1 October, 2012  |   10 Comments

Time off for good behavior

Ronn's Cheese Curds

Last week I went to Wisconsin to visit my mom.

I also took 7 days off the social media internet.
No Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, 4Square, WordPress or Flickr for me, no way.
I checked email twice a day and sometimes I texted.
But I’m not a real big texter anyway.

No blog reading, no blog comments, no, no…
Joining The Conversation.
(Did reading that make you as tired as it made me?)

I hadn’t expected what strong… FEELINGS I would develop about the various digital interfaces. With a little distance, I found myself angry about some platforms, and either filled with longing or guilty from stressful neglect.
(I think this means I need a little distance a little more often.)

I want to like Twitter but Twitter stresses me out.

I didn’t miss updating, reading or thinking about Twitter at all. People selling something, being self-congratulating and smug, complaining, promoting themselves or engaging in stressful debate.

No thanks.

It wasn’t until I realized that the only things I myself was compelled to share were nearly entirely negative, mocking, self-depricating or self-aggrandizing that I learned my Twitter relationship either has to evolve or drop entirely.

Instagram, you are my lover.

BatteriespluslightbulbsOh my, Instagram fills a hole in my life I didn’t know was there. It’s a real-life snapshot of all the loves.

And during the end of my frizzly internet frustration, I rather rudely commented (on Twitter) that I would unfollow you if you Instagrammed screenshots of your latest blog post.
Sorry about that.

After taking 7 days away from the internet,
I realized I would still probably do that.
But I would be a quiet unfollower, not a loud, ALL CAPSY unfollower.

I love that Instagram hasn’t been co-opted by the marketers, that for now, it’s the clutter in the background, the giant Belgian Waffle, the grinning child, the cool graffiti. It is Neilochka’s art. Instagram, I embrace you with my open arms.
(BTW I’m mllehelenjane on Instagram)

Facebook, you’re on warning.

Facebook has a utility, but I don’t need to check it as often as I do.

I check that site nearly 8 times a day, but I get only useful information from it every other day. Only one check of Facebook a day.


This world, this social, pretend, not real, real life world continues to change, and I’m changing along with it.



10 thoughts on “Time off for good behavior

  1. 1

    Oh man. Does that mean you’ll UNFOLLOW ME. I’m guilty of it….sigh. Twitter and I aren’t that friendly. I cut her off on weekends. It feels good.

    • 1.1
      Helen Jane says:

      See? I can’t ever UNFOLLOW you, so there, I sit, needing another week off of the internet.

      There’s So. Much. Internet. in the world.
      I think it’s just overwhelmed me.

      Also, GAH. Twitter.

  2. 2
    Angella says:

    I’ve been disconnecting (for the most part) on weekends, and chunks of time during the week. It’s led me to the same conclusions as you’ve come to. Reason #254 why we’re friends.

  3. 3
    Ally Bean says:

    You’re preaching to the choir here. Over the last month I’ve come to the same conclusions you have. Twitter bugs me. Pinterest annoys me. And Instagram fascinates me.

    Maybe it’s my age, but I’m feeling like the party is over– and it’s time to detach from “So. Much. Internet.”

  4. 4
    Erin G. says:

    I COMPLETELY agree. To the extent that I dropped off Twitter for a couple of years… then recently I thought I might be missing something, so I came back. It took about two hours to realize I’m missing nothing. Reading Twitter makes me dislike people I like, and that can’t be right.

    I also love Instagram. I used to love Pinterest before it was all made-up inspriational quotes and e-cards and diet tips. I check in on Facebook because my whole family is there (and ONLY there) and it looks weird if I’m the only one who doesn’t “like” a status. But I only post there once every couple of months.

    Ugh, I need to just write on my site more. I’m paying for like five URLs plus hosting.

    Thanks for all this, by the way. Your posts are always real.

  5. 5
    Lindsay says:

    Great post. I feel bizarrely chained to social media in that I’m nursing my newborn several times a day and it helps me “stay connected” (read: not bored) but in reality I feel less connected than ever. Funny how that works. Too much of a “good” thing isn’t really good at all.

  6. 6
    Catherine says:

    I am starting to fall out of love with Twitter, too. Too much noise, not enough of it worth tuning into.

    (Also, I hope your mom is doing well.)

  7. 7
    whitney says:

    Yes, yes, and yes! To all of it. ALL OF IT.

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