I joined Twitter 8 years ago! From a mere place to chat about crappy TV (Big Brother, of course...) it became a place where I could interact with far cleverer people than myself and learn a little more about the world. I used it to get my message on marriage equality out to a wider audience which was an excellent way to vent some pent up emotions (and logic... lots of logic).
But what a time drain it has become. I hesitate to use that overly used faux-medical term "addiction" but it is certainly a habit. This last weekend I was feeling "low" in a way I haven't for a long time. Most of that is simply work-related stress but it made me think "Who the Hell am I?" and "What do I want?". I want more time to learn, to read and to spend more time engaged with my other half (naughty!).
And Twitter is the easiest thing I can get rid of to see if it opens up some space in my life. I get up at 5am. Leave the house at 5.30am. Walk 40 minutes to a train station, take a 30 minute train to the town where I work. I leave work at 5pm-ish and tend to get back home by 6.30pm. My bed calls to me like a siren to sailors and thus I've only a few short precious hours of "liberty" during the week. Rather than spending time constantly reloading Twitter, trying to think of "witty" things to say (sadly I've still not quite managed to think one up, but I live in hope) and tilting at windmills, I could be reading one of the hundreds (that is not an over-estimation either) of books I need to read. I could get round to learning a language. I could be staring at Jim whilst he plays his PS4. I could be re-connecting with extremely neglected real-life friends. Basically, there's a lot I want to be doing and far too little time.
Plus... I've just finished reading Jon Ronson's "So You've Been Publicly Shamed" which paints an extremely concerning portrait of how social media could be making us little better than the sort of people who took glee in attending public executions. Is it healthy? Is there a better way?
That's what I want to explore... I'm not deleted my Twitter and I'm not even promising to stay away for long. I'm too fickle and weak to give anything up for long (though I've managed to be without a denim jacket for several years now much to the approval of my friends and family who tore the last one off me and threw it away...). But I am taking a break from Twitter. Experimenting with a life lived without the need to comment on every thing I see or do. I hope it turns out for the best!
Of course I decided this all last night but broke my break within 12 hours upon hearing of Charles Kennedy's extremely sad passing. But I'm straight back on the wagon... Baby steps.