too much

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Lula, #13

Even though my two-week break involved shopping, and I wasn’t exactly free of the internet (we had an iPad with us), it was interesting to be away from internet fashion inspiration, coupled by a limited quantity of clothing.

I admit it: blogging and reading blogs make me think about clothes more. In fact, it makes me over-think it sometimes. And overwhelms me. Other bloggers have talked about this. But I think I hadnt fully understood this.

I maintain that all this blog stuff isn't all bad - I’ve gone on at length about why thinking carefully about what I buy and wear is good thing and how blogging and blogs have helped.

I like the inspiration from blogs – people sharing inspiring pictures and personalities and design – but being away from all that made me realise how there is such a thing as too much inspiration: you can feel weighed down by too many “references” in your head. Instead of picking up a grey sweater and having a deluge of images from various Tumblrs running through my head, it felt nice to have a single image that wasn’t result of having seen it repeatedly on the internet. It was just something I saw once, ages ago, and remembered. A quiet, serene pleasure.

A few weeks after I started my Tumblr I decided that I would post only when the image felt like exactly what I wanted that day, and not simply reblog every pretty picture I see. Another rule I set for myself was that I wouldn’t post anything I wouldn’t wear. That significantly curtails how much I post. And I appreciate my Tumblr more as a result.

The problem with the Internet is that people tend to not remember where they see or read something - often I find myself saying "I read this somewhere on the Internet, I forgot where." Because we can immediate Google something and find out, we forget things. That's a sad thing, when we're talking a beautiful photograph. It's also my bugbear about Tumblrs, and the reason why I caption even the things I reblog. So that I remember.

I clean out my Google Reader list regularly, and I think my trip crystallised for me the importance of doing so. Just like how having a well-curated wardrobe makes you appreciate what you have better, it’s important to avoid sensory overload.

Comments

Yeah, I think the internet and all makes me OVER think purchases. I miss the days when I saw something I liked--even if I couldn't exactly pinpoint what attracted me to it--and bought it. Sometimes I need to go "back to my roots" and stick with the aesthetic I would have wanted 10 years ago.
a said…
I feel the same way about tumblr. Even though I have one, I only keep it because I think it looks nicer to store fashion/style related images there as opposed to on my laptop. I sometimes feel like I should post more, but for some reason I don't feel comfortable posting images I don't completely love. I also try to keep the blogs I read to a minimum, I feel overwhelmed if I read too many. That Lula picture you used has been inspiring me for a few weeks, its so lovely, as were all of the pictures from your holiday : )
Ammu said…
I couldn't agree more. At this point my priority is to clean out my wardrobe and compress it so that 90 percent of my closet is made up of things I wear regularly (at least once every 4 weeks if not more often) when the fabrics are in season. I pretty much have my needs taken care of, and can't see the point of buying much more.
miss sophie said…
hear, hear. i also think there's a point where it all gets too repetitive and spontaneity gets lost. did you end up getting anything special from your trip? :)
lin said…
Pret a Porter P: Sometimes I'm glad I mull things over and it can be a pleasure to slowly think it out, but other times I think I'm just devoting too much time to an item of clothing. These days I know any hesitation usually means I will regret it (unless it's just a matter of me wanting to stick to my budget), so that's good. I guess it's about trusting your instincts.

a: I agree, I like Tumblr because it's such a nice way of organising inspiration, without having to make moodboards and scrapbooks. And thanks for the compliment on my photos, I only show the better ones and hide the terrible ones.

Ammu: I'm trying to do that as well, I pulled out a shirt yesterdat I proclaim to love but haven't worn at all this year - it's probably better off with a friend.

miss sophie: I did, haha. So much for the joys of a small wardrobe. I spent more on gifts for my family and good friends, but I did indulge myself, of course.
Kate said…
With all the fashion inspiration online and the surge of wonderful blogs about consuming less it's easy to get swept up. Much as I enjoy putting together my perfect wardrobe, I wear my impulsive, inspiration-free clothes just as much.
Ginta said…
So true. Recently I was away for a week, I just checked email during that time and that's it. Coming back to reality, to all the blogs and tumblr was so overwhelming that I considered quiting blogging all together as I felt I'm not capable to dress anymore, that I lack inspiration and that I need to reinvent and come up with something new and exciting all the time. It was just too much! So, I sat back and figured I'll do everything in my own pace and we'll see how and where it goes.
We need clean slate once in a while, don't we?
Cato said…
So true... I have that feeling ususally when I'm coming back from a trip. I usually don't read or blog many fashion related things during the first days back home, and I'm also feeling overwhelmed. And also abroad, my priorities change, I don't du much clothes shopping. If I do shopping at all, it's rather presents or window shopping. Don't know, absence from the internet seems to be such a blessing, but whenever I'm back home I find it difficult to maintain this well-dosed consumption of media...
justeileen said…
I know you as a person who knows exactly what you love in an outfit and you dont seem to compromise!

And it seems that after the fast from all that internet stuff during the trip, you come back stronger and clearer. I know what you mean when you say sensory overload.

I dont have a tumblr but I do keep a folder of images I like. It could be an outfit/place/expression that resonates with me. I visit it regularly and delete what seems to be just a passing fancy rather than something that is truly ingrained in me.
lin said…
erica lorraine scheidt: no problem.

kate: i agree, you have to have a bit of both, or else life gets so rigid and you're closing yourself off to new ideas.

ginta: i know, i marked as read most of the new things that popped up on google reader without reading. it made me realise which blogs im genuinely interested in and which are just passing fancies.

cato: i always have fun shopping for people on holidays - it's my way of bringing them with me when i'm away from them, and making them part of my trip. this is not to say i don't love buying things for myself...

justeileen: thanks, that's high praise!
well said! I recently got locked out of my tumblr for some security problem but I didnt feel like changing my password but its kind of nice to be without. When I look back at my tumblr now I don't feel any reason to go back because I just polluted it with reblogs every single semi nice picture I saw on my dash.
lin said…
alice: I haven't Tumblr-ed since I got back, but I'm in no hurry...i like it as a repository of images that I love and I'm sure when the right picture comes along, it'll move me to start again.
lapindelune said…
Interesting thoughts. I reached my own saturation point some time ago and had to decide just where to go with it - was I to allow it to control me or ought I to opt out altogether. Luckily there is balancing point, and I have somehow managed to be able to enjoy both blogging and using tumblr without these old annoyances creeping in. I think it involves having to simply treat most of it as a sort of 'white noise'......to mentally filter out the excess.
Our thought processes will always slow down when we are away from the stimulus, which often occurs for me when I am too buy working. Still, to come back to the fashion blogs always feels like a treat, like indulging in my favourite chocolate! It is also a lovely escape hatch, for when the harsh realities of life begin to overwhelm me.

I suppose the trick is to fond that essential balance. There sure is an exhausting amount of inspiration/data, etc, which seems to challenge my sanity at intervals, but just 'switching out' some of the excess, mentally, has enabled me to continue.

Glad to have you back!
lin said…
lapin de lune: I agree, sometimes I start thinking about fashion obsessively because I'm stressed about other things in my life. Doing that in measured doses is fine, but being too obsessed about that was bad for me because I knew I was only trying to avoid thinking about real problems. Realising that and trying to strike a balance has been important for me.
Since going away from Hong Kong on holiday, I really realized that blogging was not making me happy anymore. It was like I was overstimulated by consumption, images, wish lists, instagram, twitter, spend more - wear more. My first impulse upon returning from holiday was to stop blogging. However I realized that it was what I was writing on my blog that had to change. It has been a real pleasure to discover your blog, and to read your vocal thoughtful opinions. I care about buying local organic food produce and recycling, but have really neglected the aspect of where my clothes come from. You APC post was a brilliant wake up call to that. We are the consumers which makes us responsible for what we ask from the companies. If we don't ask or react, things will never progress.

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