back on twitter after twenty one days downtime from that, lessons learned?
I’ve been on twitter for over 13 years.
In that time I don’t think I’d had one break from it. I’ve literally had that thing squeaking, bleeping and putting me off my shit for the last decade or more. Like a nagging bird in a pet store saying dodgy things to customers it’s always been there with it’s pieces of eight dopamine repeater station set to stunning.
Twenty one days ago I decided I needed to close down, shut down, mute, quiet, just like stop things distracting me — I’d wanted to do a course so bad about screenflow and to get another one going that I said I was going do way back in november 2018, like. .. wtf, man. Where you at?!
So yeah, I deactivated that because I realised I had fallen into the trap of tab refreshing hell, boredom surfing and filling my time between things that were gonna take longer with this comfort blanket of social media — after a decade it had become so second nature that I never questioned it because keeping current was imprinted in my brain.
Dayle would share news or links and I’d have already seen them. I was literally taking a duplicate of the pulse of the social web and keeping it fresh and in my brain for days on end. It was like being a junky and not realising what the source was.
Thankfully though my cold turkey escape came from a similar thing that I used to do a decade ago too. inline video comments. It was the realisation that something needed to change, I had this mega big flashback of the last time I did that and then filled in the gaps in the middle — oh shit, that was a decade ago, trying to rapidly track back all the parts in between (the years fly when ya older I kept telling myself) and drawing a few blanks.
it took a real like blast from the past to reactivate my future, or at least in this moment, I realised that the distractions had started to effect the actual work and things I enjoyed to the point that it had become a crutch to use it as a distraction because ‘at least I was still up to date and current’
I’ve never deactivated my twitter account and trust me it was the best thing I could have done.
At first for the first three days it was pretty rough, trying to open up tabs to twitter and hitting my ‘not here’ page, not able to get to moments, then sent me spiralling to go and find alternative news in another tab. I started to see the cycles I’d go through without realising it — it took a week to really be at peace that yes, that information stream was not longer available, it was like rediscovering time management all over again.
Today, I reactivated my twitter. I have a new social plan moving forward. One month on, one month off — one month of solid work on the thing, one month less of social while doing it — once it’s done come back to social and say ‘I made this’ — I always bang on about distraction economies but I’d never really noticed the mental impact on them just being this almost fused with my brain reaction — replacing the email checking to social networks, they had literally snared me to my device.
In the last month it’s given me more room to mentally breathe and realise what I want to be working on and what I’m not. I’m happy to have the clarity, I heartily suggest it to anyone that feels like they are consumed by conversations or anyone that feels overloaded with choice making or barrage of dialogs that overwhelm you before you even get into your day.
Take a break, your grey matter will thank you for it!
Hugs and Little Air Kisses