(Almost) 20 Days Without the Twitters.
Wow. Where does the time go? In this case, I can’t really tell you where it went but I can tell you what I got out of 20* days without Twitter.
Rather than go into some philosophical or other rambling about disconnecting and what that means at its core and the value it brings to our lives and blah blah blah, I’ll just stream some thoughts.
I spent more time reading the news I chose to read, not the news that everyone was sharing. Interesting? I don’t know. I don’t think I missed anything. But maybe I’m wrong. (Related: check out Summly. Download it right now. It’s awesome. It quickly became my Twitter news replacement.)
I realized that there are people in my life – both personally and professionally – with whom I only exchange DMs. That made it kind of hard to stay connected. To say the least. Also felt a little weird to know that was the case. Something about it seems odd to me. No?
Whenever something major happened, I felt like I wasn’t getting the news fast enough. That too was weird.
When Internet prodigy Aaron Swartz died, I felt oddly disconnected from the tech community. But I ended up hearing about it first from Twitter, through Facebook. In that regard, there’s really no way to fully and completely leave Twitter. I’m OK with that.
People talk about stuff that’s on Twitter. A. Lot. Often people would say “did you see what so-and-so tweeted?” but I had no idea, and it definitely made me feel out of the loop. That was also kind of weird. On the work front, my team was really supportive of my break and would send me the texts of tweets that I needed to see. See? No real way to escape. Crazy if you think about it.
There were times when I didn’t think I could really do my job without being active on Twitter. That’s obviously not true. I’m still employed. I think.
I realized that I was spending a little more time on Facebook than I normally do. Likely a natural side effect of the loss of Twitter. It was good. I’d love to try to figure out a way to keep Facebook personal and use Twitter for work. I’m not sure if that’s possible though. The lines are all so blurred.
I reached out to old friends. I looked for ways to make new friends. I got out more. Can’t complain about that!
Oddly, or not, I found myself with more free time during the day. I’m scared to think of how much time I actually spend on Twitter on any given day. I’m not going to figure it out.
The biggest thing that I think I’ve realized is that being away from a constant stream of information (and, I mean this in a good way: noise), did bring a certain calm to my brain. I definitely think that’s a good thing.
I miss Twitter. I really miss Twitter. I miss connecting with friends. And I miss the excitement when things happen.
I’m not sure I can go another 10 days. I think the last 20 days have taught me what I needed to know. I definitely need to find more balance. I will continue to practice the fine art of finding inner peace and turning down the noise. And I need to be more present. All things I can easily do.
Throughout this process I realized it’s not really Twitter that was preventing me from doing any of the above. It was me. But now I’m ready to take it all on again, with fresh perspective and a newfound appreciation of information.
So, Twitter friends, what did I really miss the last 20 days?
*By 20 I mean 19 days and a few hours. But who’s counting?!