[I'M GOING TO DO IT]
*starts to hyperventilate*
I'm a self-confessed social media addict. I try to tell myself that it's because I need to be online for my business, or because so many of my friends live overseas, because I enjoy the interaction with my clients and fans or just because I don't want to miss out.
But lately, I've felt like I AM missing out.
I miss writing letters and reading books.
I miss random roadtrips and eating a meal without photographing it first.
I miss catching up for long chats.
I miss playing games.
I miss photographing for fun.
I miss eye contact and dancing in the kitchen and brainstorming.
Most of all, I miss doing nothing.
So, I'm taking a break. Three months without social media: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
I'm not going to lie, guys. I'm seriously freaking out. Can I do it? Will I regret it? Who am I really? What if I turn off all the noise and discover that I don't like the sound of my own voice?
The thing is, I am not anti-social media. I love that it connects friends and family and strangers all around our world. I believe that social media has the power to inspire and educate and I know that it can be an amazing tool for artists and business owners. In fact, I just taught a workshop where I dedicated a good chunk of time singing the praises of Facebook for small business.
And then after that workshop, I listened to this podcast from Photobizx, with Andrew Hellmich interviewing Jeremy and Ash from We are the Parsons and I pretty much cried the whole drive home. They are in the midst of a one-year social media break (yeah, I don't have the balls for that!) Everything that they admitted resonated with me, deep in my soul. They talked about feeling tired creatively, being glued to their screens and absent from life. And then they talked about the relief that they felt when they switched off. Every inch of my being was screaming "I WANT THAT! I NEED THAT! PLEASE, GIVE ME A BREAK!"
[I'M STILL HERE] One of my favourite things about Ragamuffin is the ability to share joy with animal lovers around the world. I don't want to sacrifice that, so I'll still be blogging here (and if I can, I'll have those posts share automatically on Facebook for those of you who prefer to follow me there). I'm hoping that my absence on social media will give me the motivation to dedicate more time here, where I can share real stories rather than being limited to cute one-liners. I love writing, but I struggle to find the time - perhaps this is the push that I've needed?
I will also (along with my fiancé, Johnny) continue to create our video diaries. We started the weekly diaries in April this year, and they have been life-changing. Having fun with my best friend and forcing ourselves to reflect upon and appreciate each day: I think that the video diaries have reminded me the importance of being creative outside my business and taught me to really notice the beauty in the world.
But this isn't a one way street! It never has been for Ragamuffin - so many of you have joined and followed me on my journey, and knowing you brings so much joy to my life. Maybe instead of this being a pause in our relationship, it can be an opportunity for us to truly get to know each other.
[LET'S BE PEN PALS]
When I was 13 years old, I moved across the world and wrote letters to the best friends that I had left behind. We wrote back and forth, sharing our secrets and hopes and dreams. Then Myspace hit town and the letter writing died out. By the time Facebook was around, I hadn't written a letter in years. There is something special about sending and receiving mail, when it is so rare to receive much other than bills and junk in our mailboxes these days. So let's bring back the snail mail! I want to hear your thoughts and your stories, hold tangible notes from your world in my hand. Send me a handwritten letter, a post card, a quick note and I'll be so excited to write back to you!
Caitlin McColl Ragamuffin Pet Photography 86 Francis Street Yarraville, VIC 3013
[BRING ON THE LIFE]
So, yes. I'm taking a break. Starting right now [12:01AM Monday, 7th September]
I'm taking time to breath and create and live. I'm equally nervous and excited. I'll definitely keep you updated on my progress here on the blog, and through our video diaries. I would love to hear from you: here on the blog, shoot me an email, talk over the phone, write me a letter and even (gasp) we could chat face to face. I'm really looking forward to rediscovering everything that has been going on while I've been staring at my phone. Bring on life!