THE ANTI-SOCIAL SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERIMENT

The universe delivers.

For example: I decided to take my odd assortment of notes written on various scraps of papers about being on Social Media Summer Sabbatical and put them “down” on a…didn’t I once start a blog somewhere? It wasn’t Tumblr. WordPress? Do I remember my email then? Log in? Password? Oh, I’m in!
Look what’s in drafts! One year ago, I started to document the anxiety surrounding my cross-country #roadtrip with sonshine. I guess I planned to blog the entire trip?

One year to the day of planning said trip, I managed to upload the thousands of photos, edit some on Flickr and throw together a small photo book (and states visited) via Shutterfly. It was an adventuresome 4000 mile journey with my then 22 year old and we will never forget it. It was documented on Twitter and Facebook too, of course.

The day to day itinerary is still on scraps stuck in a book somewhere (my m.o.).

Perhaps, I’ll have it done by sonshine’s birthday in September? The thoughts and musings are hand-written in a journal. Keeping a journal (and now binfulls) for the past 48 years is a habit I’m not sure I want or can or wish to break.

I have become VERY used to spewing my thoughts, although brief (brevity thy name is Twitter) on various Social Media Platforms, which brings me to this: The Universe and how it really never gave a shit about me but I like to pretend.

I’m taking a Summer Social Media Sabbatical and I will blog about it.

I have been on Social Media for 10 years: Flickr since June 2006, Facebook since 2007 and Twitter since June 2008. This summer, I’ve decided to delete all traces of Twitter and Facebook apps from my phone and computer. I’m not deleting my accounts, just taking a sabbatical.

Why? Mainly, to work on the SECOND DRAFT of my novel and send out more queries for agents.

Also, for more reasons than I can even begin to list: mostly to do with my shortened attention span; going through a roulette wheel of emotions within a short amount of time while checking morning posts; who responded to me/who didn’t respond to me; who liked/ didn’t like my posts; whose outrage, drama, perfect life, comedic puns, pet videos, celebrity statements will I fall upon?

HOW MUCH TIME DID I JUST SPEND DOING THAT?

And I have a lot to say. I took small breaks before, laughed at those who “bravely” faced small absences or those who would SWEAR TO DELETE THIS ACCOUNT due to the nature of the internet (can we say false intimacy?) and the aloneness one can feel on these sites if you’re not a celebrity. Years ago, I was virtually anonymous. Today, my thoughts still don’t matter to the zeitgeist but I do have a bevy of good friends (yes: “good” and “friends”) who notice now. That’s a HUGE responsibility. (Maybe the upcoming election makes this radio silence easier.)

I want to be master of my own universe again.

I want to have thoughts I don’t have to choose which to keep and which to share- or feel disappointment or regret for sharing! Just thoughts. Not influenced by today’s outrage-du-jour.

I want to pick up the paper and not immediately feel I need to post the article. I don’t want to see other’s opinions even before I had a chance to form my own opinion.

I found out what Twitter WASN’T when I recently took on (what seemed to be ) every NRA troll there was and not ONE of my 3700+ followers said anything. Granted, due to Twitter analytics, I can see my posts are generally only seen by 150 people. Timelines are fluid and ever changing. ( A few days after, one friend defended my honor.) But that feeling of disgust stayed with me.

Then June 12th and the Pulse Nightclub shooting happened.

Sharing mass grief is important.

I had Twitter for lots of shootings, lots of wars, revolutions, Robin’s death, David Bowie, Prince… Garry Shandling… Perhaps the perfect time to bow out for awhile. Kelly Carlin is doing it. Simon King @SimonTellsTales sent me off with a beautiful Periscope reading of Pablo Neruda, and friends are encouraging me to write. Summer pics of all sorts will be posted on Facebook (there was once a time we were generally clueless about one another’s lives?) but I will be absent. I won’t sum up the next tragedy, event, celebration, musings in 140 characters or less.

Perhaps, no one will notice.

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