Wednesday, October 9, 2013

In which I babble about twitter

I had originally intended to write a really wise post today about how I focus too much on being productive and on everything I do - both with my kids and for myself - has to have an objective, purpose, tangible outcome.

But 1) I don't feel especially wise today and 2) Deciding to write *about* something always seems to be the death knell of that particular idea.  Just me?

So instead I'm just going to babble.  And call it "embracing my own imperfection."

Cool?  Cool.

I've been trying to be quiet on twitter lately.  This is not an all or nothing proposition for me.  I just need some boundaries and some space.  I think, for me, there are a few big dangers of being on twitter all the time.  First, I get needy and desperate to please.  I mean, I do that without twitter, but I can do it faster and more publicly with the extra platform.  Second, I get sucked in and waste all the time I could be using to bake cookies, play with my kids, or lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling.  (What?  It's productive.)  But third, and this is what I've been grappling with maybe the most, is that sometimes I feel like I use up all my words.

Deep down inside, I have a fundamental fear that I don't have anything to say.  That I don't have anything worth saying that anyone would want to hear.  It stops me from talking, it stops me from writing. But somehow, it doesn't usually stop me from tweeting.

Something about the 140 character limit makes me wittier.  Gives me snark that's not really mine.  Makes it so easy to condense my entire day into an extremely charming one-liner.  One that people like.  One that gets me pats on the head, giggles and retweets.

But I shouldn't be condensing.  I should be expanding.  I want to be taking the little things and fleshing them out into big things, seeing the nuances, sharing the meaning that emerges from the tiny details.  Instead I am squeezing it all into a tiny package, albeit a cute one, and then there is nothing left.

When I write in my journal or on my blog, I don't get used up.  I don't run out of things to say.  I get replenished, fed, built up.  I have more words, not less.

I need to say less to say more.  I think.

But I do really love twitter.  You think I'm cute and funny there.  And I'm not ready to give up being cute and funny.

So I guess it's all about balance in the middle ground.  As usual.  Dang it.


  1. I hadn't ever thought about twitter like that - but I totally see where you're coming from. When we meet in person (dammit it will happen!) I think I'll find that you ARE cute and funny just like on twitter except MORE.

    But there certainly is a format on twitter isn't there? Easy-to-follow social rules. A game that gets pretty simple to play if you let yourself.

    I backed off recently because I noticed I was becoming that mom who was looking at her kids through her phone. I was trading IRL connections for the digital ones. And I was starting to feel like if I stayed offline for an hour that I had missed out.

    Bottom line? I started to think I "should" be checking twitter. And then I took a shot. And put down my phone.

  2. When I can't expand on what I am trying to convey, or when I just need to ask a question, or when I need support in the moment, that's where I go...then I walk away. Friends are awesome on twitter but there is a balance of being completely present in your life, than being present online. Stories happen when you're living it. It's hard to do when you're online all of the time, I find.
    That's why I put my phone in my purse or in the bedroom...if it's out of reach then it's out of mind :)

  3. Oh the Twitter, my first love and my curse. I try to follow sweet Alexandra's advice. The wise Empress told me that she used it in the morning to jump start her day, at lunch to say hi and after everyone was in bed for the night. I try to emulate her example. Ahem. I'm getting better. I don't have a panic attack when I misplace my phone. Baby steps, right?

  4. This inspires me, because I've been feeling the same way, like I'm running out of words. I barely even blog these days, but I sure do tweet a lot.

    The other night, Jackson put his hand on my phone and looked at my face and said, "Mom, put down your phone and watch this with me." It stung, because that's not the first time he said this to me recently. I need to do better.