Detweet

It was a year ago today that I cleared out my Twitter archive, emitted one last Tweet, and decamped from social media altogether.

In the same way that it took me a while to kick a sugar habit, it took me a while to deprogram my brain from its Twitter-dependence. For weeks afterward I continued to think in the pithy ironic thoughts that Twitter demands, and, without an outlet, would get momentarily frustrated.

But like the jones for a Snickers, this too passed, and I’ve never looked back.

All the “oh my, I’ll have no idea what’s going on!” fears that my mind stoked up for me didn’t come to pass: I didn’t leave the Internet, after all, didn’t retire to a cabin in the woods. And Oliver is as voracious a citizen of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as I ever was, and he keeps me in the loop on things I really need to know.

It turns out that the much-vaunted “continuous partial attention” isn’t all its cracked up to be, and I’ve discovered that the thin simulacrum of “connection” that Twitter afforded was meaningless from a practical and spiritual perspective.

I say all this not to proselytize–those still inside the matrix won’t believe anything I’m saying in any case–but simply to mark the anniversary, and to remind myself that it’s a good idea to stand up and pay attention once in a while to the habits, especially the digital ones, that are so easy to get lost in.

Meanwhile, I wrote more here in 2017 than I did in any of the eight years previous. And I started to draw. And I set and printed more. And paid more attention to those around me.

There’s a tiny “return to blogging” movement that I’m happy to see in progress (Ton, for example, and Dries) and to be a part of.

I’m into 33rd year on the Internet this year, and I continue to be fascinated by it as a medium for writing and making connections; we’re not done yet.