Progress Report: my hiatus from social media

It was February 18 when I declared that I would be laying off Twitter (and other various forms of social media) for the 6-week period people have come to know as Lent. So here I am, having reached the midway point in this period of self-denial. How is the hiatus going?

For starters, I am closer to being caught up at work, which was one of my largest motivating factors in all this. Getting lost in watching my feed, following various links from that feed, adding more names to follow to keep that feed moving like I somehow needed a drug to keep my brain happy… these things all kept my attention firmly away from what I was being paid to do for 8 hours a day. It was becoming an addiction, an escape from the dullness of my tasks. And also an excuse not to get up to something creative when I wasn’t “at work.” Too busy, checking in on the party, see who said something witty. Or better yet, wait until everyone at the party hears this witty thing I have to say. Make sure it’s something punchy, that hits its mark in under 140 characters!

I haven’t been perfect, and I kind of expected that. I have looked at the feed a few times, mainly when I was on the bus on my way to the cancer center, or in the waiting room of same. Here and there I looked at a specific Tumblr, though not my own dashboard. I knew I’d slip, and I was okay with that. I think knowing that from the start may have prevented me from being worse at it, frankly. As though if I’d set out to be perfect at it, and then slipped, it would be like screwing up a New Year’s resolution diet: forget it! I’ve messed it all up now. Might as well eat the entire bag of cookies!

But I’ve been pretty good nonetheless. In addition to getting back on track with my day job, I’ve also put in considerably more time knitting a sweater I’ve had a pattern for since Christmas 2013. I’ve also had to rip back several inches, but that’s beside the point. Also got back to doing the finishing on a felted bag I’d started more than a year ago. And I helped my husband work on organizing the garage, wrestling it back from “dumping ground for shit we don’t know where to go with” into “future site of the Coconut Lounge” which is what we’re calling the space that will be my sewing room and his art studio. At one of the windows, I have my “seeding” area which is a planting table I made from an old bathroom vanity and a small table top, a seedling heat mat and a grow light. Have to get those seeds started now, even though it’s still below freezing overnight, so we can get the garden planted.

Above all else, I have been less edgy, less depressed, more inspired and willing to try things. I’ve refined my techniques for baking sourdough bread, and now it’s something we enjoy regularly. I’ve even sat down and read a damn book. So far, I’d say this experiment has been quite successful. It’s also shown me that I am really not missing anything important. I didn’t learn Leonard Nemoy died until my husband got home. But you know I doubt Mr. Nemoy cared about that. I also learned of Terry Pratchett’s passing without the help of Twitter (thank you XKCD). There’s news of atrocities around the world (readily available on NPR) and someone’s always outraged at something. But I just don’t have the energy, literally, to do any more than I am already doing. Why would I need social media to remind me of this?

Three more weeks until Easter. I wonder how anxious I’ll really be to get back to it once this hiatus ends.

Category(s): Ruminations, Spirituality
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