Twitter Silence: A Diary

Day 1 (Monday)

After being in New York over the weekend for the She’s Geeky unconference and my good friend’s birthday, I ended up taking a sick day to recoup. Since I wasn’t at work, where I am unable to stay continuously engaged in the online world, I didn’t feel my usual craving to be connected and tuned in. This made it very easy not to tweet, because I did have web and mobile access and was able to use SMS and chat. My twitter prohibition allowed me to be totally self-focused and this impunity from the need to share enabled me to be noticeably productive. I knocked off several tasks from my M-F, 9-5 “to-do” list.

Day 2 (Tuesday)

In the morning I attended the Energy Forum and it was relief not to tweet (although @cheeky_geeky outed me); I could just listen and consume without feeling the need to share what I was hearing and experiencing. But being at the Forum reinforced the reality that energy issues will only be addressed through global participation and it will require cooperation with countries like China and this was distressing because I know our country and government is not at a place to cooperate. Then I was off to a meeting at work which was draining in the sense that didn’t feel like it accomplished much. I left work to put a contract on a condo and this was perhaps the most difficult aspect of my week. I have never assumed such a large financial responsibility on my own and this level of stress created an overwhelming need for social support, interaction and perspective. Even though I was leveraging SMS and chat, I truly missed Twitter:

Twitter is my relationship
I wake up with Twitter
I go to bed with Twitter
I’m lonely without it

I feel neglected
unloved
untouched
ignored
I’m pouting, sticking out my bottom lip:(

Day 3 (Wednesday)

I saw Cal at the office. I hadn’t seen him for a while and whenever I do seem him, I just light up. He interviewed me for the training role and he’s the reason I got involved with social software. My first IC consulting role at a another agency was uninspiring to say the least, and I psychologically withered from the political, cultural and physical barriers that anchored the agency to an un-evolved way of doing business. Cal shared with me his vision for intelligence and exposed me to the innovative, forward-looking thinking many of my colleagues possess. He happens to be one the people I respect the most in my professional life: he has an extremely creative and agile mind, capable of examining thoughts and ideas to evolve his own beliefs but lacks the braggadocio and self-centeredness that so many idea champions possess. This is the moment I wanted to tweet the most – to share the energy I experienced from interacting with him.

By the afternoon, I was entirely focused on checking out activity in the analyst workspaces, and felt a shift to not caring what was going on outside this environment. I had little interest in what was happening in Twitter, Facebook, and Blip because I not could participate.

I also read a fantastic article in Portfolio magazine on Paul Krugman’s bailout dissent that I wanted to share.

Day 4 (Thursday)

I woke up feeling socially isolated and I had this feeling of wanting to leave my current role. I attended mandatory Ethics training in the morning and was reminded of the all the rules public servants must abide by.  I learned that the Hatch Act doesn’t apply to contractors, I can only have one bumper sticker on my car and I can accept gifts up to $335 from foreign nationals.

I also thought is was funny the briefing starting off with this quote by Plato: Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws. It seems like all the innovation and positive change I’ve seen has come from people who have found ways to get things done in spite of the rules and regulations that encumber them.

Day 5 (Friday)

It was a productive daty at work; I holed up in the lab, sat in my old desk in the corner and was extremely focused and in my own world. I eliminated my online and physical distractions and was able to pull my thoughts together for a blog post I had been wanting to write.  I also had a heart-to-heart with colleague who I had been needing to share my thoughts with and we both walked away feeling better about some issues that had surfaced at work.

That night I attended the Atlas Corps holiday party and met Harris Wolford (former PA Senator and Co-Founder of the Peace Corps) and enjoyed talking to a bunch of folks I hadn’t seen for a while or hadn’t met before, including Senator Wolford’s super cute aid. I texted my friend because I had to share this with someone!  I had an aha moment when I realized the Twitterverse was missing out.

I also found out the seller accepted and ratified my contract on the condo.

Day 6 (Saturday)

I woke up and didn’t really care what was going on. I felt at ease, not distracted and was productive. I read and wrote a lot. I ended up not going to several events I was supposed to attend. I just hung low.

Day 7 (Sunday)

This was the most difficult day I’ve experienced – in a long time. The reality of becoming a homeowner and assuming a great financial responsibility during a volatile market really hit me. I spent most of the day in the apartment, reading, reviewing the condo docs and talking to two of my close friends and my mom about the new purchase. I didn’t feel comfortable with the price I was buying at. My real estate friend said if I didn’t feel good about the offer, I had (3) days to counter, even though it was a ratified contract, since contract law provides for a 3-day live window. I didn’t know I could do this.

I talked to Steve for an hour on the phone. I’m so thankful to have someone who makes me laugh and keeps things in perspective like he does.  I made the decision to counter on the contract.

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