A while ago, without ceremony or much thought, I went dark on social media. I deleted all of the apps from my phone and haven’t been to the websites. For someone as socially engaged as I am on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, this is a Big Deal. Except, it turns out it sort of isn’t.
I’ve always admired folks who announced they were taking a break, or those rare people who just never signed on, but I didn’t think I could do it. I readily admit to a Twitter addiction; I am not immune to the effect of a “like” or a “favourite” on my brain. Beyond that, I am just a really social person and these platforms were great facilitators for keeping up with my friends and family. Without them, I would most certainly not enjoy the professional networks that I currently have. But something not great was happening to me within the last while — it all just got too noisy and I sort of snapped. My mind was racing almost all the time and it just wasn’t leading anywhere productive. So. I stopped.
I honestly thought I would cave and crawl back after a couple of days, but I’ve adjusted quite well. The desire for social interaction is definitely still there. My husband and best friend get WAY more texts about mundane daily life than usual, but honestly, that’s probably for the best. Twitter doesn’t actually need to know that I am incapable of remembering to use the avocado I keep bringing for my salad at lunch (NB: I’ve solved this problem by singing this song to myself on those days). The knee jerk reaction to share what I read is definitely still there; I mean if I don’t share an article and throw in my own 280 character hot take on it, did I even really read it? The local radio morning show doesn’t even know how angry they’ve made me anymore! My son turned 7 and we had a freaking Binky The Space Cat themed birthday party! And, honestly, I do feel really bad about keeping the cuteness that is Binky and Mittens to myself; they are something else.
There are things I miss that I wish I could keep and throw away the rest – mainly Twitter banter with people who I met there, or with who I would otherwise have no reason to chat (hey Giso… I miss you, buddy!), and there is a touch of FOMO when it comes to being up to date with the latest in library stuff and world news, but I have also come to realize that it’s both a blessing and a curse to be so immersed in keeping up with EVERYTHING. Instead, I purchased a subscription to The New York Times and am more intentional in the news stories and other news media I choose to listen to and read. My mind has slowed down, I feel more focussed and more productive. It feels good. It also means I am able to concentrate on what the heck I am going to say at CAPAL (!!), which, given the amount of headspace I’m letting it take up, that’s a really good thing.
I can’t say I’m 100% done. I mean, I feel like unless I get better at watching TV on my own, I will eventually run out of light hearted mind candy to scroll through in the evenings. I am rapidly running out of English language content on Angela Merkel. In the meantime, I am still here. And so are these guys… here ya go!
Love, Jane and Binky and Mittens