Time without Twitter

On Friday, after a great but exhausting day at the National Media Museum, I managed to leave my beloved Iphone on the top deck of a bus.  I didn’t even realise to start off with, but after searching the myriad of bags and pockets I had with me, it gradually dawned on me that my phone was continuing the bus journey alone. So, I spent the weekend frantically cancelling things, blocking accounts, changing passwords and assuming that all was lost. Amazingly, it was handed in and I managed to have it back in my hand again by Monday. Massive thanks to whoever was responsible for that.

Because I’d cancelled everything, it took a whole week for everything to get sorted out. So I had an accidental week without Twitter and Instagram. Every so often, I’d get the chance to go online and spent a little bit of time on Twitter, but it wasn’t the same as having it to hand all the time. Conversations were missed, blog posts went unread, news went unseen – I didn’t even know that Bradley Wiggins had been knocked off his bike, and he’s one of my great heroes.  Even that made me realise just how much of my news I get through Twitter.

There were upsides to all of this. I did a bit more of all of my ongoing projects than perhaps I might have done – a bit more knitting, a bit more bathroom woodwork sanding (which is truly the most horrible of all DIY jobs) and a bit more working on the allotment. Most telling of all was that I read a whole novel from cover to cover in only a handful of days. That used to be a regular habit until Twitter started sucking up all my time. I had far fewer headaches, suggesting that perhaps I spend too long staring at my tiny phone screen. I sat on the bus and looked aimlessly out of the window, instead of being head down looking at my phone each time I made a journey, and that was actually very pleasant. It’s easy to lose those precious moments of just being, if you’re constantly checking updates on various social media platforms.

But I missed it. I missed the laugh-out-loud-on-the-bus-home moments. I missed knowing the news, and opinion about the news, as it happened. I missed my friends –  especially the ones like Dave Graham (@dakegra) who is responsible for this blog post idea and who has a great blog of his own, Espresso Coco, which you should go and visit. He’s one of a large number of people with whom I have only an online friendship, but I don’t think that makes the relationships any less valid. I missed finding great blog posts to read, photos to see, and having my little place in the lives of all the people I met via Twitter.

I know there is a balance to be struck. One in which I spend a little less time online, leaving time for books, projects, gazing out of windows and, erm…’real life’ – but one that still allows me to spend enough time online to enjoy the great things about it. Apparently, all I need to do to make sure that happens is lose my phone every now and again…

5 Responses to Time without Twitter

  1. Enjoyed this blog.
    Lovely news that you got your phone back. Quite sad that we no longer expect to have our lost items returned.
    I too am in that position of spending too much time and relying on my phone to ‘update my life” I definitely do not use Twitter as effectively as i probably could, work and advertising projects and business events. Is this a bad thing? For me, probably not. Like you, when phone is not to hand i achieve more and feel better. I am amazed by the number of posts that some people do.
    I am a recent convert to this medium, i mocked people that used it. Now look at me. INSERT sad and embarrassed face here.. Though i only use twitter and Instagram.
    I will continue to use it but more as an online event/news feed. Family, chores and work WILL take priority.
    I wish you look in completing your wish list and thank you for making me realise, before it was too late, a little less online time is no bad thing.

    • Hello! thank you for this great comment. I have definitely realised the upside of a little less time online. I feel a bit healthier for it too, and I’m halfway through reading my second novel in just over a week, which is a definite bonus!

  2. The Fool says:

    There is definitely a balance to be had isn’t there? Like actually watching a program rather than twitter talking about it. I try to force myself not to immediately reach for my phone especially when around the little ones. Having said that totally agree that life is less amusing/interesting/supportive without twitter.

  3. dakegra says:

    Ah, I missed this when you originally posted it! The mere thought of life without my mobile and more specifically, access to the internet makes me twitch. I fully admit that I’m a complete internet junkie, so I’m glad you got your phone back.

    That said, it’s nice to have some more time to do things – I do need to try and spend some more non-screen time to do more reading and general pottering on projects. Maybe a resolution for 2013, perhaps…

    (and thanks for the shout-out regarding my blog. I will post more wordy things more regularly, I promise!)

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