Fast/Face

I’ve been scaling back my time on twitter for sometime; I nearly deleted the account a month ago but had too many friends ask me not to do it so I reconsidered. Now I checked only irregularly and mostly use an autopost type feature to place updates there. I did this so I could free up time to check facebook more since that’s where most of the folks in our meeting “hang out.” But as is the normal trend for me I am no holds barred, and all or nothing. So it didn’t take long to feel like facebook was also taking up too much of my mental space (not to mention my actual time!). So I took a week and half off from it. I only popped on a couple times to respond to important messages people sent me that I had no other way to respond to. Too be honest, I’m proud of myself for being so disciplined and actually not peaking. Typically, I’m the guy who grumbles when he’s fasting to the point that I’ll sneak little nibbles here and there on crackers (or whatever) when no one is looking to fight the hunger pains. My internal dialogue is more of a holler: I just can’t take this any longer! I have a low threshold for pain, what can I say? So knowing my lack of will power when it comes to drawing hard and fast lines like this, I think I did a good job!

Anyways, the discipline really helped the week feel like I was free from social medias nonstop flow. In fact, I barely thought about it at all and really enjoyed the extra time not responding to countless emails or getting tied up in this or that informational drama. There were a few urges to share things I came across on the web or post an update, but having this rule in place helped me question what the point was of that urge. That gave me enough space to realize I wasn’t ready to re-engage just yet. Plus, I enjoyed having my email inbox much less active than usual, and enjoyed the time I had to make more phone calls than I normall do. So when I logged back in today I did it with a renewed sense of control over social media and a feeling that I didn’t really miss it that much when it was gone, so why not find ways to limit how often I check and share things there? The obvious point I discovered is: if you don’t post updates, or share items on facebook (or twitter) the community by in large doesn’t interact with you. In other words, if you feel like you’re getting flooded with messages, comments, and other FB interactions just stop sharing and updating and wham, 2 days later it’s as if your account was deleted. This is a really helpful thing to know because I tend to flood the informational river with links, quotes, thoughts, etc. Pacing myself will have long reaching effects on everything else I do.

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Wess

...is the William R. Roger Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.