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During my senior year of college, I had a senior project titled "Silent Fingers." This project was me chronically my journey of not using a cell phone for 30 days. Now, this was right when Instagram had just come out and still had bad filters and the only thing you posted on Facebook (at the time) was a cringe ending to "Patty Lauren is..." All that to say, I didn't have the connection to my cell phone that many of us have today.

I also had a landline at my apartment. I think I was the only person in my 20s with a landline, but I loved having it. The only way I communicated with people was e-mail and my landline. I loved every second of it. I worked with a couple of my best friends so I was seeing them every day already, the guy I was seeing at the time would send me these amazingly long, funny emails every day, and I would come home to a few voicemails. It all seemed so simple and carefree.

I aced my project, but the lessons have stayed with me. The constant yearning for more simplicity and less immediate gratification. Technology and social media since then have become like kudzu and trying to untangle yourself from it feels impossible.

At the start of 2023, I ditched my social media for some time away. It's not the first time I've done this and it's not the last, but it might be the most impactful. The older you get the more you realize social media is a total farce. There are parts of it I love (the beautiful pictures, ideas, keeping up with friends, sharing knowledge) but there are parts of it I hate (the endless scroll, the anxiety, the comparison, the unnecessary shopping.) I use social media for work so I can use the excuse "I'm working!" anytime I feel some of those icky feelings come through.

It's been less than 3 weeks but I can tell you a few things are certain. I have 95% less anxiety. I already have a creative's brain - it doesn't need more help being active. I have 100% less foxes to give (IYKYK.) I don't really care what I'm missing out on. I am waaaay more productive in the things that truly bring me joy. I've read almost 12 books so far this year! I'm spending intentional, quality time with my people.

If you aren't sure who your friends really are, get off social media. You'll find out real quick. Sometimes people don't understand why I have a very small circle of friends. It's because the thousands of people who follow me on social media aren't going to check in and see how I'm doing or know the crappy moments of my life, but my little tight-knit group will. Those are the people that matter in your life. Don't abandon and ignore them for likes and comments in the world. At the end of the day, they are the ones who will save you and you them.

It's not impossible to ditch your phone. Maybe not permanently. Maybe not for 30 days. But, you can set boundaries. You can delete apps. You can start living the life you are IN instead of the life you experience through a screen.


patty lauren

Cape Cod has been on our bucket list for awhile so I am so thankful we were able to make it work this summer. We spent a little less than 5 days in the Cape and packed in a lot of fun in a short amount of time. I'll be sharing our itinerary and favorite stops, along with a few tips and tricks!

Day 1 - Travel Day

Allegiant has a direct flight from Knoxville to Boston. We left Knox at 6am and touched down in Boston a little before 8am. Having a full day of fun when flying is my favorite so I don't mind an early flight. We rented a car for our time which was a very simple process after we left our terminal. Remember, we only do carry-on so less time waiting for bags and more time for adventure.

We set out for coffee and while I'm a Starbucks lover, I really wanted to try a local place that had some charm. I found Tatte and we set out to find what was literally the best latte I have ever had in my life. I got an oat milk latte with one pump of caramel sauce and y'all - I savored every drop. Babes got an egg breakfast sandwich and said it was amazing. The place was full of elegance and deliciousness!

We took our breakfast and coffee and walked over to Pier 4 where there's a large greenspace perfect for walking or watching the fancy boats.

Babes is a huge baseball fan (have I mentioned he used to be a baseball player... helllooooo ::insert heart eyeball emoji::) and wanted to drive by Fenway Park. They offer tours every hour on the hour so I convinced him it would be super fun to snag a couple tickets and spend an hour at Fenway. Such a great decision! The weather was perfect that morning and the tour was rich in history and some humor, too.

One of my favorite parts of the tour was sitting in the original grandstand blue, wooden seats from the 1930s - they're the only wooden seats left in any baseball stadium.

We got to go up and sit on the "Green Monstah" - what an experience. The tour is a little over an hour and run every hour on the hour. Adult tickets are $21 and children are $15. It's worth the money to experience a bit of history.

After our Fenway adventure, we headed on to Hyannis Port where we planned to stop for lunch. After a little less than a 2 hour drive, we stopped at Palio Pizzeria right on Main Street.

Their pizzas are made with fresh ingredients (they had a delicious GF option!) and even their own homemade wine. The weather was perfect and we loved sitting on the patio and people watching.

Main Street is lined with rows of coffee shops, eateries, gift shops, and art galleries. After lunch we walked around and took in the idyllic scenery.

Hyannis may be best known for the Kennedy connection and is home to the JFK Museum. If you're feeling adventurous, you can visit Martha's Vineyard but it's a bit of a trek. We had talked about making the plans to do it, but decided on this trip we would pass. You can get to MV's two ways: plane or ferry. A flight is v expensive while a ferry is definitely more affordable (less than $20) if you don't bring a car. If you want to ferry your vehicle, it's a little less than $200. We were ready to get to our finally stop so we headed on to Provincetown (known as ptown)

From Hyannis, Ptown is a little over an hour. All in all, Boston to Ptown is around 2 hours, 45 minutes so if you are driving it definitely pays to stop along the way, have breakfast/lunch and enjoy the drive. We didn't want to rush so the early flight and pit stops made for the perfect first day.

We finally arrived in Provincetown and settled into the cutest inn on the Cape, Salt House Inn. Nestled back off the road in sweeping trees and fairy lights, it was a welcome sight after our drive. They had champagne waiting for us in our room on arrival which was an added bonus!

For dinner, we headed to Mac's Seafood for gluten free clam chowder for me and a lobster roll for Babe (which was also gluten free so I tried and gosh it was so delicious) - we split oysters and it was just such a great first night dinner.

I'll be sharing the rest of my guide next week - all the best places in PTown plus the best beaches and surrounding small towns!


patty lauren

I've been 100% off social media for almost two weeks now and at this point I am truly thinking I may never go back. Personally, I'm an all-in or all-out person (much to the chagrin of my father but I am who I am) it's hard for me to tow a middle line with anything in life. I tend to walk a black and white line on a lot of matters.

I'm not really sure how to go grey in the world of social media, especially when it comes to business. There are so many things I know are valuable to share, but wouldn't they be as valuable sharing through a weekly newsletter or a blog post? There are the algorithms and peak post times and the right hashtags and the most popular reel sounds or songs and the shadow bannings if you share opinions that are "controversial"... it's all exhausting.

I find the absence of social media to create a type of silence in my life I love. You find out who really cares about you as a human (not just as a personality or presence) when someone has to reach out and text/call you to reach you and you find yourself working harder to keep connections yourself with those that aren't as connected to the world of the internet... aging parents, grandparents, friends. Real life - the life that matters on the day to day, exists outside of the confines of your phone. It exists outside of the filters and the swipe ups... not that I don't love those features, but...

Two weeks without being bombarded with fear focused news, angry Instagram/Facebook/Tweets/reshares/reposts have given me a chance to breathe. To remember these things are not my reality. It's so easy to get swept up into the chaos, but it's a choice. Even if your own personal life is chaotic or sorrowful, the added stress from the outside world's voices is a choice. You don't have to add it into your life. What do we truly miss out on? Someone else's highlight reel? Someone else's doom and gloom attitude? A hopeless outlook on life?

Life is a lot more quiet. It's less stressful. Only the pertinent things matter - those who want to stay connected stay connected. It's not a fault of anyone for not - it just is what it is. Social media has created a type of complacency within human relationships. We send social media invites and wedding and pregnancy announcements. "Oh, didn't you get my Facebook invite?" We've been groomed to accept this as normal when it's far from it.

Call me old fashioned or out of touch, but I'll take the hand written notes, snail mail invites, texts (phone calls only if you're bleeding, please) over the flashed social media world any day.

Over the last two weeks, I've read almost 5 books (so close to hitting my goal of 50 before the end of the year!), written lots of snail mail, had uninterrupted evenings with Babes, not worried about the latest Reel I needed to do, not spent 75% of my phone time working Instagram or Facebook, been 100% less stressed or filled with anxiety, not felt pressured to post pictures of my outfit/workout/food/life. I've just been ME.

At the end of your life, what really matters? Your followers? Your likes? Do the people who comment on your pictures really care about you? Do the things and people you really care about know? Or, are they taking a backseat to a world that doesn't really count?

We live in a really strange, wild time, my friends. If you haven't already asked yourself the hard questions... maybe it's time.


patty lauren

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