Ah, social media.
It has been a big part of my life of late. In part, it is a way of connecting. In part it is a way of remembering how fickle I am (‘oh yes, I will start this.’, ‘look, I’ve started again!’, ‘… turning, turning, we come down right.’). And in part, it is an attempt to use the time off I have this year to become more fluent with the forms of communication which are essential to ministry but which take time.
Learning to blog, or tweet, or use facebook takes no time at all, of course. We proved that one year during lunch at synod (30 new tweeters, at your service). Maintaining it and building it into something worthwhile is rather more demanding.
Twitter should be easier. Fast and furious. Funny and rewarding. But how on earth do you keep up with it?
Every ten minutes or so, enough interesting links come through my twitter feed to keep me reading for an hour. Many of these links are good — blog posts and articles written carefully by clever, engaged people. But they come in helter-skelter, and I soon reach information overload.
And that’s the part that interests me, right now: how quickly even good content on twitter turns my brain to mush. I see university students constantly on their phones. Twitter. Facebook. Texts. I do it too. And I wonder: how do they ever get anything done? Do they ever spend 10 minutes uninterrupted? Is it possible, now, to read for an hour? To write for two? To sit an exam for three? Or do their neurons rebel if the constant ‘bing, bing, bing’ goes dormant?
I like social media, and I want to keep learning to use it better. But it is a wild beast that I suspect will only be tamed by deliberate silence and withdrawal.
Or is this an introvert/ extrovert thing? Readers: how do you do it?