met, some of which will certainly be life long friends. I met one gal a couple months ago and she ended up traveling to Peru with me shortly after, and now I am her roommate here in Canmore (aka @miniuii– Marie-Eve). I would name all the rest, but you know who you are 😛 I also would NOT have had many of the same opportunities I have had and am EXTREMELY grateful for everything I have been able to do over the year, thanks to connections and networking through social media.
Instagram is a place where ‘creatives’, ‘outdoor-enthusiasts’, ‘adventurers’, ‘ photographers’, ‘athletes’ and more can all come, post, interact and express themselves in ways that they may not be able to in person. It’s immediate and makes networking, and advertising even, a heck of a lot easier these days. I see it as an outlet. It is a way for me to share my own experiences with others. To inspire and showcase my own adventures in hopes of encouraging others to GET OUT THERE and simply embrace all that Mother Nature has to offer! Mother Nature is the BEST teacher one could ever have, and ‘eco-therapy’ is the best form of therapy (Well I believe it is). I wrote a blog post for @tentree which explains exactly that:
Sure I encourage one another to get connected through Instagram, especially if you don’t have many friends around you, or others you know who may be interested in getting outside with you, whether it be hiking, biking, kayaking, running, camping, climbing, taking photos, etc. Online is a GREAT place to find people to get outdoors with and who will inspire you to keep on truckin’! Or maybe you are a newbie to the outdoors and are seeking others to help ya get out!
My motto: ‘Get Inspired. Get Connected. Get outside.’ Speaks to that. Yah its great to be inspired by all those fancy outdoor photos, insanely epic camping spots, bird eye views from helicopters, sick starry night shots, gorgeous colored lakes and epic travel locations around the world… But those photos don’t do us any justice if we just continue to scroll up and down and DREAM about one day experiencing those things for ourselves … It almost is worse, because we begin to potentially ‘hate’ our own lives, or realize how ‘boring’ we are compared to others. We may become envious or jealous or people who are able to drop everything and just go, who can take off traveling whenever they want, with minimal responsibilities or commitments back home. We can become more or less upset or depressed by scrolling through social media if we don’t know how to process or separate it.
‘Never Get So Busy Living, That You Forget To Make A Life’
I mean some of us obviously have more time then others to get outside and travel, where as many people I come across on Instagram have found a way to combined their passions, including myself (Whether it be photography, inspiration, geology, journalism, blogging, biology, art and illustration, community networking and more) with work to enable us to be able to travel more. Some people call us lucky, or fortunate to be able to, and how they ‘wish’ they could do the same etc. But heyyyyyy we MADE those decisions for ourselves, we took chances and followed our hearts. I also had a 8-4 job for years and was in school for many of those, on top of working and that didn’t stop me from getting outside, planning trips whether it be to the mountains or internationally! I just made it work. I traveled when I could and took advantage of Mother Nature in every way I knew how. I prioritized. To me there ain’t to many excuses for those working 8-4, Monday – Friday jobs who say they are limited to being able to get outside, to travel or even to ‘exercise’.
‘All Our Dreams Can Come True if We Have The Power To Pursue Them’ – Walt Disney
I can say though… that since leaving my desk job, working for myself and having turned travel, outdoors, and social media into a ‘career’ for now, I have found it even more difficult to disconnect. Being on my phone, checking emails, being on my computer and writing IS MY JOB. Adventuring has become more or less work as well. Am I climbing that mountain, heading out camping, traveling to get those shots, or am I doing it because I truly LOVE it and want to do it every single time? I have recently begun asking myself that… and when do I turn work off? There are ALWAYS opportunities for blogging, photos and creating content for ‘work’ and it’s hard sometimes to just say ‘NOPE, this trip/experience is JUST for me and not for my followers or anyone else’. I also recently moved to the mountains… whereas it use to be a place I could ‘escape’ too and now I ask myself, where can I ‘escape’ too when things get crazy?
‘You Can’t Do a Good Job, If Your Job Is All You Do’ – Artifact Uprising
This is where I have come to the realization I need to disconnect to reconnect every once and a while. YES I do love the outdoors and adventuring, taking photos along the way no matter if its going to be posted online or if that photo will just be put into a folder or deleted in the future… but its necessary that I, along with others take those steps back and do things just for fun. Forgetting the camera and cellphone at home, or turning it off when we don’t NEED it is important. Also not always documenting/writing our adventures and just simply ‘BEING’ in the moment. Disconnecting from the online world, from that ‘hecticness’ back home, that anxiety that’s been building up, those difficult relationships, ‘work life’ and more. Reconnecting with not only our own selves but with nature as well. Remembering WHY exactly it is we get outside in the first place… Is it so we can obtain that perfect photo for our IG feeds, or because we LOVE it and WANT to be there?
I recently traveled to Cabo, Mexico for a much-needed 20 day ‘holiday’ with my family. I didn’t ‘adventure’ as much as I thought I would. I didn’t take as many photos as I thought I would. I didn’t work on my website as I had planned too. I didn’t read any books like I thought I would. I didn’t blog as much as I wanted too. Though, I did drink a lot of margaritas. I spent hours laying poolside and on the beach. I ate a ton of guacamole, salsa and chips. I spent a ton of time visiting with my family. Got in a total of over 300kms of running over the span of my time here… And I am 100% okay with all of that.
When I got back I headed straight for the backcountry with @highlinemag. A group of 15 creatives: Photographers, Journalists, Marketing/Advertisement ‘pros’, illustrators/artists, and more were hosted by Sundance Lodge and Highline Magazine for a weekend of fun, reflection, networking and talking about this coming year and goals for Highline! Nothing like being around an amazing, inspiring group of fun, passionate energetic folks for three days of skiing, chit chatting, wine drinking and food eating at a beautiful lodge, with NO wifi. Between both Cabo and the backcountry retreat I took time to really disconnect, reflect and journal. So many things have became clear over the last few weeks and I realize I need to make a lot more time for exactly that this coming year.
I saw this quote: ‘The Best Moments Of My Life Don’t Make it To Social Media’ Which really spoke to me, cause its true (Which is a whole other topic on its own – which I will get around to writing about) … Though I then also thought to myself ‘The Worst Moments Of My Life Don’t Make It To Social Media’. It’s important we take time to soak in our own experiences without having to showcase them to the world, in order to gain reassurance and satisfaction in likes, or numbers/comments. Having experiences that are ONLY ours. My life is NOT all rainbows and butterflies and when I scroll through my own Instagram it often looks like it is. I am human just like anyone else… I have my down days, my anxiety gets me here and there, I have arguments, I cry, I get frustrated, my adventures don’t always go as planned.. though my photos don’t often showcase all of that. Social Media can turn into the ‘highlights’ of peoples lives, or what we ‘wish’ our lives were like all the time. I want to try and include more heartfelt posts, captions, blogs on not only the UP’S but also the DOWNS of my own life, and how I manage to keep on keepin’ on 🙂
‘There is no strength without challenge, adversity, resistance and often pain. Strength comes from our ability to stand up, face resistance and walk through it’. – Unknown
I know this is a HEAVY topic.. Speaking about social media (Instagram in particular) one that I could write about for pages upon pages, along with my own experience and opinion but I will leave it at that for yal to soak up. If you have any questions or comments about the blog PLEASE feel free to leave a message and I will be sure to answer back!
My friend Holly @missholldoll wrote a blog ‘For The Love, Or For The Gram?’ that I just LOVED and also speaks to this topic… Check it out if you have time:
10 thoughts on “Disconnect to Reconnect”
This is great! I find it hard to find the balance between trying to capture a moment and just trying to experience it. I’m glad I’m not the only one who spends time trying to figure out the best way to work out both!
Oh I think we ALL struggle with this! It is so easy to get caught up in the online world and our online presence in general. Having combined work with my passions has been an absolutely UNREAL decision and experience…. but it does have its drawbacks as well and it is def important that I take a step back here and there to really think about what I am doing and why!
Thanks for your response Wade!
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Thank you for your inspiring thoughts! And thank you for sharing your adventures. I’ve discovered more places to travel to because of your Instagram, and I can’t wait to explore canada (I live in Virginia, US)! I’m also working on finding balance between media/life because I, like you, want to inspire others to get out there and live a full, happy, passionate life. After gaining 21K followers on a YouTube account I created a couple of years ago, I began to fill overwhelmed and pressured by the urge to continuously post on various media accounts. After deciding to step away from that platform for awhile, I feel more genuine and at ease in my everyday life. I’m now planning to launch a new blog where I can give healthy living advice, share my adventures, uplift others, and just post as I please in my spare time. Can’t wait to see more posts from you! 🙂
Kelly! Thanks for much for your response. YouTube is one channel I have yet to get on or really explore, but wow 21k followers on there! Killing it :p It is hard not to give into that urge to post on various accounts – we should never feel like we HAVE to post… thats one thing I struggle with. Am I doing things cause I have to make a post or am I doing them because I truly want to…. I think it will be a constant struggle for me until I solidify my career and things a bit more.
I aint 100% sure what I am doing but I am taking it day by day lol. I am super happy that I launched this website/ blog so I can do more then just post photos! I need to get cracking and post more on here though! It is hard to do it all! Cant wait to see your blogs as well!
Thanks again missy 🙂 xo
You are truly awesome Brooke, great post. Your wisdom, self-awareness, insight and humility are raw and inspiring. You’ve lived, felt, and learned more in your nearly-25-years than many people do in a lifetime. Have a blast at Bear Mountain and out east, let’s hit the trails when you’re back! Jess 🙂
Hey Jess! Though I had replied to this for some reason! Thanks so much for the reply! I had sucha blast at BEar Mountain and an amazing two weeks out East! I am actually on the plane right now flying back to calgary. I am heading out to the MTNS with two gfs this weekend and we are skiing into Moraine Lake and camping WEOOOOO! Hope you have been well. Lets run soon!
My name is Michelle Wang, and I’m a product designer studying at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.
I just found you through instagram and it lead me here.
I’m amazed at what you do and I admire your passion for the outdoors.
Currently I am working on a hiking boots project, and your blog really caught my attention.
If you have time either tommarrow or Sunday would it be possible if I can ask you questions about hiking and your hiking shoes? It would only take about an hour or less.
Please send me an email to let me know if you are available.
Thank you so much!!
Keep doing what you love, stay positive!
Hey Michelle! Thanks for the response – sorry it took me so long to get back to you. Throw me an email if you want email@example.com and we shall chat!
Thanks so much girl!
Keep laughing reading your blogs)) Your’re truly inspiring person and have more unique insight than the most 25-year old persons. I’m in my 26-year age and plan to do 3-6 months solo trip across the whole europe (inc. Russia). I did it alon cause I don’t find like-minded people around me… But sometime you should be alone to enter that kind of mind-state I think. Anyway if I made it happen this summer you’ll be one of my greatest inspirations. Thank you!
Hey Bin! Thank you so much for reading my blogs and what I have to say 🙂 I am so glad you find them inspiring! haha It is crazy to think I am 25 years old! Scary thought – where has the time gone!? 3-6 months across Europe?! WOW good on ya I wish I could do that – maybe one day :p Alone time is 100% needed! I wish you the best and really hope you make it happen and SUPER happy I can be an inspiration to push you to do it! 😀