Step Away From the Social Media

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?


  1. Sleepy-tweeting and cranky-posting! Dangerous stuff. Also, Ambien-updating. Very bad.

    This is brilliant advice.

    My biggest social media regret is adding my in-laws to Facebook. Sheesh. So not a good idea.

  2. I’m the worst about tipsy-tweeting. It used to be drunk dialing and I could just hang up. And, of course, there was no caller ID. Now, there is simply no anonymity in the world. Curses on needing to watch what I say everywhere. And yes, I just said “curses”. That was me editing myself. ; )

  3. I’ve had some regrettable Facebook status updates. Never again. Eeek!

    You should see my post about what gems Twitter conversations unearthed. Time to unplug maybe….

  4. How about sleep commenting?

    I was so dang tired trying to get back to everyone on a post last summer, that I left a comment about my son’s soccer game.

    On a food blog!!

    How embarrasing.

  5. Yes I did once…a post and I still regret it today. It wasn’t horrible or bad but apparently a few friends go upset {because I didnt mention their names}. So now I watch what I type!

  6. If you had sent out the underwear tweet, I SO would have favorited it!!

  7. I so agree. When I was in the thick of a pregnancy with toddler twins, my hubs gave me a gentle reminder to take a look at my Facebook profile and please write something positive to counteract all of the “No naps! I’m gonna die!” and “When will this day ever end???” updates I was putting up. He was right.

    I actually follow someone on twitter that posts negative stuff about her kids, hubs, life about 99% of the time (as in real like frustrations, not just a snarky twitter persona), which contradicts her happy looking avatar. And when she tweets something sweet and positive, it feels like she’s faking it.

    Sure, I’ve done it, but we need to keep an eye on the image we are presenting as a whole.

  8. This is something that we all need reminding of every so often.

    I have done the sleepy-tweet and the sleepy-comment (and possibly the tipsy-tweets/comments too) and that is never a good thing.

  9. I’ve definitely had a couple of tweets that I should have kept to myself, but I try to be mindful about these things. You’re so right though about how tough it can be. My husband was out of town this past weekend also and I caught myself just before I tweeted to someone that he was there … And yes, I was a glass of wine into the evening.

    Thanks for the reminders!

  10. Out of anger I made an entire post and tweet rant about my douche face employer. Do I regret it? No. Am I still employed? Totally. They don’t know I blog…or tweet…or maybe they do…but I just don’t care

  11. Great post! I always try to be mindful of what I put out there because I really don’t want anything getting back to me. There’s some people I follow on FB that just make me cringe at what they post. It’s unbelievable sometimes, and they’re not even drinking or half asleep when they post this stuff.

  12. Um…this morning I thanked sweet naked baby jesus because my allergies weren’t going haywire…perhaps slightly offensive to some? Oops

    The thing with me is that when I talk out loud, I have ZERO filter. I have said the most awfully embarrassing things to people because I just have zero filter.

    Thankfully when I’m in internetland I can read what I just wrote and not palmface myself too many times :)

    PS I would have thought it was hilarious if you took a photo of all the tissues…I almost did the exact same thing yesterday…but then I didn’t.

  13. I loved your blank tweet. It just means you were thinking of me in your delirium.

  14. Oh I forget all the time that what I’m tweeting will go to 1,000 people instead of my friends who already know me. I once did a guest post for someone that was a little “off.” One of those, “oh did anyone notice that?” things were you just want to move on to the next day and bury the post.


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