When no one is watching.

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I seem to find myself in this place every three to six months, questioning my use of social media, questioning the “need” for my blog at all. To be honest, I’ve found myself stepping back from blogs quite a lot recently, finding that many of the blogs I used to love so much perhaps I have just outgrown? Not in a bad way, they are great blogs in their own right, but they are not “me” any more. I find myself scrolling through my reader and finding only a handful of blogs that really catch my eye. Most of it seems the same… who is wishing for what… who is buying what… who is needing what… and whilst I see lots of beautiful products and organic fabrics and lovely houses, I wonder how people can present such perfect lives without any real blemishes. Or if there are blemishes they are perfect little bumps, without the scaly, messy, ugly crap that we all know surrounds it. Blemishes presented so beautifully that it almost feels like they were put there on purpose. And they  were of course.

I’ve found myself thinking a lot about this world of self exploitation. Where we write about our lives and we put them on the internet, in public forums and social media, like some sort of sordid competition. Not just blogs, but Facebook and Twitter and everywhere, not just bloggers but everyone. Updates about personal things, whining about problems that aren’t even problems, boasting about great wins and mourning great failures. My news feed seems like a competitive sport where my friends and allies seem to be going up against each other to find out whose day was worse, whose dinner was better, who is happier, who has got the better boyfriend… who has succeeded in toilet training… who is the sickest or the most miserable… who has the newest car, or ring, or shirt or whatever.

Somehow on social media we can be whoever we want the world to see us to be.

But who are we when noone is watching? Isn’t that what really matters, who we are at our very core, the essence of ourselves without an audience, the way we are in our communities, the way we talk to our families, the way we parent our children, the way we live our lives outside of a spotlight.  Isn’t that what’s really important?

I’ve been thinking a lot about who I am when no one is watching.

Who are you?

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  • July 16, 2014 - 5:38 am

    Cleo - Hi Sash, I love your blog because it doesn’t try to portray perfection. It’s raw and idealistic and portrays a part of a very real journey and life. It’s inspires me and is a breath of fresh air online. Thank you for everything you share.ReplyCancel

  • July 16, 2014 - 5:41 am

    Vicki @ dover & madden - Oh I hear you loud and clear…..I feel I was taken for a ride with one of these so called perfect blogs in regards to advertising and promotional product. It put me right off. They’re not so perfect behind the facade…..and the funny thing was, I was pre warned. I should have listened. Lessons are always learnt. Loving your life right about now. VxReplyCancel

  • July 16, 2014 - 7:41 am

    Cherie - I know what you mean about those fancy blogs Sash. It’s the same thing with magazines like ‘house and garden’. I realised last year that as much as I thought I loved looking at people’s perfect houses/lives/children reading the magazines/blogs were actually making me feel like my life wasn’t good enough, when that is far from the truth it’s just not styled by professionals! Please stop writing your blog, yours is a blog that makes me feel happy xxxReplyCancel

    • July 16, 2014 - 11:34 am

      Cherie - I meant to say please DON’T stop writing your blog 😉ReplyCancel

      • July 18, 2014 - 8:10 am

        Sash - Love you lady. Wish you were only a short drive away xReplyCancel

  • July 16, 2014 - 8:34 am

    Life With The Crew - I ask similar questions and debate about posting photos of my family. For me, my blog is a way for distant family members to see how my daughter is growing and what is going on in our lives. I also hope to encourage people to think in a different light about certain things.ReplyCancel

  • July 16, 2014 - 8:39 am

    Maxabella - I’m me, regardless. I share, I don’t share, it doesn’t matter in the end. I just like it. xReplyCancel

    • July 16, 2014 - 9:10 am

      Lila - exactly this Maxabella xReplyCancel

    • July 18, 2014 - 8:11 am

      Sash - what a great way to be. I’m the same. share, don’t share… depends on my mood. xxReplyCancel

  • July 16, 2014 - 11:50 am

    Nathalie - Often find myself reflecting on the same things. My first blog was a whole bunch of snark, complete with skinned knees and wardrobe fails, dropped it for a while and then went the other way with very impersonal photography based posts. I’m probably somewhere in the middle now, but use it more as a prompt to find creative ways to tell a range of stories. But the Better Homes and Garden image crafting blogs can get a bit much at times…ReplyCancel

    • July 18, 2014 - 8:10 am

      Sash - Storytelling is the part of blogging I LOVE, it’s a way to find a middle ground between our high tech click bait world of news and the important tradition of exploring ideas and histories through stories… LOVE a good story, told through pictures or words… as long as it’s real… I’m all in.ReplyCancel

  • July 16, 2014 - 12:33 pm

    Julie - Life goes in and our of phases, needs change with it. I think as long as you are nourishing your soul the rest will ebb and flow with you. Blogs included.ReplyCancel

  • July 16, 2014 - 1:58 pm

    emma - Hey Sash
    It very true i find that with some blogs i like, my wee blog is just a thing i post every now and then i can’t keep up with others. My life is a rollercoster my house never ever perfect its lived in by two messy loud happy boys there dad whos just as bad and their hippy veggie artist nutty mum. I can’t pretend im something i’m not it would be too tiring. A question i am often trouble with is what could i be doing instead of my blog or browsing the internet..i am sure better more soul rewarding things but i still do it.
    Love your post happy apple picking xxxxReplyCancel

  • July 16, 2014 - 3:36 pm

    lisa - I love your blog, I love how it captures life and how it really is. I believe photographs should capture memories and not perfection, although in my eyes they go hand in hand. Don’t stop writing your blog and your thoughts, I love your blog xReplyCancel

    • July 18, 2014 - 8:08 am

      Sash - Thanks Lisa! xReplyCancel

  • July 16, 2014 - 4:05 pm

    Shaz T - You are sooooo right! I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately too. I have a very abusive mother. But she has this Jekyll & Hyde personality and completely acts like a different person to people outside the family. The bottom line… No One knows what anyone is really like unless they live with them (and even then we’ve all heard the stories of the secret psychopaths or even just the secret “sinners”). The moral to the story…learn to be kind to yourself and others. And if you live with a psycho, get out! Please.ReplyCancel

    • July 18, 2014 - 8:07 am

      Sash - Yes! I couldn’t agree with you more. I have had some people in my life like that that are now kept at an arms length. Being kind is perhaps the most important thing you can ever be, but protecting yourself from psycho’s (I was once in a relationship with one) is right up there… xReplyCancel

      • July 18, 2014 - 2:42 pm

        Shaz T - Maybe you can lead the anti-blog blogging movement Sash?! Lol!!!ReplyCancel

        • July 18, 2014 - 3:00 pm

          Sash - Ha! I’m not anti-blogging at all. I think blogs have amazing potential to create strong online communities, to tell stories that are censored by the news, to make people feel less alone, to bring people together, to highlight the beauty and the ugly in every day life… I think the potential for blogging as a platform for conversation and collaboration is really cool… so I’d be a terrible leader for that movement. xReplyCancel

  • July 16, 2014 - 7:45 pm

    Katie - Wow, is this ever something I’ve been pondering of late, too. I’ve loved blogging for around a decade now, but I almost find myself stepping back from it. Not completely, because I love words and photos and it’s great to have a place where I can be disproportionately excited making things out of wool and needles. And yet… Recently, I’ve started to use my blogging time for making things instead.

    We just keep changing and that’s what keeps things interesting, I guess.ReplyCancel

  • July 16, 2014 - 8:17 pm

    Reannon @shewhorambles - I’ve only just found you so don’t go!

    I understand what you mean by ” out growing ” blogs. I’ve deleted more than a few lately but then I’ve added some ( like yours) too.

    I only stared blogging 3 weeks ago, nobody really reads it except my friends, but I love that they do & when they tell me they can hear me talking as they read I am so damn happy. I just want to be me, that’s it :)ReplyCancel

    • July 18, 2014 - 8:06 am

      Sash - That’s the best way to be! xReplyCancel

  • July 16, 2014 - 10:42 pm

    Raquel - There are a lot of great blogs out there. But just like we change, the writers behind them change as well. We grow, or outgrow. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I do feel that sometimes there’s too much perfection, or want of perfection. Socially high expectations, maybe? I don’t really know. I think this is why I stopped using all forms of social media so much. The pressure is always there, whether you care or not, it’s still there. (If that makes any sense?) And that’s not something I wanted hanging over my every post, or picture.

    But I hope that on the occasion I do post, or share, on any of the platforms that it’s open and honest.

    :)ReplyCancel

  • July 17, 2014 - 12:49 am

    Marthe - I don’t really follow any blogs except yours, and honestly, in the beginning, I only read it because it popped up in my emails every now and then. After a while though, I started looking forwards to these small insights into your life and mind, and especially because so much of it reflected my own thoughts and feelings and challenged my own way of thinking.
    While I definitely do think you should follow your own way and make decisions considering your online presence that you are comfortable with, I just wanted to let you know that your questions and challenges – beautiful because of their reality and chaos – inspire and motivate me from across the world. As I’m sure it does many other people. Keep being true to yourself and your conscience – it is that quality in you that makes you so different from the rest, and therefore so inspiring.ReplyCancel

    • July 18, 2014 - 8:06 am

      Sash - Such kind words Marthe. Thank you. Truly. You’ve made my day xReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2014 - 2:04 am

    Jemimah - yes yes yes. I haven’t checked the facebook in a few weeks. It started with my smartphone breaking and choosing not to replace it. Then realising that the constant access to fb and insta and constant photo taking of my children for possible fb/insta/blog posts was stealing my present. I need to be present for my kids, for my real life relationships, for my peace of mind. I went back and forth on quitting blogs too, but I am too addicted maybe! Or I have narrowed it down to places that either inspire me or make me laugh. You inspire me big time. You are whole-hearted. You are no bullshit. Thank you for the challenge to be true to ourselves and our beliefs.ReplyCancel

    • July 18, 2014 - 8:05 am

      Sash - No bullshit is my motto these days. I used to be caught up in it once upon a time, and I look back on those years of my life with great regret… how much happier I could have been without all that bullshit in my life. I LOVE blogs that make me laugh… what’s your favourite?ReplyCancel

      • July 18, 2014 - 7:38 pm

        Jemimah - Favourite has to be renegademothering.com (she ticks both boxes obviously) and I really like Erica at expatriababy.com. We have kids around the same ages and gender but it’s definitely her self awareness and sense of humour that keep me coming back. Nothing new to you I’m sure, sorry! What about your favourite?ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2014 - 5:21 pm

    Sarah - I’m relieved that you blog Sash, it makes me believe a little more in the blogging world. I like many others that have commented grow tired of the blogs that show the need/want for stuff and making life look unlife like and perfect. I want to read other peoples stories and feel connected somehow…not feel unconnected because I don’t own all the stuff they do and therefore wouldn’t somehow have something to talk about if we ever met. Does that make sense?
    Anyway your blog has always been a great read, and more so recently inspiring. I am taking a little of what you are doing and thinking about my own life, what I own, what I buy, or need to buy etc. Please don’t stop blogging! xReplyCancel

  • July 19, 2014 - 5:24 am

    Jo - I hope you continue to blog. I have a blog clean out from time to time. Yours was the very first blog I ever read and yours is still on my list which I read regularly. I have changed greatly during the last 2yrs. Some of the changes have been necessity and others just pure wants. I have not found another blog like yours, it’s very unique. Thank you for taking the time.ReplyCancel

  • August 6, 2014 - 8:43 am

    STASIS | BOX OF ATTACHMENTS - […] That is why I haven’t been on here for so long. Recently I was reading Sash Milne’s blog, Inked in Colour, and she wondered “how people can present such perfect lives without any real blemishes” on […]ReplyCancel

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