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For when I need more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing, media or message.

All A-Twitter About an About-Face

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(ED’S NOTE: Originally posted on my Tumblr.)

I’m just now surfacing from the depths of my inbox, and news feeds tell me that Twitter has been down for much of the day. Quelle horreur! Though I am an avid Twit, I have to wonder whether our lives wouldn’t be better if Twitter did go down and stay down. Would we really miss Twitter if it went away?

Wait! I like this fantasy even better: the demise of Facebook. THAT’S the world I want to live in!

I’ve hit a wall with the world’s second-most popular site. I’m getting tired now just writing about it. I can’t pinpoint exactly when I decided to log off, but it was sometime in the past week. My departure had been a long time coming, though. In February, I went on a road trip to see five friends, four of whom I had reconnected with on Facebook. (It was an amazing 1,000 miles, and I hope I have the chance to do it again.) During each visit, I mentioned to my hostess that I was thinking about quitting Facebook — but I wanted to keep in touch with her. I was tired of the mind-numbing updates and the excessive oversharing. I was losing precious hours entranced by the comings and goings of people I barely knew anymore. I needed to spend my time more productively — like playing with the cats or broadcasting my Costco experiences on Twitter.

Although my friends certainly agreed that Facebook is a time suck, they pointed out, too, that what we shared was worthwhile. They were right, and I knew I’d miss knowing what was going on with them. But these were just five people. Surely I could keep up with just them.

I haven’t found out yet. In fact, I must admit that I just logged on to make sure none of them messaged me before I sent them my e-mail saying that I was quitting Facebook for a while. While I was on I saw that a very dear friend from high school has a birthday tomorrow, so I’ll have to log on again to send her glad tidings. And while I’m doing that, I’ll probably notice that someone has written something mildly amusing about the BP oil spill or Nancy Pelosi, so I’ll have to comment on that or “like” that, then I’ll see something interesting that Mashable has posted so I’ll have to read that, and then the next thing I know it’ll be 4:30 — time to feed the dog and go to work.

It’s 3:15 now, and I promised myself 500 words of short fiction today. Instead, I have about 400 or so about Facebook. I’d write that the rainy afternoon would have been better spent finishing the laundry, but maybe now that I’ve written through this, I’ll feel better about my about-face. I just wish I could figure out why I feel so damn bad about logging off in the first place.

Author: Jacqui Barrineau

Jacqui Barrineau is a writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., with husband Trey, a Shetland Sheepdog, and two unhelpful-but-funny cats. Her work has appeared in "So to Speak" and "Calliope," and she's a regular contributor to the flash-fiction sites Paragraph Planet and Doorknobs & Bodypaint. Once upon a time, she was the audience engagement editor at USA Today. Now she does other fun things that involve advertising, marketing and social media. The views expressed here and in other outlets are hers, not her employers'. Outside of work, she's proud to serve on the Northern Virginia Community College Marketing Advisory Committee. As a committee member, she joins industry leaders in lending their knowledge and expertise to ensure the college's Marketing curriculum is relevant and responsive to the needs of the students and the surrounding business communities.

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