Monday, 28 April 2014

See What I Almost Missed

Isn't this the most amazing sky? Aren't the colours wonderful? And can you see the sun column?
And to think I nearly missed it altogether.
Yesterday after a relaxing (i.e. lazy) day spent in the garden ( reading not gardening), I was catching up on my social media obligations indoors.
I had  uploaded my photo to my favourite photo-sharing site,  Pbase,  and  has commented on photos by my friends over there, I had  planned a long overdue blog post, and while checking my Instagram feed, realised I hadn't taken a photo with my iPhone, even though I'd taken lots of photos with my DSLR. So I walked outside with my phone and saw  the most amazing sunset.
I  just  had time to run back into the house, grab the camera,  and change the lens before the colours started to fade. It was the most beautiful sky with rich pinks and golds contrasting with deepening blues and grays.

It was a timely reminder for  me that it's all too easy to spend too much time in the virtual world and miss out one what's happening in the real world.
And it's not just sunsets that we miss by obsessing with our computers, iPads, tablets, smartphones.
We miss interacting with family and friends, we miss sending real letters  instead of emails, we miss greeting cards with a heartfelt message instead of a hastily composed 'Hope  you have a great day' written in response to a prompt on Facebook. We miss family conversation when everyone is too busy with their own personal device to talk to the person sitting beside them. What's the point of meeting friends if you ignore them because  you are too busy updating  your Facebook status, tweeting or snap chatting?

It's a thorny question I know, as social media is also a wonderful way of keeping in touch with family and friends who live away from home, of sharing photographs and words with friends and strangers, of learning and exploring how others live. I've made some wonderful friends though social media, some I've been lucky enough to meet, while there are others I'd love to meet some day. As the saying goes 'strangers are friends we haven't met' and as far as social media is concerned, that is often true. (Don't worry, I'm fully aware of the pitfalls, especially for young people who may be lured into situations which are downright dangerous).

At the end of the day, it's a question of getting the balance right. These past few weeks, I've decided
that in addition to keeping up with my 'virtual friends', I will also devote time to those friends whom I've actually meet in real life. I'm trying to send emails to those I haven't corresponded with for a while and am making an effort to meet up with those I haven't as often as I'd like.


  1. Well, at the end of that particular day you seem to have got the balance right. Those are some wonderful photos of a glorious sky.

  2. I am glad you did not miss this amazing sunset, thank you so much for sharing it. I am not a big user of social media other than my blog and I do of course read other blogs, too. I do have Facebook but rarely use it. I do have a Twitter account but don't use it... and so new trends pass me by. I find it difficult to help my children to strike a healthy balance between screens and real people, particularly the teenager. I don't know how much of his lack of personal interaction with friends is due to simply being a gruff teenager and how much is due to screen time. I have stocked up our games cupboard in the hope of spending more time playing games together. Wish me luck. xx

  3. It can be so hard to find the balance, I often struggle with it as it can be so easy to waste a lot of time at the computer, and I find the longer I'm at the computer, the less energy I have to do something else. You timed it well with these photos - they're gorgeous! I saw a light pillar like that for the first time a few months ago, but at sunrise.

  4. You make a really good point. I find hours go by working on my blog - whether taking photos, editing, writing etc. and then have less time to do things to blog about. Yet I've just been enjoying looking back at some photos I took last year which I'd never have taken without having a blog. It's such a hard balance. I'm glad you found your balance that day though as the photos are stunning. x

  5. I agree with you re. social media like Facebook, such a time waster. Blogs are different though - I feel as you can use them for creative pursuits. Without your blog I would not have seen your breathtaking sky pics.

  6. These are wonderful and I agree with everything you said x


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