On Wednesday, I took a Twitter and Friendfeed hiatus for an entire day. Plenty of people thought it would kill me, but I want to thank you all for the support and well wishes. Here’s a breakdown of how it went.
First, What Did I Learn?
I think sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in some of the hype that surrounds what’s talked about on Twitter. Maybe it’s contagious? Regardless, my excitement for what I saw yesterday was at an all-time low. The most interesting thought for me was that while I had a handful of apps I could have chosen to talk about, being off of Twitter made me want to post something thoughtful. I had so much time to reflect and analyze what I was reading. Things were slower and paced.
This reaction made me wonder if being on Twitter helped to unconsciously change my moods or set the tone for my posts.
Twitter Is Crack
Twitter is crack people (I’ve been saying this for months)! Twitter is more than just a social hub for me. Twitter is ME! It’s where I make connections, "meet" someone new everyday, share my ups and downs, do research. I basically do everything on Twitter except eat, sleep, and drink. But I can always do those while Twittering.
On the other hand, Twitter is a huge distraction. It’s like being at a party and trying to socialize with everyone in the same room, while knowing that you need to get going and do other things. I had bookmarks that I was supposed to do something about up to 3 weeks ago, but had put off because of Twitter! Obviously I need more Twitter discipline.
Friendfeed Is Weed
Just to note, I don’t do drugs. Based on what I’ve heard about weed, that’s what I’d compare Friendfeed to. It’s not as addictive and I peruse it leisurely and more so for the conversations than the content. I wasn’t feigning for Friendfeed, but I sorely missed it. I wanted to know what others were saying for some articles that had yet to receive comments on the original post, though I knew someone probably had posted a comment on Friendfeed first.
Note to Friendfeed users: Please stop doing this. (Conversation Fragmentation: Bloggers Have Duties)
How My Day Went
12:00am – 3am
Most Notable Thing I Did: Go through an entire WordPress gallery of over 300 themes.
During the first 3 hours of my hiatus, I was bored out of my mind. Usually, I don’t get to sleep until about 4am, and Twitter is running in the background for me to idly chat with my followers. I decided that I wanted to look for another WordPress theme. I ended up going through well over 300 themes; an entire WordPress theme gallery and half of another one. Both galleries were about 30 pages long. As you can see, I didn’t find a theme I liked.
If you were on Friendfeed at the time, I bombarded you with tons of stumbles, Disqus comments, Google Reader Shared Items, and Mixx submissions. Yes, I was that bored and this pattern continued throughout the day.
12pm – Until
Most Notable Thing I Did: Spaced out and opened Twitter’s homepage without thinking. Close call!
With no Twitter, I was actually quite productive. I cleaned out my inbox (over 500 emails), sorted through all of my Google Reader Starred Items, and organized all of my Firefox bookmarks (over 200). This certainly would not have happened anytime soon with Twitter running in the background. This was around the time I realized that I didn’t want to write about yet another application. I wanted to post something thoughtful, hence my previous post "Social Media Has Not Reached Mainstream" .
Twitter Is My Social Lifeline Online
At the end of the day, I realized that my social life online took a huge plummet without Twitter. While I had some great conversations on Google Talk, got in trouble for "Twitter Proxying" via Marshall Kirkpatrick, and received a host of emails wishing me luck, and a hilarious e-card from the awesomesauce Sarah Perez, it just wasn’t the same without Twitter. I missed the "real time" of Twitter. I had questions I wanted to ask, content I wanted to share, and more conversations that I wanted to enjoy. There were even people that I couldn’t get in contact with because I only knew their Twitter handle, and honestly, who keeps backups of that?