My social-networking/media blackout/digital cleanse lasted all of 4 and a half days. (I’m so giving myself credit for the 1/2-day). I completely caved this afternoon. I did it all: Twitter, Facebook, entertainment sites, gossip sites, news sites. Total binge.

Admittedly, the only reason I probably made it 4 days & not just 2 days was because of the holiday & a weekend visit from friends that kept me offline. But still, yesterday–Monday–I was quite good & I found I had so much extra time to get things done. I edited two articles & wrote another. I was focused. I didn’t feel like I’d wasted time. And more importantly I didn’t feel like the day had gotten away from me.

However, I’ve come to realize that while I can live without the news in all its forms,  I kind of need Facebook & Twitter. Given that I work from home while everyone else I know is off in an office somewhere, my social interaction is quite limited during the day. I end up turning to Twitter & Facebook to hear about what everyone else is doing, to feel like I’m having a conversation with someone or at least listening in on one.

I can’t imagine working from home 20-years ago. Besides no Twitter & Facebook, there would have been no email. All these technological advances in the world of socializing are what keep me from carrying on full conversations with my dog. Yes, I’d probably get a lot more done in a day without the distractions, but then again, maybe not. These distractions allow me to take a 5-, 10-, or 30-minute break when I can’t get a handle on project or idea. I canstep away & get some perspective in just a few minutes. I can let my brain rest & reset. Without these virtual conversations, I fear I’d be stuck in my own head with my own voice when it is no longer healthy. And I wouldn’t get the distance I need to go back to work with fresh eyes & mind.

So, I know I need to better manage my digital time. I probably shouldn’t be checking Facebook, Twitter, or even my email every 15 minutes. And I can live with just getting my news once a day as opposed to every hour on the hour. It’s all about moderation & discipline–two things I sort of suck at. But I’m willing to try if it means I can have more satisfyingly productive days like yesterday.