Leaves of Absence: Not to tweet for a day…for a month…forever?

People taking leaves of absence from Twitter…


Just a few things i picked up from Twitter today:

Terry McMillan announced this morning that she’d be taking a one-month break from Twitter to write her next novel. In a series of tweets she explained her predicament before making her exit:

Terry McMillan ‏ @MsTerryMcMillan
After much deliberation, I have decided to take a one month leave from Twitter in my quest to complete a rough draft of my novel.

Terry McMillan ‏ @MsTerryMcMillan
Please know how much I look forward to hanging out with you all on an almost daily basis, but I’ve lost my focus and want to get it back.

Terry McMillan ‏ @MsTerryMcMillan
I’ve never written a novel under the influence of Twitter (!) and it is difficult to do with so much going on in the world that disturbs me.

Terry McMillan ‏ @MsTerryMcMillan
However, in order to concentrate, sometimes you have to eliminate distractions. It’s lonely, but ultimately, gratifying.

Terry McMillan ‏ @MsTerryMcMillan
I am accustomed to writing without thinking. Twitter allows me to think in 140 characters. Sometimes, I don’t want to think. I want to feel.

Terry McMillan ‏ @MsTerryMcMillan
So, off I go. I call it surrendering. Where you give your all to what you’re doing. Or don’t do it at all. I chose to do the damn thang.

Terry McMillan ‏ @MsTerryMcMillan
I hope all of you pray that I write with conviction & I will pray that you feel as much joy, strength, love & courage as possible.

Terry McMillan ‏ @MsTerryMcMillan
And we rock on.

Terry McMillan ‏ @MsTerryMcMillan

Meanwhile Columbia journalism professor and social media guru Sree Sreenivasan went on an all day Twitter and Facebook fast to raise scholarship funds. The following tweets are self-explanatory and following that I excerpt something from the Columbia School of Journalism page giving the fuller context:

Sree Sreenivasan ‏ @sree
#SilenceSree starts midmorning. How many of you give determines how long I stay off FB & Twitter: http://bit.ly/silencesree #cuj12
Sree Sreenivasan ‏ @sree
It’s #SilenceSree Day! Enough of you gave $5 to keep me off Twitter till 9 pm ET. Prolong my misery by donating today: http://bit.ly/sreesilence

Silence Sree Fundraiser

Can @Sree go a day without Twitter and Facebook? Maybe for charity! Donate to silence Sree!

Silence Sree

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Columbia’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is raising donations for a scholarship fund that will be awarded to one or several students enrolled in the incoming class. We hope this new tradition will continue long after the Class of 2012 graduates.


The real cause?  Getting Sree to stop Tweeting (and Facebooking, Posterousing, Pininteresting, and FourSquaring) for a day. Here’s how last year’s class raised money and kept Sree silent.

The goal is 200 people. The percentage of 200 that donates will correspond to the amount of time Sree will be silenced. (Maximum one day. Communication is kind of his job!) If 200 people give, then Sree is off for a day. If only 20 people reach in their pockets, then he isn’t staying off that long, about 2.5 hours.

1 dollar in person contributes to silencing Sree. There is a 5 dollar minimum if you donate online.

Finally, completely unrelated, but how many of you realized that today was the anniversary of Claude McKay’s death? I wouldn’t have known were it not for the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh whose twitter feed i follow:

Scottish Poetry Lib ‏ @ByLeavesWeLive
Claude McKay, the Jamaican-born poet, died in Chicago on this day in 1948…

Scottish Poetry Lib ‏ @ByLeavesWeLive
“There is joy in the woods just now/The leaves are whispers of song/& the birds make mirth on the bough/& music the whole day long” C McKay

Scottish Poetry Lib ‏ @ByLeavesWeLive
“For one brief golden moment rare like wine,/The gracious city swept across the line/Oblivious of the color of my skin.” Claude McKay

Scottish Poetry Lib ‏ @ByLeavesWeLive
”I must not see upon your face/Love’s softly glowing spark;/For there’s the barrier of race,/You’re fair and I am dark.” Claude McKay

Author: ap

writer, editor and avid tweeter

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