Less is More

I’m tweeting less lately.

When I first started using Twitter, after discovering that several friends were already using it (which had been my major source of hesitancy…a social network is only as good as how many people you actually have to socialize with), I quickly became addicted to keeping up with friends. I met new people, people from around the country and around the world, sharing common interests or common opinions or a common faith. I enjoyed keeping up with them. I found it very useful and enlightening.

I also began linking status updates, and my thought-out Facebook status updates that required crafting lessened somewhat as I began thinking in short, rapid-fire “what am I doing now” updates.

After a while, I began to miss other Twitter-users, especially those that I didn’t encounter in real life on a regular basis. I would think about them one day, and wonder, “whatever happened to that person? I haven’t seen an update from them in a long time!”

Now, I’m one of those people.

Some friends stopped using Twitter altogether. For my part, I had to learn not to make status updates universal, and began keeping track of who read which  “stream,” because it’s important to know who might be reading a complaint.

Then I learned to complain less.

Lately, however…perhaps because I’ve just been leading a relatively routine life in going to my day job, coming home, and working with words…I find myself either without much to tweet about, or too involved with whatever I’m doing to update everyone that I’m doing it.

Hopefully, it’s the latter.

I have a friend who practices Zen Buddhism. He tells me that one of the central tenants of Buddhism is to be fully present in whatever you’re doing. In modern terms, that involves focusing on the conversation, not taking that phone call or text message. In working on projects, it involves not permitting your attention to be pulled away by incoming emails.

Have I ever mentioned that I’ve learned to turn off “push” notifications? Life’s so much nicer that way.

I’m not a Buddhist, but I think that they have something in that principle. I think that our culture worships multi-tasking so much that we’re pressured to not fully engage what we’re doing in the interest of doing more. Actually, the issue is probably more that we worship efficiency. Blame Frederick Winslow Taylor and the industrial revolution. We try to do so many things that we don’t accomplish any one thing, at least not well.

So, I’m not sad that I’m not tweeting as frequently. I still check in, I still read what’s going on. Now, though, I only post when I have something worthwhile to say. Which, pithy and witty cracks aside, tends to be relatively seldom when you’re working with 140 character limit.

So, perhaps more to the point, I just don’t have many not-thought-out things to say. So I decide to keep them to myself.  Somehow, I think life’s better that way. Don’t you?

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