How Italy Cured Me of the Internet

30 January 2018
I am known, from time to time, to run away from the internet. There's something unnatural about this digital world, about the way it beckons me and keeps me captive.


It all started with two weeks in Italy a few years ago. Late night dinners with my husband that lasted for hours, twilight strolls in piazzas, quiet breakfasts overlooking the Mediterranean. No computers, limited phone data, and a different time zone from the majority of my community back home showed me that surviving without the internet in today's society isn't impossible.

It's amazing what fresh air and walks and food made from scratch can do for the body. It's amazing what a society, drenched in history and art can do for the soul.



There is an appreciation for life in Italy that somehow gets missed here in the states. People mingle in public on a daily basis. They know their neighbors. They laugh and yell and cry with each other. Grown women walk arm in arm with their mothers, men wear a suit and tie to shop the morning produce market, and everyone, young and old, will participate in a casual game of football in their local piazza.

Farmers Market in Rome Italy


After all, until April of last year, the oldest woman in the world lived in Italy, and there's something really profound to be said about that.

But longevity shouldn't be determined by where you live your life, but how.

So for an entire year, I experimented. I stopped contributing to social media and I "unfollowed" every single person I'm friends with on Facebook. After that, I was left with trying to figure out how I wanted to use the time the internet usually gobbled up. I felt a sense of urgency to come to a conclusion as I discovered, quite happily, that my husband and I were expecting our first child. Becoming a parent shifts your mind so much. I found myself wondering: how do I want my daughter to view the way I spend my time as she grows up?

So I asked myself: 

If you could have one lifetime achievement when it comes to work and creativity, what would it be?

For me, it wasn't maintaining a blog, becoming the next big social media star, or even running a photography business. It was writing a book and having it published.

It was that simple. I understood where I needed to focus during this season of my life. I can work on other projects (after all, my other passion is photography), but my primary goal is to not give up on the story I've barely touched for the past two years due to conflicting projects and jobs.

THE RESULT?

By focusing less on the internet, I not only have more time to devote to writing, but I check in with friends and family more often. I engage in my community. I volunteer, I explore, I create. My husband and I have longer conversations in the evenings. We read books together and go for walks and play more with the dog.

I spend more time absorbing every little stage and milestone of my daughter, cataloguing it away for the time when she asks me over and over to tell her what she was like as a baby.

This year, my husband and I are determined to focus on intention. Intention in faith, creativity, and now with the addition of our little girl, parenthood. This blog has been pretty dormant for a few years, but with our family's renewed focus, I plan to document the journey through personal stories and photo essays.

I'm still choosing to stay off of Facebook, but if you do want to get social you can find me on Instagram (and sometimes Twitter).

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