For the past 24 hours I’ve been conducting an experiment. I decided to take a break from Facebook and Twitter for a day. Why is this such a big deal? Have you seen mine? Yeah, I’m an addict. I’ve actually backed down from Facebook considerably since the last round of “updates” to the site, but because of that, my Twitter addiction has grown tenfold.
As you can imagine, there were many times today when I grabbed for my phone or opened up my laptop out of instinct to check my news feed and timeline. But I quickly remembered and kept my hands still. It was very very difficult. I knew this beforehand actually, so I deleted the Facebook and Twitter apps from my phone before I started my “timeout.” The notifications stopped, the temptation lessened.
I must admit, I didn’t really miss Facebook that much. Aside from the urge to check after my sister informed me that a friend of mine quoted me in a post, I really didn’t care much to break my silence. All I really do on there is post pictures anyway. So what if I missed few picture comments and invites to hoodrat functions I don’t plan on attending.
Twitter, however, oh how I’ve missed thee. That’s become such an outlet for me. It’s the main source of my socialization. So much that I only talked to 4 people in my absence. On a typical day I chat with dozens of friends and I’m definitely more aware of what’s happening in the community. A lot of times, Twitter is the first source of news for a lot of us. Unfortunately the validity of the news isn’t always that great. But news nonetheless. I personally hate watching the news on TV, so Twitter keeps me up to date.
So what exactly did I miss? Let’s see. I came back to three mentions on twitter, four likes on pictures I’m not in by someone I don’t know, comments in my high school alumni group, sims social requests, a friend request from someone I’ve already deleted, and a like on my writer’s page, a page I no longer use. Really. That’s it.
What did I accomplish today? Well, I cleaned the kitchen, did some shopping, wrapped Christmas presents, looked at myself in the mirror for a while, cooked a bomb ass spaghetti dinner, drank two glasses of wine, played with my kids, watched some TV, and played the Sims3 for about 4 hours. The same exact things I’d do on a regular day.
Now I would say that goes to show that I can go even longer without my social networking fix. Well, yes and no. Sure I functioned the same, got the same things done. And it’s obvious that I didn’t miss anything important. However, I will say that I’ve learned that Twitter (not so much with Facebook) can be one hell of a distraction. And good or bad, sometimes distractions are needed.
On the bad side, I tend to get caught up in conversations on Twitter and when I’m mid-tweet, my kids can be virtually invisible. I always try to finish a thought before addressing anything else around me. But on the good side, those distractions keep my mind from wandering. I spent more time in the past 24 hours thinking about nonsense than I have in forever. Ex-boos, money issues, stress, and other worries consumed my thoughts. Any other day I would just check my timeline and keep my focus on something else.
I guess when all is said and done, I see no reason to completely cut myself off from my social networking addiction. No need to join a 12 step group quite yet. I will, however, say that I might need to limit myself. I need to pay more attention to my surrounding, interact more with my friends in other ways (call, text, visit) and really just not let it consume so much of my time. I’m going to work on all that (scout’s honor) but remember, baby steps are best. Tweet ya later folks.