Tweet Storm

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5:15 AM: There is a slight, but steady, knock at the door. Julian is awake. We had a lengthy discussion last night about how we should not wake up before the sun, but apparently said conversation had no affect.

5:17 AM: Ok. He’s still knocking. I can’t ignore him back to sleep. I roll over and look at the clock, and say words that I’m not allowed to repeat on this blog.

5:18 AM: I wander in to the living room to put on the TV for Julian. He wants to watch Super Truck. This is a show in which a regular flat bed truck can transform in to other kinds of trucks to help other cars and trucks in their hour of need. I have come to notice that each and every episode of this show has the same plot. I do not mention this to Julian.

5:20 AM: I stumble in to the kitchen to get some milk for Julian and coffee for me. Joshy still hasn’t awaken from his slumber, but I spend a good 2-3 minutes staring at his milk glass in the cabinet and wondering if I should set it out, or just wait until he’s awake.

5:24 AM: Joshy is awake. Problem solved.

5:32 AM: The boys have milk, their father has coffee. I sit down on the couch to watch Super Truck save the day again, and do what I believe is the first fully conscious act of the day.

I go on twitter.

Friends, I have a problem.

There have been countless studies about what social media is actually doing to our brains, how we are training ourselves to be addicted to the dopamine hit that comes from seeing someone push a like button, or reading a tweet that perfectly affirms your own created worldview. We know it’s an issue. We recognize it’s a problem. I have written countless posts about the perils of social media.

And yet, every morning, after the unconscious rituals have passed me by, I check in. I want to see what my friends have said. I want to know if they have reacted to what I have said. And yes, I want to see what the President has tweeted over the night.

On my best days, Twitter is a source of humor and entertainment. One of my best tweets (if I do say so myself) was “Guys. I am procrastinating so hard tomorrow.” Classic. On my worst days, Twitter is a carefully curated list of folks who agree with every position I have, working together to affirm my political, cultural, theological, and even spiritual biases. When all you get to see is people who agree with you, it sure seems like everyone agrees with you.

So why bring this up in this series? Because at least for me, Twitter is a habit, and one that often goes unexamined.

This makes me wonder how many habits, routines, and systems in my day exist without a second’s thought from me. Is this habit harmful? Positive? Neutral? How did I fall in to this habit? Why do I keep it up? What do I think about, and what do I just sleepily walk in to?

For so many of us, the new year doesn’t really begin in January. It begins in September. School is getting underway, and that seems to have an affect no matter whether we are students ourselves, or whether we are the parents of students. So for a whole lot of us, there exists this possibility of examining the unexamined habits at this point in the year, and in fact even the possibility of building up some new habits.

For me, I’m going to try to make sure that the sun is up before I get on my phone. I shudder at how much wasted (albeit sleepy) time with my boys has gone by while I’m reading tweets from strangers. That’s an easy one to fix.

What habits are you going to work on? Let us know in the comments section below!

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