distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.

Trying to Stay Off Twitter and Facebook Is a Losing Battle

I wanted to spend the summer off Facebook and Twitter entirely. I made a vow to myself, I made it public, I wished it true, but alas, I keep logging in and aaaargh!

Why it’s difficult:

  1. Some people communicate solely through Facebook messages, status comments, and Twitter DMs!
  2. Some people do not email you when they need to reach you… even if it says on your profile you’re not logging in! (Why I’d assume anyone would pay attention to that is beyond me.)
  3. My mom is on Facebook now and I miss my mom!
  4. I’m worried about my baby sister and this way I can obsessively check on her without her knowing!
  5. Some close family members only announce important news like new girlfriends on Facebook and if you don’t see it there you won’t ever know!
  6. There are book-related things I want to be able to share by clicking this little button called “Share” on external websites… and then suddenly I’m logged in and I’m sharing and I can’t help it!
  7. If you add me as a friend and I don’t add you back for three months then you might be offended!
  8. Nobody cares when you’re not there—it’s a surefire way to find out how many friends you (don’t) have!
  9. Not to mention all the surely fascinating and amazing news I’m missing about books and publishing especially from Twitter, and since I no longer work in publishing either it’s like I’m living on this little island with one tree and no one visits ever, which is fine, sure, fine, but… I’m curious! Like who’s read MATCHED by Ally Condie? I want to read it! Like who’s read LUCINELLA by Lore Segal? I just started it. What books are coming out that I should know about? What is happening? What is going on? Not to mention the lack of advice on my little one-tree island. Like what’s a good book on how to make a fast-moving plot? I went to the bookstore and can’t find one. Like who’s been a mentor at Girls Write Now? I’d love to know details. Like what are you having for dinner? There are some days I’d like to know.
  10. I just miss it—and some of you—that’s all.

Sigh. I’m still trying to keep myself away until I can make it through the next couple of months, as I have a lot of work that needs done and I am too easily distracted to add one more thing to the mix right now. But, who knows, I may crash and burn and start tweeting about the mosquito in my apartment that I can’t seem to catch (it’s bitten me 5+ times; it thinks I’m delicious).

This has quickly become a far more depressing undertaking than I expected. Is this a normal stage of social networking withdrawal, or am I just facing up to the reality of living in 2010?

14 responses to “Trying to Stay Off Twitter and Facebook Is a Losing Battle”

  1. …the reality of 2010. i said “me too” to all your points. i’ve succeeded at decreasing my time on FB, but i can’t seem to cut myself off entirely.

  2. “Is this a normal stage of social networking withdrawal, or am I just facing up to the reality of living in 2010?”
    —It’s probably a bit of both, but mostly the reality of living in 2010. It’s hard to stay connected and in the loop when you are off those sites (plus the Blue Boards for me). I feel so disconnected and it’s only been a month!

    Good luck trying to stay away or not logging in quite as much!

    • You’re doing far better than I am, I can tell! For one, I never gave up the Blue Boards (and it seems like I’m posting more…). And I think I’ve let go staying away from all else for the whole summer.

      How are you able to keep this up?

      • I don’t know how I’ve been able to keep it up, but it might be because I’d dug such a deep hole of things I ignored while being online. The first week I was off of the sites I really wanted to go on, but I had deadlines that I almost didn’t make (even with devoting all my time to those things). Since then, I’ve continued to have projects that are on a deadline and I’ve added new projects to keep me busy.

        When I’ve wanted to go onto Twitter or the Blue Boards, I’ll play a game or two of Snood or watch TV for a little while (or check my email obsessively). All those things are easier to break away from (for me) than getting sucked into social networking.

        If I weren’t getting ready for the LA SCBWI conference, I might have slipped up already. However, since I need 50+ pages of my novel for a workshop and lots of new work for my portfolio, I really don’t have time to be online right now!

        Some stuff I don’t know what to do about. I’ve heard that someone wrote on my FB wall, but I don’t know what it says! And I got a nastygram from someone about FB. Not sure exactly what it’s about, but I’m guessing it’s because I haven’t approved their friend request. I’m not going on to see, but I might ask my husband to look at my wall to see what the message says. That’s not cheating, right? Ugh!

        Good luck! My advice is to try to distract yourself if you can so you won’t have time to think about it. Or you could start a new exercise program (this is my 3rd week). Lots of exercise, especially if you’re out of shape, will make you so tired that you don’t care about the internet … or at least you don’t care as much. Advil is your new best friend 😉


      • Oh, and sometimes you just have to log in and be social. There’s something I have to respond to this week, so I’m going to do that (because I would feel bad if I didn’t do it just because I didn’t want to be on those sites right now). I may or may not stick around for a few minutes to see what’s going on. Then I’ll go away from it again (crossing fingers).

  3. Exactly! I HATE Facebook with a passion, but I can’t convince myself to delete my account because how else would I keep up to date with my sister, my cousins, friends, and so many baby photos? I’ve got myself down to just checking it once a day and hardly ever posting, but it’s still a drain on my time.

    I do think it’s bizarre though that people haven’t figured out you’re not around and won’t email you. How maddening.

    And the mosquito? A friend’s mom always said “You get bitten so much because you’re so sweet.” A nice spin, at least. =)

    • Thanks, Anne. It’s all so frustrating! Though there is one good thing out of all of this: I think I may have gotten rid of the mosquito 😉

    • Yikes, and here I am distracting you! But I know what you mean… look, here I am distracting myself with my blog again. It never ends…

  4. It’s my reality too!

    And it’s a little sad, because I do think point 8 is true for the most part. I want to stay involved, but at the same time I recognize that the world will not end if I am not telling it about my latest revision or what’s blooming in my garden. And yet I can’t stop!

    • Point 8 can be very crushing and very freeing. It depends on my mood!

      Thanks for commiserating with me, Deva.

  5. I’m not entirely sure ’cause I just can’t quite get “into” Twitter and (for the most part) I’m able to say “enough is enough” when it comes to Facebook. Now if we’re discussing blog surfing and links to posts with links to more posts, with links to more posts, with links to – oy vey. And there (in a nutshell) is my problem. Good luck Nova.

    • If you haven’t been able to get into Twitter yet, don’t try! Once you’re in deep, it’s very hard to pull away. Thanks, Catie! Good luck for you too.

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