Reader QUIT: Twitter (by Tatiana Christian)

Today I volunteered at The Center, the LGBT resource facility near where I live.  I followed Stephanie* (not her real name) around awkwardly as she explained to me how everything worked and what we had to do.

Being unemployed and somewhat friendless, I spend a lot of time online, especially Twitter.   Since I haven’t really been talking to other humans in real life for several months now, I thought I’d forgotten how to socialize with people my own age.   For the first time in what seemed like forever, I got out of the house and actually had a purpose.

 

The Backstory

When you’re unemployed and actively being rejected for work, it can be soul wrenching as you call managers back (only to be denied) and keep a running list of all the places you apply to. It’s emotionally draining to have nothing better to do all day but to play on Twitter, or sleep in until noon.

Motivation can be hard to come by, but it’s even more difficult when I add Twitter to the mix. To be frank, there’s a lot that I want to accomplish: writing that novel, reading more books, actively working on my spirituality, being more proactive in my job search. The list goes on. But I’m not really doing any of those things because I’m on Twitter.

Seriously.

 

How I Learned My Lesson

I’m sure there are tons of blog posts and studies to show what a gigantic time sucker social networking sites can be. Many people possess elaborate time management skills (or tips) to keep away from the keyboard, trying to be present in the living world. The real world.

Not that I want to quit Twitter forever and disappear into obscurity. Twitter is instrumental to building my blogging audience while keeping in touch with fellow bloggers who I really like. But I definitely want to re-evaluate what my priorities are and why I’m ignoring them.

For example, today I picked up a book and the Woody Allen film Play It Again, Sam from the library. This intense wave of familiarity swept over me as I remembered how much I enjoy reading, but indulge so rarely.  After watching the film, I longed for my college film courses where we sat and dissected films scene by scene.

I remembered both things that I love, literature and cinema, but rarely indulge in because I’m honestly too busy with Twitter. I’m way too attached to what my Twitter followers are doing, or being ashamed that I’m not as chatty as a few of the other people I follow.

A lot of my time is spent wondering what the internet world is doing, and instead of being invested in bettering myself, I look at kitten videos on YouTube or re-read old chapters from Bleach.  Time suckers. For five months I’ve been unemployed, not because I wasn’t working hard at finding a job, but because I had become too invested in the internet, in being present in social media.

 

What I’m Going to Accomplish

All things considered: I want a life outside of Twitter, and I want to be a more well-rounded person for my blog. And quite frankly: I definitely want to start working! Part of my goal in quitting Twitter is to reclaim the things I love but have neglected.

So I’m starting today, by writing this guest post instead of trying to see what Twitter is up to. I’m going to focus my attention on things that matter to me, not just vapidly staring off into cyberspace.

Wish me luck.

 

Tatiana Christian is a twenty-something blogger who writes about race, gender, and sexuality in media and day to day living. Her goal is to get conversations started on these subject—and more! Stop by and see her on Twitter or on her blog, Parisian Feline.

 

 

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  • I could use a dose of this Quit myself.  I hate to miss anything on my Twitter feed because I follow so many amazing people, but I have to learn that you just can’t catch everything (if you want to lead a normal life and not go insane).

    So I am also trying more to dip my toe into the Twitter stream from time to time, but not to drown in it.  🙂

    • Definitely! I go back and forth between trying to avoid Twitter all day and spending all day on it. I feel like I’ll miss something if I stay away for too long! :] And I agree – so many awesome conversations and insights happen on my twitter stream. 

  • Oh gods,  Twitter is my nemesis  (Okay, Twitter and Facebook combined, really).  Good luck!

    • Oh thanks!  Twitter is really insane because it’s so addicting. I hardly spend any time on FB – which used to be my drug of choice. I used to spend hours on FB – not even doing anything. Just looking at people’s pictures of commenting endlessly on people’s status. Twitter only SEEMS different because it’s more interactive and constantly updated. But it’s just as mind numbing. 

  • I definitely feel your pain on this.  It sometimes feels like Social Media (Twitter, facebook, blogs) is controlling us, instead of the other way around.  This becomes 10 times worse when you’re self-employed (or un-employed) and have to be 100% in charge of how you manage your time.

    A tip that’s really been working for me over the past few months is that I don’t allow myself Social Media time unless it’s DELIBERATELY scheduled.  So no more checking Twitter when I’m bored or looking at Facebook in my bed.  I have to put “Social Media time” in my to-do list and give myself a time limit (usually one 25 min. Pomodoro chunk).

    This has been working great for me and I finally feel like I’m not drowning in online activity anymore.  And I know exactly how much time I’ve “wasted” on Social Media, unlike before, where who knows how many hours went down that sinkhole lol. Speaking of which, my time is almost up…time to finish up this long ass comment!

    • Yes definitely! I spend an inordinate amount of time reading blogs, commenting, and being on Twitter. I need to learn some self-control in this, and since I’m not working right now, it’s soo easy to spend all day chatting with people on twitter. 

      That sounds like a good idea – moderating how much time I spend online. But I think what also might work is picking and choosing what I will do when I get online. So I can spend some time on twitter, check for new blog posts or see how people are doing. Comment on blogs – which will take however long – and do a basic systems check of all my online activity. So instead of policing the amount of time, I police the amount of stuff I’m doing. I feel more productive this way because I’m accomplishing the things I want to do. 

      Thanks for your advice and comment though. :3 

    • Yes definitely! I spend an inordinate amount of time reading blogs, commenting, and being on Twitter. I need to learn some self-control in this, and since I’m not working right now, it’s soo easy to spend all day chatting with people on twitter. 

      That sounds like a good idea – moderating how much time I spend online. But I think what also might work is picking and choosing what I will do when I get online. So I can spend some time on twitter, check for new blog posts or see how people are doing. Comment on blogs – which will take however long – and do a basic systems check of all my online activity. So instead of policing the amount of time, I police the amount of stuff I’m doing. I feel more productive this way because I’m accomplishing the things I want to do. 

      Thanks for your advice and comment though. :3 

      • That sounds like an awesome plan 🙂  Keep me updated on how your battle goes, I’m in the same fight too!