are you a spectator of your own life?

this quote has been around on the web (found it here through my good friend suzie) and it made me think and finally i found the words for some of my thoughts. so let’s start with some basic thoughts, shall we? we all have cameras and nowadays most of us (actually i’m not included) have internet on our phones. so eventually we’re online most of the time and we are able to document everything we do.

actually i remember when instagram was spreading everywhere and everyone was admittedly addicted, some started to complain about the huge amount of a) pictures looking exactly the same and b) too many details about every one’s life (like “who cares about your 6th coffee this week?”).  then people started to complain less and maybe some of those actually got hooked as well. i still don’t know what instagram feels like, i still don’t have an iphone, i still don’t have a phone with internet capabilities (not even a camera even!) and if you ask me i’d say i want it all. but i have my own doubts and concerns. it’s like being that grumpy old man saying that internet thing is crazy and i’ll be good without it. i’m afraid that steve jobs left a legacy that we cannot pretend not to care about, even if we want really badly to stay outside the party, we know that a part of us just wants to join!

but on the other hand, as many other things, we do need to find the balance. balance between appreciating what we’re having, we’re feeling, we’re looking at, and documenting it. we are social animals, so we need to connect (out of a sudden i just reminded myself that i want to watch into the wild again!), but we must not forget to actually live things, share those things with the ones that are with us at the time, and after it, share them with the ones that are not there. documenting helps us with our memories. i must say that i have a lousy memory, so this helps me a lot to remember (and somehow relive) what i saw and what it felt like. but sometimes (and though i have a camera with me 70% of the time) i just want to embrace and not take the camera out. it will feel like if i take a picture, i’ll be missing something that is happening there before my eyes. and looking at it through my laptop later will definitely not feel the same. but of course, i also struggle with the idea on my mind “take a picture, you need to share this on facebook!”.

well, my advice is donate some money so that i can buy an iphone (kidding!), and enjoy your summer my friends! go out, stay away from the computer, disconnect from the web, forget about twitter, facebook and instagram and just enjoy your days. ok, you may take a few pictures but share them in september, but don’t take too much, just enjoy the ones you’re with! and now just grab a beer and watch a sunset! when was the last time you did that?

note: this is a part of the august break, which means that i’ll be blogging on a lighter mode, no usual features, just pictures and a few words! remember that on the last week the blog will shut down for a new look! looking forward to it!


  1. i agree ! i’m not connected to the internet via phone and i can do without it. i restrict my time on the net. other things in real life are more important :-) thanks for the reminder

    • oh hi there!!! yes, i’ve been doing well without the internet on my phone, though of course, there’s always someone with me that has it and somehow something will always happen that will make that fab phone with internet our savior of the day, like “what’s the phone number of that restaurant?”, “what’s the exact address?”, “what’s this song we’re listening to?”. but hey i’ve been good without it! ;) thanks for coming over and leaving your feedback!

  2. ha ha ha tb fiquei com essa frase q vi no blog da swiss miss. n sabia que já se tinha tornado “viral” (adoro esta palavra).
    gosto muito, faz pensar nestes tempos que vivemos hoje!
    eu passei mto tempo entre quero o iphone, n preciso do iphone. hj tenho e adoro, confesso, mas tento estar muito consciente de como o uso e o que partilho :)

    • pois, por isso é que acho que o iphone só pode ser uma coisa boa, porque não conheço ninguém que não diga exactamente o mesmo que tu! mas tal como dizes, é precisa esta consciência, senão nem vivemos o que temos para viver no dia-a-dia, e apenas nos tornamos mais uma pessoa a partilhar tudo e mais alguma coisa. isto faz-me um pouco lembrar a tendência (que a mim, que fotografo casamentos, me irrita solenemente) que é de 50% dos convidados estar de máquina e/telemóvel na mão a tirar fotografias. what’s the point? supostamente estão numa festa de amigos… e às vezes parece que no dia seguinte alguém vai perceber que tirou 300 fotografias, mas nem se lembra do que comeu, nem bebeu nada com os amigos ou deu um pézinho de dança!

  3. I know EXACTLY what you mean… which is why I’m putting off getting an iphone, because as much as it would make my life easier I know myself, and I know that I would become one of those permanently-online-instagram-everything people… and I don’t think its a good thing to be. But I do sometimes feel like that grumpy old man… maybe I should just get with the programme and join the rest of the world i the 21st century… or maybe not just yet…

    • i think we’re ready to jump to that party, but we’ll be good if we wait as well! i think we both know that we cannot pretend that we’ll need to do that sometime. it’s like when blogs started, i remember thinking “what’s the point???” and now look at me and look at blogs’ power now!

    • Também tenho reflectido sobre o poder que a internet tem nas nossas vidas hoje em dia, quase parece um buraco negro sugador do nosso tempo e em última instância da nossa própria vida!
      Vê-se e lê-se imensas coisas interessantes e inspiradoras é verdade, mas acabamos por perder a noção do tempo e em vez de fazermos outras coisas que já fazíamos antes de haver internet acabamos por estar 4 horas a ver mais do mesmo ;ultimamente tento contrariar esse vício …
      Em contrapartida desde que tenho o blog e desde que tiro algumas fotos fiquei mais atenta ao que se passa à minha volta e valorizo mais as pequenas grandes coisas do dia a dia que antes me passavam ao lado.

      Boas Férias !

    • É uma verdade, mas é sempre aquela questão do velho do restelo, a internet é uma coisa boa, os blogs são uma coisa boa, o facebook tb e por aí adiante. Basta pensarmos no nº de pessoas que lançou negócios a partir de casa com custos muito reduzidos e que conseguiram fazer esse negócio crescer. Seria impensável nos anos 80 por exemplo. O mesmo com os telemóveis… alguma vez imaginaríamos que teríamos acesso ao que temos actualmente? Mas claro tudo tem de evoluir mas com conta, peso e medida, sem equilíbrio tudo é mau. Mas temos de ter cuidado porque é uma linha muito ténue! Beijinhos e obrigada!

  4. Pow-wow! You’ve nailed it! And those last thoughts… are simply perfect! Thank you for taking time to share this great thoughts that I also think about but never gained the courage to write about it!

    • whow gina, i’m touched by your comment! thank you so much for your opinion! i always feel really pleased to know that others have similar opinions and that we just need to share them instead of just behave like everyone else!

  5. I agree. I do feel a spectator of my own life but for other reasons, mostly because due to my work I can’t actually control the amount of time I have for myself and my family. But as far as internet is concerned, I’ve always spend lots of time surfing, reading stuff, checking pictures, but I believe nowadays people have forgotten how good it is to live, not the photo but the moment behind the photo (which is something you do very well, as all your photos tell a story, so they never feel cliche or just another photo). I agree, nobody cares if you had your 6th coffee in the same place, if people would share interesting moments that would have been nicer. There must be a balance at some stage, even if that balance depends on each of us. I prefer to actually live it, I love love love discovering new places and taking photos, but I also enjoy my blogging flickr, writing moments too.
    Ahhh and that reminds me of a website (which I can’t find) where you had to stay I believe a few minutes without checking anything on the internet, and it’s amazing to find how addicted we are to clicking all the time without even thinking.
    Sometimes we should leave everything behind and take our time, in peace and enjoy life outside :)

    An inspiring post dear Twiggs, thank you :)

    • hello miss lilly! i loved reading your comment! as you say it all depends on balance and of course, each one of us will have our own balance. your case of being a spectator of your own life is actually pretty different, but also pretty common, or wouldn’t have i been a colleague of yours in such a corporate environment where time was not ours, but always belonged to someone else (the senior or manager, usually). now that idea of that site you just described seems way too good1 i would suck at that as i’m always so hyperactive on my own thoughts and actions, i jump from thing to thing as my mind reminds itself of different things, though i try really hard every day to concentrate on one thing at a time. sometimes i actually succeed! thank you for reading and leaving your opinion!!

  6. When I found that quote it summed up how I was feeling…I was empty and bored of all the constant online noise. Since then I’ve deleted many accounts or just not bothered to check in with others. I still greatly enjoy the storytellers, people with something interesting to say or that have visually arresting images and continue to communicate with them via blog comments, flickr or email. As for the rest…I don’t miss them in the least and I must say I feel liberated, there have even been days I haven’t turned the computer on!
    I know when you are trying to run an online business, stepping away from social media isn’t so easy,we are led to believe it’s necessary for our success. But the truth is, it is so fast paced that your updates get pushed down the line so quickly they are often go unread/viewed anyway.
    This is one of the reasons why I would like to make my art from now on more in a different context, shifting the focus offline and into real spaces instead, and only having to participate with what I actually enjoy.
    I’ve never really liked parties anyway!

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