Twitter app open on iPod Touch

Over a year ago, I wrote a confused blog post titled “I Still Don’t Get Twitter.” I received a dozen comments with readers adding their input: what they use it for, what they get out of it, how I could use it, and so on.

I appreciated those comments, and I did start using Twitter more often after that entry. I soon saw its value for myself. Twitter allowed me to connect with my readers, to promote my blog that yielded even more readers, and to otherwise share things about myself that might not have warranted an entry. All good and fun.

First came the infatuation of something new. Checking my feed became part of my morning routine. How amazing was it to share little tidbits of my life to the world? To see the same of others? Pages and pages of information, breaking news, promotions, at my fingertips with each live reload.

I added more feeds to follow, reveling in the convenience getting all my news in one place. I didn’t even need bookmarks anymore. I could just open up my app.

At different points of the day, I checked my feed just to catch up. There was so much. Whenever it seemed I’ve read everything, more came in, and I felt compelled to finish what I started. Each time “View __ New Tweets” ticked up, my anxiety grew incrementally. Every new bit of information started to seem less and less useful to me. Why did I need to know these? How are they improving my life at all? They’re not.

I turned that feeling inwards. If I was this overwhelmed, then why was I also joining in on this stream of endless data? Did these things even need to be said? Did they need to be said by me? Would anyone miss out if I chose not to? I didn’t think so. I’ve quietly decreased my activity across my social media accounts over the last few weeks, and the world kept on moving forward.

I continued to reflect on why I did what I do online. The internet was a huge part of my life. My career depended on it, I needed it to stay in touch with family back home, and I wouldn’t have picked up half the skills I have now without it. I couldn’t go off the grid and live as a lumberjack (or I could, if I wanted to flip the bird at my family and everything I’ve worked for), but I certainly could be more thoughtful with where I went and what I shared. It’s the least I could do, for my sanity and for my readers. I believe I owe it to you all.

Your time is valuable

I read your blogs, watch your snaps, follow your feeds, and so on. Some of you might be in school, and some of you might be raising kids, working long hours, maybe juggling all three, or otherwise involved in your own interests. Whatever it might be, there is one common thought that comes to mind: you are all busy.

I’m not going to assume you have time for any sort of frivolity online, much less for me. Therefore, I need to make the time you do take to visit my space purposeful. I don’t want to waste it by telling you things about myself that won’t matter in the long run. I won’t leave you hanging with a subtweet that may or may not have to do with you or someone you know. I take care to provide visuals and write well not only because it’s a labor of love, but also because I want you to feel it’s worth being in my space.

My time is valuable

Just as I respect your time, I respect mine. I work, learn new tech on my off-time, attend meetups, exercise regularly, cook, maintain my home, and spend quality time with family and friends. In my spare time, I crochet and play video games. In my extra spare time, I might write on my blog.

Hobbies are things I have to carve out time for, and I make sure that time is well spent by writing and creating content that I enjoy and would want to share with the world. I don’t want to look back on my posts and cringe at my half-baked efforts, nor do I want to realize I’ve broadcasted something I regret. If to no one else, it needs to be meaningful and positive to me.

Moments panel from the Twitter app

We deserve content worth our time

Time does not discriminate. We all have twenty-four hours in a day. We owe it to ourselves to keep those few hours as happy as possible. There’s no point in getting annoyed at popup email opt-ins, arguing with strangers online, or scrolling through irrelevant tweets. Life’s too short to be a passive receiver of endless information you won’t even remember the next day. We’re better off spending our time with people we love, people we could love, and content that we’ve mindfully sought out.

Life is worth living, even when it goes undocumented

Perhaps especially so. There’s this unmentioned pressure to document everything about myself because that’s what bloggers do. Somewhere along the way of tweets, grams, pins, and snaps, ways to show the world the so-called beauty of an ordinary life, the line between my online persona and my real life blurred as every minutiae could potentially be published.

Yet they don’t have to be. Those moments remain true regardless. Those memories stay with me still. There’s value in living without likes and shares, in keeping some thoughts private, in laughing with friends without a passing audience.

So what now?

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve pulled back on social media over the last few weeks. I don’t plan on going totally black. I will still crack silly jokes and share songs of the day, but I will also continue to reflect on what I truly use it for. I will place more consideration into what I share, to decide if it’s worth the few bytes on the server’s database and the seconds it holds your attention. You deserve as much.

In the meantime, I will direct more of my time into one-on-one conversations. Streaming what’s on my mind feels more gratifying when it’s to a real friend. I don’t plan on deleting any of my apps, as they’re the only way I get to talk to some loved ones. If you’d ever like to talk, I’m still available to DM on Twitter. :)

These are simply my feelings on social media and its impact on my quality of life. You might disagree, and that’s okay. Social media is what you make of it. I simply wish to make something worthwhile.

Comments

  1. I share the same sentiments that you do when it comes to time and usefulness especially with social media. That’s probably why I did multiple social media account purges to just ease back on frivolous things, but I also made sure that I was readily available if anyone wanted to “just talk” like through email and now Twitter (took me years to get one).

    “Those moments remain true regardless. Those memories stay with me still. There’s value in living without likes and shares, in keeping some thoughts private, in laughing with friends without a passing audience.” Well said!

    And bb, you can write ANYTHING you want and I won’t get bored, just so you know, but I can definitely understand what you mean by easing back on sharing things.

    I am looking forward to more DMs and chats with you, bb. <3
    Kristine recently posted…Tail-End of my Month in PhiladelphiaMy Profile

    1. My DM is always open for you bb. <3

      I tend to sign up for a lot of accounts just to claim my name, but I never end up using them all that much. The only ones I've used to their full extent are Twitter and Snapchat. I still use Snapchat, but now I just send them privately to friends instead of to my story. I do admit that I miss posting to my Snapchat Story, haha. So I think I might go back to that since it does make me happy. I just need something exciting ot happen to me hahaha!

  2. It’s just recently that I realize how social media and internet takes most of my time for nothing. I mean, yes, I get to do a lot of things, but I tend to do a lot of things not worthy too, tbh. Browsing endless news feed and dashboards, clicking links I shouldn’t even care about and judge people because I get annoyed with their status or posts. I could have use my time better. Whenever I am out with my friends, since my cellphone already said ‘bye’ to me and I haven’t bought a new one, I feel left out sometimes. They are all glued to their phones. I realized this when I met with an old friend. I feel judgy because I saw his phone, it’s nice so I thought it would be the normal time for me but no, he actually talks to me, just checks his phone for messages and stuff. We actually had a full three hours of conversation. I was unplugged from the world wide web for three hours. Someone’s actually listening to me, someone’s actually answering me back in an instant and I don’t even need to repeat what I said because I still have to fought my way while they’re busy on their phones. It’s when I felt more human again.

    Anyway, I remember making twitter six years ago just because everyone seems to have one, but I just actually started using it 2 years ago because I needed it to communicate with my readers and to promote. But really, because it’s fast phase, it became my hideout for the things I can’t post on my ‘mainstream’ facebook. Lol.

    People should really disconnect at times. Before, I would feel uneasy when I am out and not holding a gadget specially if there’s no internet. But I learned to appreciate being offline for a few hours and enjoy actual living, enjoy talking personally to people and just going out and stuff.

    1. I’ve definitely had those times when I went out with friends and they just looked at their phone the whole time. Why even bother to see me if that’s all you’re gonna do? I take care not to use my phone when I’m out with people. It’s important to be mentally present if you want to stay friends.

      1. Agreed. I don’t mind checking like five minutes out of an hour, but not like the whole hour! Seriously, I know I’m addicted to the Internet, but even I know when is a good time to look at my phone and when is not. It’s just rude to be on it all the time when you’re meeting a friend.

  3. Tweeting less is actually a New Year’s Resolution of mine because well…I’m pretty obnoxious on Twitter. XP

    I like your thinking, and I realized some bits of it awhile back but didn’t really know what to do about it. I think being consumed with social networking has kind of just become this passive thing. We all talk about it and know exists, but don’t do anything about it. But reading your post gives more insight and makes me think twice about what I should be sharing.
    Shayne recently posted…HomecomingMy Profile

    1. I’m pretty obnoxious on Twitter too hahaha! But now I realize that most of the things I wanna tweet are pretty irrelevant haha. Thinking before you speak proves to be a challenge when you’re trying to have an internet presence. Oh well! :P

  4. I haven’t really taken a break from social media but I’m spending less time on it not because I want to, but because I really don’t have a lot of time for it. And I’m thankful it went that way, it wasn’t hard for me. I simply enjoyed what’s before me and didn’t bother getting my phone to capture whatever it is. I realized that things still happen even if it goes online or not. It also helped that there’s my boyfriend who tells me to stop using my phone when I’m with him because it’s supposed to be “our time” to enjoy together, strolling around the mall, eating, etc.

    But I still use social media to know what’s happening around me. I don’t watch TV, so I rely on social media for news. I also use social media to talk to my friends and family. And I use social media to release stress. Maybe it all depends on how we use it. :)
    Mei recently posted…Why I Stopped Blogging for a YearMy Profile

    1. Social media definitely has its uses. It allows people to have a voice when mainstream media refuses to let them, such as cases of police brutality, the terrorist attack in Oregon, etc. News headlines nowadays can be so sensational, it’s tiring. I just want the facts of what happened without a propaganda being pushed on me. :(

      At the same time, there’s a lot of filler to wade through, which I think hurts the chances of news that matter being seen. Of course, if you’re using it to stay in touch with family and friends, then I think you shouldn’t worry too much. It’s different for everyone. :D

  5. Wow. This is really something to ponder on. It’s true. I feel like I spend way too much time scrolling through every social media account that I’m on that after awhile, I get confused as to why I’m still scrolling because I don’t get anything good out of it.

    “Life’s too short to be a passive receiver of endless information you won’t even remember the next day. We’re better off spending our time with people we love, people we could love, and content that we’ve mindfully sought out.” — I am so guilty with this. I’m glad that I’m getting better at living in the moment. It’s so easy to get lost in social media.

    You’re very wise Raisa. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog last year. Thank you also for still continuing to blog! <3
    Corinth recently posted…2016 GoalsMy Profile

    1. To be honest, I love your snaps and instagram feed so much. I wish I was more dedicated to aesthetics like you hahaha. <3 I definitely learn a lot from you!

  6. Ah, Twitter. As I become older, I noticed that I become lesser afraid to miss out on social media. My 20-year old self would have given you the side-eye, though. Just kidding! Like you, I could go for days without tweeting anything (besides those I’ve put on queue via Buffer), and it doesn’t bother me at all.

    Trying to be present is proving to be helpful that I no longer regret failing to document some of the best memories in my daily, albeit mundane, life. Roan would sometimes joke about it “for the blog,” and I simply retaliate with a nonchalant shrug. Some things are better kept between two people, and that’s what makes life exciting. :)
    Jae recently posted…Insta Lately: Vol. 12My Profile

    1. Haha, Mike jokes about “for the blog” too! I take care to keep moments between us private because that’s between the two of us, and it feels invasive if I share too much of it. If I wanted to verbalize how I felt about him, I just tell him rather than write on my blog (which he doesn’t actually read, so it’d be strange if other people saw it and not him). I’m not big on PDA though. :P

  7. I love your approach to social media this year! I have found if I did an analysis for 2015, for how much time I dedicated to social media doing nothing, I would have been bankrupted in the time department! I agree, I’ve been thinking about narrowing down my social media, and how often I’m on there. Your evaluation on what kind of content you want to put out there that will be of value is inspiring and I think more people should take approach on that. Bring light and value to someone’s day! :D

    1. I haven’t been tweeting much since I started putting in more consideration into it. I’m not sure what’s worth sharing anymore, hahaha. I still have a lot to think about. ._.

  8. To be honest, I don’t get it either. I just pretend it is like Instagram or whatnot. Instagram is my domain along with Facebook, but alas, I’m now on Twitter for fun! Also, I love connecting with my friends and just being on many social media sites as possible.
    Michelle recently posted…Better Start Climbing, BeautifulMy Profile

    1. I think maturity definitely had a hand in me wanting some more privacy. I used to blog about everything in my life when I was younger. But now that I work and have a professional life going on, I have to be more mindful.

  9. I can only agree to you. Social media consumes most of my times. Not twitter though, but facebook. Even how much I convince myself to stop (I’m still trying!), it seems like it’s already part of my everyday routine. When I read other blogs, I feel amazed on how other people can manage to do a lot of things, despite having a regular work just like mine. I find it really hard to do other stuff during my work days, then I realized I could have done a lot if it weren’t of my social media apps. I have this book I’d like to finish, a blog post I’d like to write, a place I want to visit.

    This is a really good post, Raisa. :)
    Dianne recently posted…Art In Island – A 3D Art Museum In Metro ManilaMy Profile

    1. Oh gosh, I stopped using Facebook a looong time ago. Too much clickbait now. I’d tried deactivating my account before, but I need one for the Messenger app which I use a lot still. I’m glad there’s a separate app for it now, so I don’t have to use the actual FB anymore. XD

  10. The great thing about Twitter is that I can read what people say in a series of 140-char tweets. I like it more than Facebook because I don’t need to read essays and can quickly scroll through. You shouldn’t be overwhelmed by a social media! It’s meant to be a fun place to ~chill~. Good that you are getting things under control.

    I think it’s interesting that you’re taking the initiative of trying to make social media meaningful. It’s a great way to keep in touch with people though! ;)

  11. Your post has been truly enlightening. Sometimes without realising it, we do spend a lot of our time online to the point it becomes super obsessive. I have my days when I don’t do anything but scroll through Twitter and Facebook feeds. There are days when I just lose myself on TV Tropes or Wikipedia. Something about mindless scrolling relaxes me, but I try not to do it too much because . . .it’s not very productive LOL.

    Now I try to balance myself. There are days when I will scroll through Twitter, but if I don’t, I am not going to try and catch up. Just, no. If I catch a tweet, good. If I miss something — not the end of the world. Getting older means my priorities are shifting, and I just have to remind myself what is important. In fact, like you, I enjoy the private one-on-one messaging more than public communication. There are some things I do want to keep private and some things public.

    Anyway, thanks for writing this. It certainly made me think about certain things! ^^
    Tara recently posted…Skincare Sale StashMy Profile

    1. Oh gosh, TV Tropes! That’s still a death trap for me. I was stuck for a whole day on the Undertale page hahaha!

      I think getting older definitely had a hand in me needing to pull back on what I share. You realize that there’s no need to sweat the small stuff, and there just some things that people don’t need to know.

  12. This is a very interesting and enlightening post. I am glad that you are able to take a step back from social media and that can have a positive impact on you. I do agree that we need to take the time to see some perspective in the daily actions that we do and how they have an impact to us. I will still continue to read many personal blogs that document the lives of people, because I like to have that view into their lives and thoughts.

    I absolutely agree that there is no need to spend time spreading nasty messages or just being a giant poop. xD
    Kya recently posted…My iMac crashedMy Profile

    1. Oh yes, I get that sometimes you need to blow off steam, but there’s no point in engaging in arguments all the time. That just makes me tired. ._.

  13. I get what you mean. Sometimes its more trouble then its worth to keep up with those things and stuff.

    I had a similar issue. I was trying to keep up on various forums, but I decided to just visit the major ones regularly. Its too stressful to worry about.

    1. I tried to be more active on forums last year, but it was a bit overwhelming since I was already on social media too! I like to be 100% present when I’m participating on something online so it does get tiring after going through your fifth online hangout.

  14. I feel the same way about social media. It can get really overwhelming, and at one point, it was really addicting to me. I even challenged myself to go a full 24 hours without checking social media by using website blockers. I found myself checking them like habit, only to be faced with the block screen. That made me realize how I seem to just do it without thinking, and that motivated me to change.

    Even though I was addicted to checking social media before, I’ve never really posted that much because I would question the same things. Do I really need to post this? And most of the time, the answer was no. I really like your way of thinking though! Our time is valuable, and we should figure out what’s worth it to us. I’ve been careful about what I post online because like you said, I don’t want to regret it!
    Cat recently posted…Hello JanuaryMy Profile

    1. I admit that I’m guilty of deleting things seconds after I post them. As soon as I’ve let something bad off my chest, I realize that it’s not a good idea to keep it up hahaha. I’ve kept to just venting to my friends instead. Much better for everyone! XD

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