There are many times per day that I find myself wanting to post a witticism to Twitter. But more often, what I notice is that I have something brief to just mention, a note that doesn’t call for an entire blog post. Like an observation about whatever I’m working on at the moment. E.g. Yesterday, I was cleaning up and formatting the Executive Board minutes for review this week. I noticed that the Board secretary wrote “fixing to” in his minutes. A specified EMS agency “is fixing to hire more paramedics.” My tweet about it would have been some crack about this lack of professional wording. And I might’ve received some feedback about it, some from north easterners like myself and some from my southern friends. It would’ve been a bit like calling out to a cubicle neighbor in the office.
This morning, I found that the bag of garbage I had set outside (which did not make it all the way to the trash can) had been torn open by an animal. Thus signaling Spring has arrived, I suppose. I probably would have mentioned this mess as well, and received some commiseration comments. It’s not worthy of a big discussion. Just small talk.
It occurs to me that for someone like me, social media becomes a stand in for having office mates when one doesn’t have any. I work at home, alone, 5 days a week. Since my car broke beyond the value of repairing it, and I’ve put off replacing it until it stops snowing every damn weekend, I haven’t been able to leave the house while my husband is at work. With a vehicle, I would drive to the store before starting my work days, or on some days I would go to a cafe to work for a few hours, just to get some contact with other humans. I was already feeling isolated before my hiatus, but the hiatus itself seems to have shined a spotlight on my isolation. It’s made me more motivated than ever to get a running vehicle again, so that I have that autonomy back, and the option for social engagement on my own terms. What it tells me about my relationship with social media is that, yes I need that throughout the day to keep me grounded. But also that I was leaning on it so heavily to compensate for my utter lack of human interaction other than my husband, and I need real interactions, live, in-person in order to maintain my mental health.
I don’t miss the barrage of news links with which certain users filled their timelines though. And when I return to Twitter and Tumblr, there will be a culling.