Scaling Back

One benefit that has come from my recent hiatus is that I no longer feel the pressure to check-in on my social networks and other various websites that I relied on for my daily (hourly) dose of RIGHT NOW.

I’ve always kept my Twitter following count very low on purpose. As much as people tweet, I just couldn’t handle the sheer flood of content coming my way if I wasn’t able to at least skim each post. I know that sounds insane – reading every tweet – but I’m a completist like that. I’ve never followed more than 100 people – right now I’m sitting at 83. And, on average, those eighty-three users generate around 300 tweets each day.

Reading and digesting that much information became a daily chore as I was never fully able to just let it go. If I missed a day, I’d suddenly find myself 600+ tweets behind. Eventually I’d just have to declare bankruptcy and scroll all the way to the top of my timeline and start fresh – hoping I didn’t miss anything essential.

And that’s exactly the problem.

I was, in my own addictive way, viewing all that content as essential. And during my two months off, where I unintentionally rarely checked-in, I realized it’s not essential. Not in the least.

That’s not to say I don’t get value from my Twitter network. Of course I do. But it needs to be balanced against more productive uses of my time – reading, writing, developing, hanging out with my kid.

You may be lucky and not have an addictive personality like me. But if you do, try reducing how many people you follow down to a manageable daily amount. Or, better yet, just step back for a while and see how much you miss it.