I gave up Facebook and Twitter for Lent, which was interesting. I thought it would be harder than it actually was - once I stopped checking those sites for a couple of days, I forgot about them. I thought it might give me more time for doing interesting things in real life, and also result in more writing on this blog.
My business Twitter account was taking up quite a lot of time, because I use it to try and make as many connections as possible, and that results in wading through a lot of crap (and, to be fair, making people wade through a lot of my crap). Letting that lie fallow for a few weeks doesn’t seem to have done me any harm - and I have put more time and effort into the business blog as a result.
I read the article in today’s Guardian entitled Giving Up The Internet with some amusement. Mark Hooper writes:
“I swapped Facebook updates for lengthy phone calls (often via a phonebox; 50p gets you nowhere these days). I read more, I cooked more, I wrote a few postcards (and managed to forget to leave enough space for the stamp). I drew. I went on long walks. I drove to Hastings and ate chips on the beach… But, most of all, I did nothing –and it was great. I could physically feel my head rising above the water again as the stream of information subsided.”
I don’t suppose anyone on their deathbed will be wishing they’d updated Facebook more; in fact, I’m finding my day more than filled with wonderful things, chief among them Nothing. These famous words from Walden sum it up:
“There were times when I could not afford to sacrifice the bloom of the present moment to any work, whether of the head or hands. I love a broad margin to my life. Sometimes, in a summer morning, having taken my accustomed bath, I sat in my sunny doorway from sunrise till noon, rapt in a revery, amidst the pines and hickories and sumachs, in undisturbed solitude and stillness, while the birds sing around or flitted noiseless through the house, until by the sun falling in at my west window, or the noise of some traveller’s wagon on the distant highway, I was reminded of the lapse of time.
I grew in those seasons like corn in the night, and they were far better than any work of the hands would have been. They were not time subtracted from my life, but so much over and above my usual allowance. I realized what the Orientals mean by contemplation and the forsaking of works. For the most part, I minded not how the hours went. The day advanced as if to light some work of mine; it was morning, and lo, now it is evening, and nothing memorable is accomplished.”