breaking another habit

I avoided Twitter for nearly a decade. It didn’t interest me. I wasn’t intrigued. I kept waiting for the trend of “tweets” showing up on live TV broadcasts to cease. Basically, I refused to entertain the idea of it, at all.

Then about four months ago, I started this blog. Since I wasn’t sure what my aims were with it (still I’m not totally sure) I went ahead and got the handle of “Suburban Doldrums” at Twitter, Instagram, even a Facebook page, just in case I ever needed them but someone else registered the awesome name “Suburban Doldrums” before I had a chance too.

When I joined Twitter I just searched “Mom Blog” or “Mommy Blogger” and added all the accounts that came up. I’m a stay at home mom of three. Seemed like a mindless no-brainer. I’m a mom with a blog, I’ll follow other moms with other blogs. I started scrolling through it regularly and as certain feeds caught my eye, gradually added more and more “tweeters” to follow.

In truth, the ‘mommy bloggers’ are boring. Most of them post the same links over and over. I started to wrinkle my nose up at many of them, every time I saw another “Top Ten Ways To Be A FABULOUS Mommy!” post. So, I started following political tweets.

Then President Trump ascended to the oval office and … the world broke. Now my Twitter feed sprinted news out, scandal after scandal, outrage following disbelief. The roller coaster didn’t stop there. The protests and the stories and pictures I see swing my emotions back up. This past weekend I felt like a proud American again. WE – the WE is the nation – WE spontaneously came together and protested against an executive order that most (including our Justice Department) believe is unconstitutional.

In a funny way, Mr. Trump has brought the left/middle/compassionate right together in a way I don’t think Clinton ever could. We all have a clear agenda to oppose. I feel hope in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.

Here’s the point of this post, though. I have an addictive personality. I know this. I can consume media to the point of obsession and I have to make a conscious decision to limit myself from it. This is why I don’t access FB on my phone anymore, and also why if a terrible tragedy happens in the news (like the Sandy Hook massacre) I have to force myself to turn all media off and just read about it the next day in the paper. I learned this about myself when the Virgina Tech shootings occurred. I spent something like 13 hours straight consuming as much news and updates and heartbreaks as I could and it was in no way healthy for me.

Yesterday I realized Twitter is becoming an obsession. The middle-of-the-night feedings were an excuse to hit the Twitter app on my phone and stay up 10-15 minutes beyond H’s midnight snack. I’d wake up in the morning and scroll, scowl, sigh over the latest “breaking news” stories, totally parenting on autopilot and not forcing myself to stay present. The airport protests and Trump tweets and Trump tweet responses wrapped themselves up into a continuous dialogue in my head and I finally realized, ‘Wow. I’m getting addicted’.

Now my iPhone is without the Twitter app again. It’s getting filed to “laptop-access-only” which severely limits my time on it. It’s been about 24 hours and I already feel a little less frantic about my need to ‘engage and conversate’ and it’s not like I’m out of touch with what is happening out there. I’m not in any position to join spontaneous protests so the ‘what’s happening this second’ newsfeed isn’t important in my daily life.

I’m gonna make like a senior citizen and get all my news from the TV (broadcast news, not cable) and newspaper and radio. (typing that all out makes me realize that’s a ton of media sources too lol).

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