October 14, 2014


I recently had a disturbing revelation. One that I’m kiiiiinda embarrassed and annoyed to admit. Yet, I have a sneaky suspicion, it’s one that miiiiight ring true for you, too. It’s a realization that I’m feeling pretty miffed about now that I sit back and think about it. I honestly feel quite jilted! Until recently it didn’t even register with me that:

My iPhone regularly takes center stage in my life. Like, when I’m out having coffee with a friend, my iPhone is constantly alerting me that it’s time to check my social media updates. So, of course, I reach for my iPhone (nonchalantly?) mid-conversation. Or, like, when I’m driving down the coastal highway with the windows down and the music blaring, my iPhone’s camera app is calling my name, ‘you gotta get the Insta-worthy snapshot in a moment like this!’


I mean, the nerve of this lil guy!


It all came to a head on my recent camping trip. My sister was in town from America and we decided to hit the open road, drive down south and spend some time in nature. Once we got out of the main town and onto the dirt track, my phone service quickly diminished. This subsequently meant the power off button finally got some action. And with that, things really got REAL. 


My new awakening all began with a possum. Well, a momma and baby possum duo, actually. We were all sitting around the campfire, roasting marshmallows when we started to hear a scurry. A few seconds of searching with the flashlight illuminated the cutest little site—a baby possum straddled on its mother’s furry back. They were obviously looking for food. So, as all swooning individuals do, we indulged them. Now, don’t go rat us out to the Ranger; it was only fresh, healthy carrots. They even ate them from our hands!


So, there we all were: taking turns holding up bite-size pieces of carrot near the tree trunk waiting for the momma possum to crawl down with baby on back and gentle take them from our fingers. She’d then nibble and pass some of the orange treasure off to her lil bub. She did this about half a dozen times ’til, I’m assuming, her tummy was full.


My first reaction during this ethereal experience is as follows: Ah, I need to go grab my iPhone. I gotta get this on video. I need to show this to everyone (eg: my social media gang). I gotta see everyone else’s reaction to this awesome experience. (aka: my life in the PRESENT MOMENT!) 


But, my iPhone was powered off and locked in the car. I’d have to take off my shoes, go in the tent, grab the keys, put back on my shoes, unlock the car, get my phone, turn on my phone. . . and well, it would have been a lot of work, you see. Plus, I’d be disturbing the rest of the crew (who were rightfully in the moment and captivated by the possum soiree). So, I decided to stay put and experience the moment as is—-in my body, fully aware and totally present.


That is when the disturbing revelation hit me like a ton of bricks. My iPhone gets to experience more of my life’s joys than I do! The memories flooded my mind like a somber slideshow. How many times I’ve chosen to ‘document’ or ‘snapshot’ an experience so I can remember it for later or show someone else rather than simply immerse myself in living that beautiful moment.


As humans, we do this all the time. Just recently, my 6th graders performed a presentation at the school assembly. Casually looking around, I noticed several parent spectators positioned behind a camera lens or iPad screen recording the entire thing.


// Who wants to live the precious moments of their life from behind a video screen?


// Why does a mobile device get a better view of your life than you do?


// When will your iPhones stop stealing your attention during your once-in-a-lifetime experiences? (‘Cause doesn’t every moment only happen once?)


Needless to say, I’ve become more aware of my habitual response to grab for my phone when something interesting or cool is happening. Yes, I still like to take pretty pictures of my food at cafes or a beautiful sunset to post on Instagram. Yes, I still check Facebook a few times a day and catch up on all the goss. But, I’m aware. I’m thinking before reaching and, more times than before, I’m choosing to stay present and immerse myself in the Now.


// ACTION: What’s one thing you can do this week to become more present in your here and now? If it involves placing some boundaries around your phone usage, I’m all for it!


Love + Light,

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    I’ve had this revelation recently as well and have been working to reduce the amount of time I am on social media. It sure can take a hold quickly and has become such the ‘norm’. I’m all for connecting with people (and blessed to have made friend’s like yourself via the internet) but definitely feel over recent times I’ve become more ‘addicted’ than which is healthy. Lately in limiting my time online I have felt a new sense of spaciousness though find that it is something I very much have to be mindful of. Love your post SK and for bringing this to my consciousness again. Lots of love xo

    1. Sarah Kate Anderson Post author

      Yes, spaciousness is such a beautiful thing in my life at the moment. . .especially in this busy world we inhabit. Glad you are experiencing it, too! I’m glad you shared your experience as I feel like a lot of us can relate. xx


    I love so much about this article Sarah Kate!
    1 – Toasting marshmallows!! i haven’t done that since I was a kid!
    2 – “Why does a mobile device get a better view of your life than you do?” Such a good question!
    I was feeling very similar to you at the end of last year, then I went out sailing on my parents boat for a week over new years and didn’t touch my phone once. It wasn’t until then that I realised it is almost an extension of my arm and I actually felt relieved to not have it on me all the time. Sad to say I have somehow gone back to my iPhone addicted ways! It’s like we reach for our phones without even thinking about it. If there is minute of silence or a minute of not having anything to do it’s just picked up and flicked on! Thanks so much for this post, I definitely needed the reminder! xx

    1. Sarah Kate Anderson Post author

      Ah, toasted marshmallows are THE BEST! We even hunted down sticks in the forrest to use. It was so fun! Your sailing trip sounds amazing and how awesome that you got to experience it fully present! Glad you enjoyed this one, doll!


    I loved this post Sarah Kate.

    As I was reading your post I was reminded of a scene in one of my favourite movies The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Sean a photographer has set up his camera to take a picture of a snow leopard and Walter asks him when he is going to take the picture and Sean says: “Sometimes I don’t. If I like a moment for me personally, I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it.” I thought that was such a beautiful way to look at it.

    Thank you for this post setting boundaries around my phone use and social media is something I am constantly working on 🙂


    A well timed article – snap Sarah!
    I had a bit of a digital detox myself when I went away for a few days recently.
    It was interesting to notice the space it created in my day and – interestingly – I started to care less about missing out on something ‘important’ in the social media space. That awareness is quite empowering and has helped redefine how I engage now I’m back in ‘real life’.
    We’ll see how long it can last 🙂

    1. Sarah Kate Anderson Post author

      Ah, yes, FOMO is such a big part of our reality in this new digital age. Thank you for sharing your experience here, Gina. One of my biggest mantras is “awareness is the first sign towards change.”

  5.'Claire | This Is Lifeblood

    You know I can’t agree with this post anymore lady!

    I said to a friend yesterday (after 8 days now off all social media), ‘I feel like my life is suddenly perfect, because I haven’t got social media to tell me that it isn’t’

    My lunches, sunsets and coffee catch-ups have all been 100% better also (surprise surprise!), without my iPhone capturing every tiny moment…

    Great post x

    1. Sarah Kate Anderson Post author

      Yes, Claire, so happy to hear all these freedoms! It’s refreshing to have this perspective of balance and simplicity in a world over-saturated with social media. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your experience.


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