Withdrawal

When I was in my 20s, I gave up coffee for Lent.

I had a headache for a week. It sucked. It also made me aware that I was pretty hooked on caffeine.

Giving up Twitter is worse. (Yet, probably better for me.)

The willpower it takes to not type “twitter.com” into my browser is… phenomenal. Although I could safely do so, I guess, as I would get a sign-in page, which would be enough to bring me to my senses.

I think. Best not to test me right now.

I have gotten some e-mail from “tweeps” (that would be Twitter peeps for those not in the know. And, for my dad: “peeps” is short for people, in this context people who are friends — not those marshmallow confections that Dr. Bro likes so much). They have asked how the no-Twitter thing is going, and I have been honest: It’s hard. I don’t like it.

I even find myself irritable about the whole thing. I guess part of that is feeling out of touch, and, I will admit, irrelevant.

Which brings me back to one of the reasons I gave up Twitter in the first place: the relevance of my on-line presence in the first place.

(Justin Kownacki has a zillion thoughts about on-line relevance, and I will be citing him in the coming 40 days. Just as soon as I get that professional blog on-line. But that is another post for another day. I’m still waiting for my attention span to increase. Although in squee-worthy news, Justin links to me on this post. I’m not really sure he means it to be complimentary, but I’ll take it. I’m a narcissist like that.)

Where was I?

Oh, right.

Twitter and this blog are purely personal pursuits. They are not for networking, they are for socializing. I’m not trying to drum up business, although I do occasionally post links to this blog on Twitter. One of the points I made in my Year of Social Media post was this:

Becoming a parent can be extremely isolating. Within the last five years, I had two babies, moved to the suburbs, went from WAHM to SAHM to WOTHM. While I still keep in touch with a handful of IRL friends (without social media, too), I have lost touch with many more. Friends I went to high school or college with, people I moved away from when I left the South Side.

In the past year, though, I have discovered so many more people and I feel as if I’m fast on my way to becoming friends with many of them. Social media and blogging have helped me overcome the isolation I have felt since the triple-whammy of motherhood, ‘burb living, and full-time work.

As such, Twitter (and to lesser extents, Facebook and Plurk) have been vital to my mental health.

I am stepping away not because I don’t want to be connected any longer. I absolutely crave that connection — like any person craves connection.

It’s just that it’s gone way beyond a way to connect to people, and become a compulsion. My husband is the psychologist, so I won’t be psychoanalyzing myself (he can do it in the comments for me), but it seems that not being able to stay away from Twitter for 5, 10, 20 minutes is a bit of a problem. Especially as the children may be setting a fire in the other room. (I kid. More likely they are figuring out how to use the remote. But still, what is mommy-blogging for if not to over-dramatize?)

So if I’m commenting more often on your blog, or sending you pointless e-mails and text messages, please bear with me. I’m searching for ways to still connect without being compulsive about it.

Thanks for your patience.