Imagine trying to go a day without updating your Facebook status.
How about one week without tweeting?
Could you go two weeks? How about three or longer?
I am currently pursuing the answer to those questions as I have finally decided to try to teach myself a little self-discipline and learn about my personal development by not updating any of my statuses on Facebook or tweeting about everything that I feel my followers should know about (i.e. how lovely the weather is, what song I’m currently listening to, etc.)
This decision was somewhat “spur of the moment”, however, I have contemplated deactivating my social network accounts many times and I guess my decision to do this can be viewed as me taking it one step at a time.
Although the time for deactivation has not come yet, not pouring my life out to the people in the World Wide Web is officially underway.
It hasn’t even been a full week, and already, I feel a major sense of withdrawal.
When walking around campus, I am tempted beyond measure to tweet every thought that comes to me; no matter how simple, random or less-than-clever the thought may be. The same
thing goes for when I’m in class learning about the recent natural disasters in Japan. I want to be able to post as many links possible that are related to the issue so that my followers who may not
be as into the news or the world will be informed. But that may just be the journalist in me.
So far, once I’ve had a thought that I feel is Twitter worthy, I automatically think to pull out my phone, in order to update on the go. And it seems that no less than 10 seconds later, one side of my brain is slapping the other to remind it not to do it.
The reason why becoming Twitter-less has seemed to be so hard, is because in all reality, these social networking sites serve as a journal and therapy tool.
I can pour my heart and soul out in 140 characters or less. Or I can rant endlessly in a Facebook status. No matter what the emotion may be, Twitter and Facebook are always there for me. I feel a sense of relief once I hit send from my phone, or after I hit tweet when I’m online.
When it comes to my updates that are more personal and emotional than they are informative or professional, I do not care if my followers read or reply to those tweets. I just care that I was able to vent. With these sites I can express what I am feeling at any time during the 24 hour day, and because these sites are not human, I do not have to worry about being judged or being told that I am wrong.
I told a friend about my withdrawal feeling, and she asked if I thought about starting to journal again. My response was no. I have become so used to typing out my thoughts and feelings, that journalling never really crossed my mind. It seems like it takes too much time and isn’t as efficient as using the Web.
However, I think if I want to save myself some sanity, I will invest in a notebook to compose all of my urgent thoughts. Although I am sure that I will continue to struggle with this because I have to deal with my own thoughts, I also feel as though I will benefit from the discipline in the end.
I cannot say how much longer I will try to continue this pursuit, but I
know for sure that I will keep you updated and let you know the final outcome of my sanity once the end of this journey and I meet.