With the words “I have no more clicks to give…” I took my leave from Twitter. For two days, now going on three. I needed a break and I think the shift to distance learning sent me to a new saturation point. When my work day consists almost exclusively of type, click, swipe, download and upload, I found the swirl of Twitter in addition to be too much to bear.
That’s saying a lot. I love Twitter and owe so much to the communities I’ve joined and helped sustain. There are folks on Twitter who have become like family. I care deeply about them and they about me. So taking a few days away, while necessary has also made me wonder about how I want to shape my future engagement. It’s time for me to step back and think carefully about my purpose on the platform.
Twitter has been a huge source of intellectual nourishment. It’s where I decided to call myself a writer, publish a book, start a publication. Twitter is where I’ve connected with people who have introduced me to incredibly rich opportunities to lead, teach, contribute, share. Without Twitter, my online life grows much quieter. Which seems to be what I need right now.
As for the weekend without- I felt freshly focused, able to sustain my attention a bit better. There’s a book I need to finish reading by Tuesday and I will make it easily. I felt more at ease with my family – not trying to cram in some witty response or skim this hot take by a friend throughout the day. Twitter encourages us to spread our attention thinly over multiple topics. Even if I pause to read a whole article and share it out with a comment or even a thread, I tend to do so with a couple of other topics in my mental queue.
At any rate, I’ve shown myself what’s possible. I stayed away for a hot minute and the world did not come to a screeching halt. Twitter will keep turning whether I show up or not. At the same time, my engagement is not only about me, it is very much about other people. If I step away, how will I convey care and concern for those who are dear to me? Where can folks who may want to turn to me for support or to submit a piece of writing reach me? These are questions I need to consider as well. I don’t think I’m done with Twitter but I will be seeking ways to scale back my participation over the next few weeks.
Sounds a little scary but that may also be the indication of its necessity. We’ll see how it goes.