Increasingly More Connected, Increasingly More Lonely


Hi my friends! I want to write about something that’s been on my mind lately, a bit unconventional for my usual posting but it just keeps coming up in my thoughts and conversations, and I want to hear what you think!

When I was growing up social media didn’t exist. I remember dial up internet and chat rooms- that was my first experience with an online world (I also walked uphill both ways in the snow to get to school-haha!) Now, of course, most of us have social media accounts- many of us have multiple accounts, and it’s a part of our culture that isn’t going anywhere. For me, it’s a part of my business, so I think about it even more than most. And I have a love/hate relationship with it. I adore looking at pretty photos, I love following along with friend’s and acquaintance’s lives via photos and blurbs, I like sharing my own life in snippets and thinking that someone somewhere is happy to see it. BUT. BUT. BUT…… Sigh.

We’re unquestionably more connected to our friends and family (online) than any other generation.  We can maintain relationships that span continents and decades, easily.  But I worry that we’re actually less connected and becoming less social because of it, that we maintain online relationships that are less fulfilling, pick up the phone to check in with friends less often (via actual phone calls), that we make less effort for in-person interactions because we have a sense of connection via our online lives.  And in that false sense of connection, we’re missing out.  Companionship is such a critical element to leading a happy and healthy life, it’s a bit troublesome.  We need to be hugged and share laughs.  We need to be hugged and share tears.  No social media account will ever fulfill us in the ways that we truly NEED.

I sometimes feel lonely when looking through my Facebook feed, or scrolling through Instagram.  It’s as if seeing all of these people I love, but only on a tiny screen, reminds me that I’m not with them.  And, to be fair, we’re at the age where all of our friends are having babies and growing their careers- it’s a busy time!  There isn’t as much focus on social get togethers as I’d prefer, understandably, but I wonder if somehow we’re missing something?  Do you think about this too?

I’ve been feeling a strong need to get offline more, to get out in the world more.  Lou and I are bouncing around the idea of doing an extended RV trip and driving around the country to meet some of you (would you even want to meet us?!)  I love the idea of hosting little dinner parties for like minded folks who are looking to take this online world off, for a meal and a bottle of wine (or five).  What do you think?  Would you join us at a campground for a meal if I promised to make it delicious?  Would you want to meet me, Lou, Bean, Nugget and Pepito?  Do you think this is a crazy idea?  Please please, tell me what you think!!!!  xx- Sarah

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Reader Comments

  1. Chris|

    This is so true, Sarah, and such a wonderful idea!!! My husband and I travel ALOT but if you ever make your way to the Nashville, TN area…and I’m home…I’m in!!!

  2. Bryn Troll|

    This is a fantastic idea!! :) Ohio is a drive from Southern California but I have some friends (and me!) who would love to meet you all!

  3. Winnie Brave|

    We’re gearing up to do a cross-country tour in our ’76 Winnebago, we’d love to meet up on the road.
    We’ll bring the music!

  4. Amy|

    I think this is a WONDERFUL idea and something that I’ve been contemplating with my partner (though we’ve been talking about an extended sail trip rather than RV/by land). If you find yourself back in Maine, holler!

  5. Johanna|

    I’d love it but I live in Finland! :D Maybe you guys could do a little trip in Europe and Scandinavia? ;) I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now and I absolutely love it! Nice to see how someone across the world seems so like minded. Keep up the good work! :)

  6. Maggie|

    Sarah, it sounds like exactly the type of experience you need! I say, if you feel it then do it! I agree completely about feeling lonely when scrolling through social media accounts. I gave up facebook over a year ago simply because I was tired of the constant updates of what I was missing out on or not doing. It made my life seem lackluster and in the end have been happier cutting it out of my life. I know for your business that isn’t as possible. Instagram is my favorite app, but there again, it makes my life seem so very “unpretty” and I am constantly wishing I was somewhere else because of it. Sometimes that is a good thing- it gives me something to dream about and escape into. But escaping shouldn’t be the way I spend the majority of my evenings (which unfortunately is getting to be my norm). I should be out having fun with my friends. My biggest problem is that I am in a very different stage in my life than the majority of my friends are that live in my city. My likeminded friends live in other parts of the country or in other countries. After reading your post I realized that I do need to call them more, visit more, and also try to meet new people outside of my work or established network. Like you, I need to unplug to reconnect with myself. Go for it, girl!

  7. Erin|

    my boyfriend and I talk all the time about how we don’t feel like we have meaningful connections outside of our families, and we think that most of the people we know feel the same way. It’s such a shameful thing to talk about, so people just pretend that everything is hunky dory. Would love to meet you guys if you come to the Bay Area!

  8. Marcia|

    Connecting through in person gatherings is a constant battle — with schedules, life and the like, your right, it becomes difficult (and frustrating!) to have less of those gatherings which I cherish deeply.

    My husband and I are actually headed out west in a few weeks, and love the idea of a campground gathering — alternately, should you ever find yourselves in/near St. Louis we can have puppy/bunny campfire fun, we’ve got two hounds with boundless energy :)

  9. Kim|

    Couldn’t have been better said.
    I would surely host a meal or join you in a campground.

  10. Elizabeth|

    I agree. My friends and I really have to struggle to make that in person connection. It’s hard to even get together for a cup of coffee. I miss talking with people in person.

    And if you ever make it out to Long Island, NY I would love to meet you and your family in person!!

  11. Jenny|

    Love love love this idea Sarah! I would 100% love to meet the Yates Mora household and would happily meet around a campfire to chat. If you ever find your way near Las Vegas (I promise we have some really awesome campgrounds nearby) let me know!

  12. thefolia|

    OMG this is a FABULOUS idea–how fun, my family always talks about renting an RV for a road trip my eldest just wants to roam about in it as the vehicle moves. All my kiddos would enjoy seeing your furry quadrupeds as well…can you meet a little close to your home (Torrey Pines State Beach) say to kick-off this trip or as the final campsite before you return to your nest. We can bring the sweet potato pie my husband is famous for.

  13. ashley|

    Sarah, What a wonderful thought, were in Oregon and would love to host you! I got rid of my Facebook account years ago but I do have instagram which is a plus/minus kind of joy. No one calls its all texts and email. I miss snail mail. Cheers!

  14. Leah|

    It’s funny to find myself reading your post (and the resulting comments)…I find myself feeling deeply disconnected. It’s like I am on the outside looking in, but I don’t have any idea how to open the door. Its a very awkward feeling. Like middle school or something. I am forty years old, but feel like I am trapped in my own small world. Don’t get me wrong, I like the little life that we have carved out, my husband and I, but I certainly feel I am missing other human connections. I cannot thank you enough for your openness. I feel a little less awkward for it.

  15. Lisa|

    Hi Sarah, I completely agree with you on the Social Media subject. What ever happened to picking up the damn phone. I know I am just as guilty of it. And when I finally do get together/connect in person with friends, acquaintances or loved ones. We talk about how it’s great to see the kids grow up through FB. UGH!
    It would be so much fun to meet you and your family. You inspire me on so many levels. Your growth with this blog, passion for travel, fashion and food. I always try to surround myself with like minded, interesting and healthy people and it would be a treat! Plus, we can chat about amazing San Diego! I grew up there. Now we live in Northern Ca near San Francisco. :) We’ll bring the wine! xo
    P.S. You have inspired us to adopt a bunny for the kids for Christmas. They just love Pepito, Bean and Nugget. ( My 4 yr old’s nickname). :)

  16. Maureen Sutherland Weiser|

    OMG, I would LOVE to meet you! And Lou! And Bean and Nugget and Darling Pepito (my favorite instagram account)! I could not agree with you more! I grew up in So Ca and miss it every day. I also miss that very personal connection that we are lacking in these days. I am now living in Baltimore so if that RV of yours makes it anywhere in a 150 mile radius, I will come to you…and I will bring the wine. And the dessert. And cocktails!

  17. Marji|

    HI Sarah,
    Been wanting to check in your blog and what timing!Love this post and thanks for reinforcing what’s important in the age of social media. And like its name, it’s one aspect of a medium to connect =but at the end, there’s nothing like the face to face interaction. That’s why on birthdays, I still make it a point to call people instead of just texting or shout out at social media. But yes, would love to connect with you guys we love road trips as well. We finally moved up north and saw you guys have been exploring some of our fave spots in central coast. Hope to connect even if not in SD! Enjoy this adventure!

  18. Lauren|

    I think that sounds like heaven!! I dream about getting my husband, son, and 2 pups on an extended vacation … Just traveling and enjoying each other… I think that’s just a beautiful thing to be off the grid with the people you love, experiencing and living in the moment and not worrying about capturing every second with a camera.

    I would love to chat with you, meet your panda bunny and the rest of the crew, and eat some of your amazingly stunning vegan goodness! I’m a fellow San Diegan, so you should do a meet up here before you cruise out of town!! ;)

  19. Shannon|

    There’s nothing like hitting the open road! Love your blog and would love to meet you if you make the long trip up to L.A. ;)

  20. Sam|

    YES YES YES YES. I love this idea. Would love to meet you, love to chat about this in person, would love to snuggle that adorable bunny. The east coast would most definitely welcome you with wide, open arms. Make your way over to Rhode Island so you can see what this little state is all about :)

  21. Daniela Conn|

    Come on down to Fort Lauderdale….I’ll cook and you can feast :) We can even meet you at some of our favorite camping spots…. : ) I agree with your view on feeling more disconnected, however, I have to point out, that you are now considering doing something that 99.9% of us could never financially sustain: take a road trip across America for an extended amount of time. This luxury is made possible to you because of your online world. I would miss your posts so much if you “took a break.” Unlike many other bloggers, you keep it real, but it does make total sense!

  22. Kari|

    Just pop over to Pasadena sometime! Clint and I got the set up in our cute new apartment. We are starting to get the hang of the area and we are so close to the beautiful mountains.
    It’s funny, we were planning on doing the RV living after Clint got out of school. Travel around to all the national parks and visit every state before we have to settle down to become proper adults.

  23. Jessica|

    I think about this often… having just talked to a friend for an hour on the phone last night, I realized how detached we can become without “real” contact. I immediately booked a plane ticket to my hometown to catch up with all the people I love and hug them, play with their children on the floor, laugh until our bellies hurt, cook dinners together (over copious amounts of wine), bundle up in sweaters and go for walks with coffee… just BE together. It’s a lost art, that being thing. That said, we live in San Francisco and go on roadtrips/camping/hiking trips all the time, so we’d love to cook meals and drink wine with you guys. Do it. Grab life. DO IT.

  24. Mia W|

    I’m game! Our family is just 45 minutes up the 15 from you if you want to do a trial run in sunny Temecula wine country!

  25. Sarah|

    Greetings from Asheville! Would love to meet you and your family after loving your blog for so long!

  26. shelley|

    Agree…and think that your cross country trip sounds like an adventure to remember!
    Would love to meet you and the family, enjoy good wine and good food! We are on the coast of North Carolina! Hope to see you!

  27. Sarah Yates|

    Ya’ll are the BEST!!!!! So excited by the possibility of meeting you, one by one!!! Thank you so much!!! xx

  28. Kaycee Thayer|

    Oh, I would love to meet you and Lou. My husband already refers to you as my blogger friend. I have so appreciated you responding to my emails about struggling with Crohn’s disease. Your blog has been a blessing and a source of daily inspiration. I live in Oakland and on your last trip through the Bay Area it was so fun seeing check out some of my favorite spots. Next time you come around this way I’d love to have dinner or go camping. We have a lovely home in Oakland and good friends like yourself are always welcome.

  29. Heidi|

    I appreciate this writing so much. I’ve been feeling very much the same. It seems the more options for connecting socially we have the more isolated we become.

  30. Sabrina|

    When I recently came out of a long term relationship the dating world had completely changed because of social media. It’s so confusing, people interact at an arms length and yet both of your lives are completely out there before you even meet in person. I’m right there with you: we need to hear voices, see body language, share hugs.

    Campground dinner with you guys sounds amazing. I would even bring the wine!

  31. Bailey|

    Lots of great camping in Sonoma county/ Russian River. We would love to meet you!

    And I’m glas to know I’m not alon in feeling this. Especially in California with the sometimes perpetual summer, it’s scary how weeks and months slip by between good meaningful visits with friends. Thanks for the awesome post.

  32. Christine Smith|

    Splendid idea! I produce cultural events and I always encourage my clients to keep them intimate and smaller – much more of a lasting impact. I hope your family can come join us in Pittsburgh, PA.

  33. Jana|

    This is so true. I feel like this often. I have taken a huge step back from social media. I stepped away from Facebook last year & it was one of the best decisions. I have the problem of feeling lonely by looking at what the people I love are doing & that I’m not involved in that which is totally unhealthy. Instead, I have to step away and reach out to those people outside of social media.

    Also… I can’t promise a whole lot of fun compared to CA but if you’re ever in Oklahoma, I’d love to meet you. I love the way you view life.

  34. Caprice|

    Oh, how I go back and forth on the social media/internet love/hate relationship too!
    Little dinner parties for like-minded folks sounds fantastic! If you make it anywhere near PHX, I want to know about it :)

  35. Laura|

    Absolutely yes! This is also something I think about regularly and, as the mum to two young boys, also how their lives are/will be being shaped by social media… We’re only up the road from you in LA!

  36. lizzie|

    Yes yes and yes! Drive your RV over to england too, it’s not far! ;-) I absolutely adore your blog and relate so muchto everything you share. I work from home and although I have a good network of designer friends, and it fits in so well around my children, I do feel incredibly lonely sometimes. It took me a while to actually realise what this new feeling was. The trouble is a large part of my job requires social media so I feel unable to escape it. Plus I love instagram, it’s such an inspiration but the downside is it (and Facebook) can make your life feel empty and as though it doesn’t measure up to everyone else’s fabulous moments My daughter is in serious L.O.V.E with Pepito, so if I show her this post, she’ll be booking us flights over to you. We’ll pack a tent, and smuggle our rabbits in our hand luggage. x Lizzie

  37. Kayla|

    Yes! Would love love love to meet you! If you come back to Pismo Beach, I’d love to come out for a campground meal :)

  38. maria|

    What an incredible way to connect! Come to Seattle. We have so many beautiful spots.

  39. Joan|

    What a fantastic idea! If you get up Portland, OR way, let me know! I’ll bring the wine.

  40. Elizabeth Shaw|

    Hi Sarah! I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog today and this post especially! I was just feeling the same way and thought – heck, I need to disconnect to really connect these days it feels like. I am a local SD blogger as well up in the North County area of Scripps Ranch. I’d love to meet up if you’re ever interested! Prosecco in hand, of course :).
    Happy New Year and I’m looking forward to following you House in the Hills now that I’ve found it!