Day four of the Twitter-fast. By the time you read this, day seven. The first thing I notice is the constant scratching of my hands at my mobile, even when, especially when, it is not doing anything. Which, now that I have disabled all of my alerts, is pretty much always. When you have lived for four years managing every microsecond of feeling, observation and response via a handheld device rather than the meandering drift of your own thinking, that is quite painful.
Second, I notice that I am noticing things. Yesterday I heard a snatch of radio commentary which went something like: ‘And that brings to a close a most entertaining Formula 1 Grand Prix.’ Now, I hate Grand Prix. Or rather, not so much hate as completely fail to see its point. Always have, always will. So to hear a sentence trumpeting its value as spectacle seemed to me a flagrant contradiction in terms. I actually heard myself think: Twitter will love this. The phone was in my hand before I remembered I was no longer on Twitter.
It reminds me of the old days, when I began wanting to write and setting aside time to do so. The room I wrote in had no phone and my desk faced a wall. There was certainly no internet to play with. Perfect. I kept a notebook, and a journally-diaryish thing, both of which I still do, though much more erratically than I did then. Silently and with no fanfare I have found myself returning to them. (It’s OK, I’m not about to let loose everything I jot down.) What I write isn’t massively special in itself, it’s that I am doing it at all.
Noticing, noting, and enjoying. The very same things I was doing on Twitter, for public consumption, minus the enjoyment. Now I am making these practices for myself again. It feels like coming home.