Noticing again

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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.

11 comments

  1. john foggin

    Here’s a confession. I don’t know what Twitter is for, or quite how it works…..other than as a platform/channel for the cobweb. So I’m intrigued. I imagine this would be what a non-drinker would feel like listening to recovering alcoholics ‘sharing’ at a meeting. I try to imagine a room of recovering Tweeters, their thumbs helplessly texting and tapping on the lozenge of emptiness lying in their dry palms. My heart goes out to you all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. currankentucky

    Great post!!! I left twitter earlier this year and FB in early August. I gave Facebook one months notice, so that friends would have enough time to see that I was about to leave and note it etc. Right up until my leaving date, people expected me to do a U-turn, not understanding that life is equally good, if not better, without such social giants in my palms. I’ve always loved being detached and I guess due to illness, I’ve become accustomed to living like a hermit, now my social media status reflects that 🙂 As for peoples continued reactions… most expect to find me back on FB in the future and some keep asking how I’m managing without it, as if it were oxygen! You’ve just gotta laugh at the world we live in!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Antony Mair

    Anthony, reading your account of detachment from Twitter is music to my eyes. Social media can be like buzzing flies,that you’re so busy swatting you can’t think of anything else. And the result? you land up writing about the swatting, rather than what you can’t hear because of the buzzing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anthony Wilson

      Hello Antony and thanks for your lovely metaphor.
      On the plus side Twitter keeps a lot of us off the streets.

      In my case it kept me from daily practice of showing up and writing and reading.
      And while it was fun, it did turn into a permanent kind of distraction.

      It’s only been a few days but I feel lighter already.

      I hope this makes sense.
      As ever with thanks and good wishes
      Anthony

      Like

  4. ggmissm

    Anthony, I’m thoroughly enjoying your report of “Days without Twitter”! I’ve never been drawn to Twitter or Facebook, but many of my friends, including old friends, have let me know that I won’t be hearing from them unless I sign up. I find that a sad state of affairs…(they let me know with phrases like “You’ll be missing a lot” and “Everybody’s on Facebook now”…) and sadly have come to understand that being in touch on a personal level is just no longer going to happen with some friends. Even without being on Facebook, I’ve apparently been “unfriended.” Life changes.
    Molly

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anthony Wilson

      Hi Molly
      Thanks for your comment. How unbelievably sad. What is happening to us?
      Part of me does think that I have fallen off the face of the earth.
      But part of me also knows I have moved closer to it.
      As ever with best wishes
      Anthony

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jo Inglis ن (@Piano_Jo)

    I too am enjoying reading your thoughts on twitter-fast, these sorts of things have been niggling me most of the summer. It would be better if I could just eat one square of chocolate rather than the whole bar when it comes to social media (same with chocolate.) There’s lots that’s good but so much that invades the margins. I love Anthony Mair’s metaphor above too (can’t like via wordpress)

    Like

    • Anthony Wilson

      Hi Jo
      I love your chocolate metaphor.
      As you imply, social media is not bad in itself (I think of all the wonderful people I would not have encountered without it), but it just got to the point where, for me, it took over.
      So I redressing the balance.
      Who knows how long I will keep it for? I must say I am enjoying the quiet (even if I am still a bit distracted….)
      As ever with thanks
      Anthony

      Like

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