I have put a bullet in my twitter account for the moment. I have been using it as an release valve on my thoughts for the past three and a half years. It is an outlet altogether too convenient for me, and I am wondering if I have been leaning on it too much lately.
Can I manage to keep silent for long? I still habitually check it from my mobile device, but I am seeing if I can scale back on this habit. I want to grow as a person & I realize that using twitter as a vehicle and medium to convey my thoughts increases my impulsiveness and impatience with other things in my life. It has immediacy in its ability to be an addictive ongoing chronicle of other peoples' thoughts and actions.
It increases my passivity while simulating the feeling of activity. It plays and preys on the idea of pithy popularity as to the interest and reaction by others to what commentary and quips are added to the social stew. I become alternately fond and frustrated by the site's limitations and flaws. What I choose to do with my time will shape who I am now, as well as build habits towards who I will be in the future.
So I will be quiet for a spell on that site, and try to explore other things with that allotted time. I can't say how successful I'll be. Right now I am scratching that itch to share my life to the limited public eye on here. But why should you or even I particularly care to know such things.
It is a habit, a means of creating noise to avoid the silence and the questions it brings. I am reminded of the passage in Douglas Adams' five part Hitchhiker trilogy about the planet Kakrafoon Kappa, a race that was enlightened, accomplished, and silent was punished by a galactic tribunal with a societal telepathy. "Any thought, if not articulated and verbalized immediately, would thenceforward be broadcast for everyone to hear across Kakrafoon's smug neighbouring planets." This ruined the silent society as all the Kakrafoonians were forced to break their practice of silence lest everybody overhear instead of the smaller and more immediate group.
Silence isn't always comfortable to carry around. Reticence can be perceived as antisocial or rude. I have friends who wear it better than others. Sometimes I don't talk because I have nothing to contribute and much more to learn by keeping my peace. There is also the frustrating maxim, "Speak only if you can improve upon the silence." Whenever I remember this saying, I become hyperaware of speaking up at all. And declaring the epigram aloud is even worse to my sensibilities because it appears a haughty and condescending judgement upon anyone else who happens to be talking.
I am reading through Richard Foster's book "Celebration of Discipline" with a group of men. There are chapters on prayer, private meditation and study of ideas, simplicity, and solitude. This respite from engaging in social networking sites might allow me to exercise in these disciplines and habits. I am grateful for the opportunity and am excited to see what I learn during this new year.