Saturday, December 28, 2013

Twittering my life away.....

I'm taking a break from Twitter.
Twitter's stock value plummets.
Not a mockingbird....

Yesterday, while walking home from school after feeding the various critters in my classroom, I spied a mockingbird perched on a low bush. The day was cold and breezy, occasionally the wind fluffed up a few feathers. The bird was in no hurry to leave if I was not a threat.

I was not a threat.

A few seconds after realizing this, the mockingbird and I had a few fine moments "conversing," or whatever verb you call this kind of inter-species communication.


Twitter has a cost--and the cost goes beyond the time you spend tweeting.

Twitter has benefits, and has been particularly good to me. I've gone to wonderful places, and met wonderful people. My practice of teaching has improved, and my students have benefited. I have chatted directly with the titans of education.

On the face of it, taking a break looks preposterous. It's been a rush.

And that is exactly the problem.

Twitter, a collection of like-minded souls spewing off tiny bits of information, lives in a linear universe. I do not.

I get that Twitter is a tool, but I also get that a good chunk of my interest stems from the dopamine loop it feeds. Call it a high. For me, that high has become destructive--it keeps me away from my old guitar and my new mandolin, from people I pass on my street, from moments with a mockingbird.

I am speaking only for me--no one wants to hear a dry drunk prattle on about sobriety.

With some luck, I have a few good years left.
With a little bit more luck, I'll spend more of my awake hours under the sky than under a roof.

If you want to chat, drop me a line.


Tom Hoffman said...

As you probably noticed I got sucked into some tweeting yesterday... I don't know how people do that, it would make me CRAZY.

Not that I'm out smelling daffodils instead, but even as time in front of the computer goes, it is too much for me.

doyle said...

Dear Tom,

It was your photograph of the low sun in Scotland a few days ago that helped shove me back to what matters.

Thank you.

Q said...

I get this, completely. I keep aspiring to mindfulness and am realizing that mindfulness means being able to focus on one thing at a time. Twitter is unquestionably antithetical to that.

I also think some amount of my "Twitter habit" is coming from the fact that I've had some of the best and most thoughtful professional interactions I've had in years via Twitter. The thought of stepping back from that saddens me, even though I know it's necessary.

As always, thank you for pulling me back to reality. Although I'd like to point out that I learned of your writing via Twitter :)

doyle said...

Dear Mike,

Twitter has been for me, and may well be again, a phenomenal source of inspiration, wisdom, and joy.

Some folks say the same thing of other mind-altering drugs as well.

It's fine when I'm on it for the right reasons, not so fine otherwise. Still, I'm easily accessible for the few who want access.

I'll miss your tweets, but can still find you on your blog!

Kate said...

Oh, you'll hear from me.

I am almost never on twitter and I have decided to take a break from the other forms of quick check in (FB, for example) - I want to get back to writing, and the work at school is too all encompassing.

and I in turn will hope to hear from you.

Five weeks to imbolc - I am happy to see these darkest days behind me. Happy new year.

doyle said...

Dear Kate,

5 weeks indeed--the sun is already noticeably moving its way back north.

Still, with Chicago-like temps headed our way, too early to get too excited, but not too early to cozy up with seed catalogs....

Happy New Year!

Erin Vaganos said...


I'm not really sure how I came to your blog, what with all those glowing blue hyperlinks I've been impulsively clicking because they're there and very inviting-HA, but I really love it. I'm going back to school to become a bio teacher because I want kids to see how amazing it all really is, and your posts seem to intimate the same kind of enthusiasm I have.

This post especially resonates because I feel that while technology allows us to do amazing things, it is also changing our brains--the way we think. And not in a good way. I recently read the book The Shallows by Nicholas Carr, and it describes this phenomenon. I feel that the younger generation has been brought up with fingertip technology, and it seems to worm its way into whatever they do. A lot of kids I know can't even sit down and lose themselves in a book for an hour.

I'm 31 and grew up in a very rural place, and I remember a time with no computers and no cell phones. I just recently found mine in the couch cushions again after five month of using just my landline. It was awesome and just liberating. My dad still doesn't have one, probably never will.

Not quite pertaining to Twitter, but I had to express my thoughts and appreciation for your blog and thought-provoking posts.

doyle said...

Dear Erin,

We need you in the classroom, especially in science.

Please promise me this (and I know I have no right to try to elicit this): Remember why you went into education, because there will be days a lot of people will work to make you forget.

Thank you for the kind words.....