Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tweet Tweet

There are lots of opinions out there about social media. From it's the most amazing thing to on the internet to it's the downfall of real life communication and everything inbetween. One thing that is pretty much universally agreed upon though is that it's good to take a break from such things every once in a while. Unplug, if you will. Now I'm m not one to trash social media (and the internet in general) since I owe half of my current friendships to Twitter and Dailymile, but good lord I can certainly see the benefits of stepping away from the computer screen- even for a short period of time.

I tend to be a sensitive person. Not that I'm a fragile flower so-to-speak, but I'd like to think that I'm fairly empathetic. I find that I'm very affected by the moods of people around me and social media can really amplify that. I realized that I was getting to point that I was checking in on Twitter constantly- and consequently being very affected by whatever I was reading at the time.  And let's face it: a large percentage of the time people are going on Twitter to bitch. Truth. I got to a point where I was being drawn in too much by the emotions of all the people I follow on social media. I like these people most of the time but I just wanted a break from the constant chatter, you know?

A few weeks ago Jason and I took a road trip out to Boston. We visited some of my family in a nearby suburb and spent some time exploring the city for a few days. Still, any time we were waiting in line somewhere or stopping back at the hotel- basically any free moment there was some downtime I was refreshing my friends list on Twitter.

What the hell.

During the drive home I made a decision. No tweeting for two weeks. None. And absolutely no lurking around checking on my feed either. That's really the time suck for me. For every tweet I post there's pages and pages of scrolling and reading things I never comment on or respond to.  What I really needed to do was just go about my day without any outside influences to muck it up. And you know what? I'VE GOTTEN SO MUCH DONE THESE PAST TWO WEEKS. It's been amazing. Without the constant distraction I've been incredibly productive. On the flip side I'm sure I've missed about a thousand and three things going on in my friends lives but then I think back to 5 or 6 years ago and I realize I wouldn't have known those things anyway unless I called them on the phone or saw them in person.

I'm not quitting the internet. I'd be lying if I said these past two weeks haven't been kind of freeing in a way. And here's the real kicker: I still posted on Instagram even checked Facebook once a day. I wasn't even remotely "unplugged" in the real sense of the word. Twitter is different though. I once explained to someone as "an ongoing conversation that is always happening." You can always jump in. You can always find someone to talk to. You can also find about a million things to roll your eyes about and ruin your day.

Today I got on Twitter for the first time in two weeks. I posted a couple of things and scrolled through my secret "besties" list to see what people were up to. Then I closed it. I'll probably look again tomorrow while I'm having coffee. I enjoy it, really I do! It was really hard for me not to check in at first. I just need to find a better balance. First World Problem indeed.

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