Tonight (Tues.) marks the end of my one week Twitter-free challenge. It has been a liberating week that has allowed me to reconnect to my real life and discover something new about myself. It’s safe to say I had a problem with the internet in general and especially Twitter. It’s not unlike drugs or alcohol in that it offers you highs and at times leaves you flat on your face. Depending on how you use Twitter and the road it takes you on this may look different to different people. For me it was about validation and feeling “liked.” If I tweeted the right thing people would reply and show interest in me. Conversations would start and I’d get the warm fuzzies of a new friendship without having to leave my living room. But what you realize about Twitter is that it is saturated with people and those people are using it for all sorts of reasons, mainly to get noticed themselves. People move on, find new followers and engage in more interesting conversations. For me, I was always on Twitter (logging in and out almost constantly), but not always getting that validation. In those down moments I would feel the urge to sign off and stay off, but then someone would mention my blog or tweet about my “lovely smile” and I’d be sucked back in again.
For weeks now I have felt this pull to spend less time online and especially less time on Twitter. I have met such great people there though and when I would think of taking a break the fear voice would pipe in. What if my Twitter friends forget me? And of course the logical answer to that is if they do forget me they are not actually friends and if they are friends they will not forget. But that damn fear voice is not logical, it just panics and clings. So I decided I would present my predicament to one of the sweet souls over at Owning Pink. I happened to find her on gmail chat last Tuesday evening.
I asked her if she spent a lot of time on Twitter. This was a question I already had the answer to. Yes, she has an account, no, she doesn’t really use it. I told her that I was beginning to feel like it was draining me. It was making me feel like the regular girl trying hard to be the popular girl. I am an introvert at my core and that huge part of me aches at these attempts to be an extrovert. I joined Twitter for the sake of my blog. It’s what people do when they have something to publicize. She asked if it was helping. I told her I thought it helped but really could only see about 8 hits a day that come from Twitter. The fact is out of 1400 followers I have on Twitter, maybe 20 of them read my tweets (or at least that’s how it seems).
Then she suggested this challenge…Take a week off of Twitter or for the next week limit the time you spend there. There it was, one of those wonderful clicks. I thought OF COURSE, I’LL DO IT. A minute later I left my last tweet for the week (other than the daily post that goes to the FB fan page and Twitter simultaneously).
So what have I done this week? I read a book. I meditated more. I bought a sketch pad and started drawing. Inspired by Bella’s homemade Valentines, I’ve started making greeting cards. I put 5 handmade and handwritten cards in the mailbox to friends and loved ones today. I’ve played Wii with Mark. I’ve spent time with the girls. I’ve wallowed in the beauty of my real life. I’ve breathed in gratitude that these three people are here in my world loving me so completely and wonderfully. I am full and blessed and happy.
I’ll sign back on to Twitter tonight. I’ll say hello to the friends I’ve missed. Maybe I’ll find a few mentions of me, or maybe I won’t. I have learned that I can earn the same validation by listening to my soul when it demands a change.