Social Media


This Christmas is a Knitting Fail. It appears I will have zero knitted gifts to give to my family. I have numerous projects on various needles, but the schedule of the past month has not allowed any consistent knitting time. I miss it. I feel less productive.

No one is judging me; not even me, really. I'm just sad that it's been several months since I finished a project. Knitting, reading and writing poetry have all dwindled to nearly nothing this fall.

Two things have been different in my life, alongside one thing that isn't about me. First, I've been in the fall season of a job in a very busy church. Second, I became more active on Twitter, both tweeting and following. I can't give up one, but I think I had better try giving up the other and see if it makes a difference. I'm concerned that reading tiny little messages off and on all day is making me unable to concentrate on things that are longer.

I understand why people like Twitter; there's a sense of instant connection and ready community. But I miss the old days when people read each other's blogs and left comments and used this medium for self-expression. I miss the long, long threads of comments, not so much at my blog, necessarily. I miss the friends who aren't sharing stories of their lives the way they used to do, even though in some cases I know they have good reasons not to write them for the world to see.

But maybe this was never a good place to go deeper, anyway. We have hidden, bloggers, behind pseudonyms, to protect ourselves when we criticize or complain or cry out in pain. I've been only semi-disguised for a long time, and that means I can't use blogging as a therapeutic tool.

I suppose it's not strange that I am out on the internet seeking relationship and wishing it could have depth. I'm married to a man who is away half the year for work; two of my three children are away from home, one of them grown; I've spent the last four Christmases in four different churches and have no rootedness in any faith community; as an interim minister I'm required to break connection when I leave them.

I'm lonely.

TwitterAnd I realize connections built on 140 character messages can't solve that.

If I had to put a prayer into 140 characters or less, I guess I would say:

God, I'm tired of being disconnected. Please let me find a place to stay and people to love. I promise to be fierce and fabulous for Jesus.

17 thoughts on “Tweet”

  1. The other day I almost put my status on facebook as: “bonecrushingly lonely”.
    I hate that you are feeling alone, but I completely understand and identify with it. My job is no longer secure, my oldest child is trying to find her way out of the house, my youngest child is now a teenager, my husband is busy with his music and I have yet to find my niche for this phase of life.
    Maybe part of the way we can find connections is to realize and admit how very disconnected we have become.

  2. Oh yes oh yes oh yes. Doesn’t religion essentially MEAN “that which connects…?”
    Perhaps it was in a moment of startling prescience about Twitter that E. M. Forster was moved to write, “Live in fragments no longer!”
    God calls us to connect the prose and the passion. I don’t think that’s entirely possible in 140 characters or less. More importantly, all this visual conversation exempts us from the challenge of opening–and exercising–our ears with people. We run the risk of gaining button-pressing and screen-scanning brilliance at the cost of our listening skills. And Advent demands Deep Listening, as all Dark Walks do.

  3. I don’t tweet, and I don’t “facebook”. I still use a calendar hanging on my kitchen wall, not an electronic one (though I really might have to switch over sometime…). I resist the pull to *have* to be connected, electronically, all the time. However, I do truly love blogs (though I don’t have one of my own), probably for the same reason I prefer novels to short stories and NPR to the network news. I like to hear stories that are more fleshed out, more in depth.
    I thank you for continuing what you do in this space, because “virtual” or not, the sense of connection is real, and I know if I met you in real life, you would be as lovely as you are on your blog (not true of all blogs, though, I think).
    Anyway, thanks, because connection is important, in whatever way it occurs. And I would miss it if it were gone.
    –Neighbor Lady

  4. hey there.
    i love this post.
    I have nothing more to say, but you’ve put your finger on somethign I feel too, sometimes…

  5. Perhaps there is connectedness in our loneliness. You’ve managed to illustrate for me just what I’m feeling this season. I am feeling so disconnected from the places that used to ground me. I have found your blog to be a place of light.

  6. ((((Songbird)))) It’s why I’ve also resisted Facebook/MySpace/Twitter… I know I can’t do all things well, and I’d prefer to blog for now. We are pulled in so many different directions these days. Wishing you peace my friend.

  7. (((Songbird)))
    Wise words from your heart. May the new year bring you a permanent call in some very fortunate congregation!

  8. You have this uncanny ability to articulate in your posts what I am only beginning to pull together in thoughts. I don’t Twitter, but this resonated with me an many levels.
    I made an effort to pull back from Facebook a while ago, and it was a good decision. I too miss the blogs — I spent last night re-reading mine and password protecting some entries and wondering why I don’t blog as often. Facebook is one of the main reasons. Often the stories behind the status updates are what make them fun, and without the story, something is missing..

  9. (((sherry)))
    I think there’s a relationship between the perfectionism puzzle and my over-responsiveness to Twitter (and to a lesser extent Facebook). Am I required to “catch up” or is it more like dropping in at Cheers, where you pick up in medias res?

  10. Yes, yes, yes.
    And as someone whose elder child is out of the house (for all intents and purposes) and whose younger child is head-over-heels and detaching, and whose Beloved does not lived with her (for many reasons)…
    I am lonely too, often. And missing depth in relationships. The messiness of it.
    Love to you (((Songbird)))

  11. I’m presently blocked from Facebook after a phishing attack this morning. And I am shocked at how totally and utterly panicky that makes me feel! Waiting to hear back from their help people.
    Part of it is, of course, the fear about a virus on the computer…but part of it is losing that connection. I think I need to follow KnittinPreacher’s lead a bit.
    (((Breathes deeply into paper bag)))

  12. Just home after a meeting about a grant to get more of us teachers on a network of technology. . . but man, I feel like I struggle with the tech in my life already~the new set up of Facebook has reduced my enjoyment of it, so that’s easy, and Tweeting. . . oy. We have one track phone (don’t even know how to spell it!) in case my frail father in law needs my husband. . . but I am worried by the current addiction to facile communication. By contrast, blogs feel like a friendship! But just as teaching has revealed to me that all teens need structure of some kind, all this electronica keeps revealing to me that people need/crave connection–and, unfortunately for us in our perfunctory lives, we can tell the fake from the real!
    Hope this Christmas is a slowed down and connected one for you!

  13. Oh, yes.
    I haven’t joined in the twitter fray b/c honestly facebook is more than I can keep up with, and I fear exactly what you write about.
    And I really miss the blogging community we had a couple of years ago. Again, for all the reasons you mention. But is it a case of “there’s no going back?”

  14. It’s true. You can drive yourself crazy trying to read every tweet, keep up with your Facebook time line, read everything in your overstuffed feed reader, etc.
    Sometimes (not often enough), I just mark all the unread tweets as seen and then wipe ’em. -gasp- And nothing bad happens.

  15. LinkedIn and Ravelry are more than enough social networking for me. Even those two drain too much time from my work. And being self-employed, I don’t get paid if nothing gets done. (Unlike a friend or two who update their Facebook pages at work.)
    I’ve resisted the Twitter trend. For one thing, can you imagine me trying to say *anything* in 140 characters or less?
    Since I wanted to make an ambitious shawl for my sister, I started my Christmas knitting in September. I also knocked out some lacy crocheted scarves and some reusable Swiffer cloths – and a few teeny tiny Barbie clothes. (I don’t like small needles.)

  16. With you on this on many levels.
    Twitter is not my thing, mostly because I’m too verbose to fit into the limitations. the blog and FB are more than enough.
    Sending hugs, hoping that as we get closer to Christmas eve it will feel better, and hoping that at least one of my active knitting projects comes to completion soon.

  17. Songbird, echoing your feelings of loneliness as I am living 5 nights a week away from home and greys.
    Praying that in the New Year God will provide that fabulous congregation for you, a fierce for Jesus pastor!!!
    May your Christmas be blessed and graced with time for family and spouse and dog.

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