There are a lot of reasons to unplug:

  • Family time.
  • Mental health time.
  • Walk-away-from-the-damn-computer-and-look-at-the-world-in-3D-time.

Learning to recognize these moments is important, but no moment more so than this one:

The Over Tired Tweeter

Last weekend, Mark was out of town, leaving me to single-parent a sick toddler, or as we now refer to it: Missy, Un-Showered, Un-Rested, Very-Nearly-Unhinged.

Before you call CPS, I was not really unhinged. I took excellent care of the sweetest sick dude. I was incredibly patient when he repeatedly begged to have that one for snack, even though A) I had no idea what that one was – and neither did he, by the way, because he would just point to the entire pantry; and B) he had no appetite to speak of, so he didn’t eat that one or this one.

I wasn’t unhinged, but I was sleep-deprived. At times loopy, at times cranky, and almost always a little lonely. The kid is a doll, but he’s no substitute for the company of grown-ups. I wanted to reach out to the world via social media, yet somewhere deep inside my fatigue the internal editor was still at work.

Thankfully, she (my internal editor is a woman, obviously) stopped me from hitting send on the following tweets:

  • My address is _____________. I’m home all alone. I’m hungry. Please bring me food.
  • How long is too long without changing underwear?
  • Wow, Diego really has sexy hair.

I also avoided Instagram-ing pictures of:

  • My unwashed hair.
  • A pile of tissues. (Used or not? You guess!)
  • Everything I watched on TV.

I did attempt to tweet on Sunday morning, because I wanted to wish a tweep good luck in the Vancouver USA Marathon. I sent this:

Hey, @funnyorsnot, I know you’re about to run a marathon, but first I’m going to waste your time with a blank tweet! Tip: tweets are always better when they contain content.

While embarrassing – and potentially dangerous* –  the loony stuff I almost posted over the weekend wasn’t particularly awful. But it could have been.

In fact, it once was.

I once nearly irrevocably destroyed a relationship with an ill-conceived tweet, sent when I was downright exhausted. Don’t bother going to look for it – it’s not there anymore. But here’s the thing: you can’t completely delete a tweet. Or anything else that comes out of your mouth. Or through your fingers and onto the screen.

Once it’s out there, you cannot take it back.

Sometimes it’s (relatively) harmless. Other times it’s stupid. Embarrassing. Mean.

Social media has spoiled us for instant feedback, instant connection. I’ve met people from all over the world, and feel fortunate to have friendships with people I wouldn’t know otherwise.

There’s a lot of room for error, though. So before you sleepy-tweet, tipsy-gram, or cranky-post, stop. Listen to that stodgy internal editor. She may be boring, but she often has legitimate concerns.

You can’t un-say it, and the rest of the world can’t un-see it.

*Internet 101: Don’t broadcast your address or the fact that you’re a woman home alone. Or as the savvy kids call this class, Duh 101.

I wonder…

:: Any social media regrets?