the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

One Day Off Twitter (Or “Getting Off” — Ha Ha)

Sophia and I had an unlikely laugh today, thanks to… of all things, Twitter.

I wanted to stay off of Twitter for a week, but I just didn’t have the self-control to do it. That’s when a friendly voice on Twitter came up — a blogger named @krisiallen — with the million dollar solution:

@Neilochka give someone you trust your password & have them change it & not tell you what it is.

I thought that was genius. Seriously. I think someone could develop a whole service out of this. You give access to your social media passwords to some bond-trusted customer service representative in, say India, and when you get too distracted from your work, you text this service, writing, “Cut me off from Twitter and Facebook for three hours, and don’t let me back on, even if I call you crying.”

A few friends offered to be my bad cop, but I knew the perfect person to help me with my plan — one person who was so loaded with integrity, and strong-willed, that she wouldn’t cave in no matter how much I begged or offered free Olive Garden coupons. Yes, Sophia.

Note: In retrospect, this was not the smartest decision, considering that she now has access to everything I’ve ever written privately to any of you on DM, but let’s just say that despite my advanced degrees, I’m not the brightest guy on the block.

At midnight, she cut me off from Twitter. I felt a sense of relief.

Unfortunately, this morning, there was an unforeseen glitch. I noticed that Twitter had sent me an email notifying me of the password change and wanting me to confirm it. I had to call Sophia to tell her to change the password AND the email.

After my morning coffee, I sat down to work. I was productive for about five minutes, when I absentmindedly grabbed my iphone to check Twitter on one of my seventeen different Twitter apps. And — boom — just like that — I was given access to the pot of gold. Even after the password and email change, I was back on Twitter. Would I have to destroy every laptop in the country before I could be free of this tempting siren with her heaving social media bosom? I was advised by a friend online that I would need to SIGN OUT first for the new password to take affect. Twitter certainly makes it difficult to leave, don’t they? Like leaving the Mafia?

I went one step further. I deleted all of the Twitter apps off of my iPhone.

Around lunchtime, I became hungry again… and not for lunch. For gossip. Was anyone talking about me? Perhaps there was an emergency on the blogosphere and someone was calling out for me on Twitter, desperately needing my help, and I was selfishly absent.

“@neilochka? @neilochka! We need you.”

Maybe I shouldn’t reveal this to other twitter addicts, but if you go onto Google and search you Twitter handle, like @neilochka, you can see if anyone has mentioned you! Sadly, my only mention was a spam offer for “penis pills from Brazil.” I guess there weren’t that many emergencies I had to deal with today. I could go back to work.

Five minutes ago, I went on my iphone to check on Facebook (which has been my poor cousin procrastination tool of today — I’m just not that into you, Facebook!) And there is was, sitting in a little corner of one of my iphone screens, right next to Evernote — Hootsuite, a Twitter client that I rarely used. I opened it up and instantly saw all my missed Direct Messages. There was only one, but it was like manna from the sky. I decided to keep this twitter application a little secret between me and God. I wouldn’t use it to update. I would just read up on what others are doing. I would just use it to pimp my new blog posts. That’s legit. If I don’t pimp my posts on Twitter, no one is gonna read them, right? And less money for my family.

But that would be cheating. And we are all trying to teach the next generation that cheating is bad. And I am supposed to be the Citizen of the Month.

I haven’t deleted the app just yet. But I will… right after I publish this post. Honestly.

P.S. — More important than this boring post is this — I don’t usually send my readers off to other blog posts written by better bloggers than I am for obvious selfish reasons, such as not wanting to feel inferior, or having you read her blog before mine, but Jenn Mattern, the super-talented writer of Breed ‘Em and Weep, wrote this post about marriage, divorce, hurt, and healing that is just beautiful, very personal in nature, and touched me a lot.

And while I greatly admire her writing, I even admire her more for her amazing ability to stay off of Twitter without resorting to using handcuffs.


  1. patty

    I adore you.

    That is all.

  2. Mom2HandR

    Well I guess I better read your blog as you are serious about your twitter break. 😉 You are missed. But I get the reason for doing it. Try to make 24 hours. Go from there.

  3. GrandeMocha

    I missed you on Twitter!

  4. Danny

    I’m not sure why you’re trying so hard to stay off Twitter? I say forget it and embrace your tweets.

  5. Redneck Mommy

    Dude. You should tweet about having limp wrists.

    Sorry. That just popped into my head. I have no idea why.

  6. Juli Ryan

    I kind of like it when you take Twitter breaks. Because it seems like then you post more on your blog. But I will miss you if you do a “Jonathan Franzen” and disconnect from the Internet altogether.

  7. Soumyaranjan Dash

    Thanks you. Now, I can imagine a life minus Twitter tho I don’t need this, now. Now, “@neilochka? @neilochka! We need you.” back on Twitter!

  8. Emma C.

    Tweeting is infectious, and fortunately you also got some solution from
    Neilochka. Cheers to that!
    We honestly accept anything if it can relieves stress.

  9. Shelli

    Don’t you see the big illuminated letter N in the sky when people need you? I see it all the time. Particularly when you are off the Twitter.

  10. WebSavvyMom

    –>I’ve missed your musings on twitter and kind of chuckle every time you sneak one out there.

  11. sizzle

    I don’t know if I could cut myself off from Twitter. Facebook maybe but not Twitter. I should though. I have days where I have so much to do and I look at the clock and have managed to waste 4 hours doing nothing but avoiding work thanks to the internet. Sigh.

  12. Jenn at BEAW

    I am a tweet-twit. But I am good at 140,000 characters at a time. Thank you, dearie. Thinking of you much during this complex time. xo

  13. subWOW

    Fellow addict here. Woo. Speaking of that… bye!

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