Letting Twitter Float Away

SweatingCommas: "I'm out."

I posted the above tweet to tell people I wasn’t going to be around much and to let them know how they can keep in touch with me. Despite Twitter’s usefulness over the last few years, I’m avoiding it now as an experiment to see what changes come about for me in two important areas of my life: my social connections and my creative expression.

I lived an isolated life for a long time. Services like Twitter gave me an opportunity to connect with people when I had no easier way to connect. In fact, it was the relationships I formed on Twitter that sustained me and provided comfort and hope through the most difficult time of my life. When I didn’t have anyone nearby to rely on, I could get in touch with friends all around the world for encouraging words and smiles of support. I stepped out of that isolation a year ago, and Twitter hasn’t kept pace.

When I was just beginning to realize I have a unique voice and valuable things to say, Twitter provided a chance for me to speak and be heard in a way I didn’t have before. I thought I was good with words, and posting to Twitter gave me a hundred chances a day to see if I was right. Those short posts became the primary outlet for my creativity. That was helpful for a time, but I’ve got bigger things to do and more stories to tell.

It’s too easy to read my Twitter stream and feel like I’m connecting with people, when I actually crave something much deeper that’s passing me by as I stare at my phone. The seeds for the stories I’m working on get washed away in that same stream when I drop them there instead of holding on to let them grow and develop. I’ve got to step back.

These first three weeks have been tough on me. I’ve felt frustration and some more of that old isolation, but I know things don’t have to stay that way. Adding this sort of friction to my life has prompted me to find different ways to pursue my goals and clear new paths for my upgraded routines. It’s good, and it’ll get even better as I continue moving forward.

You’re not going to see me on Twitter, but I’m still around and hoping to connect with you and everyone else. You can email me any time. If you’re nice, I’ll even give you my phone number so you can text or call when something’s on your mind.

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