I’ve been taking a little break from social media. One night as I checked Twitter one last time before going to bed, I just thought – “OK. Enough with that.” It was one of those strong overriding thoughts that I usually pay attention to when I get them.
The next day, in lieu of checking Twitter, I scrolled through some news headlines and found myself reading about an airplane that was stuck on the tarmac for over 10 hours due to ice on the runway last year. There was controversy around questions of how long should people be made to stay on a plane in similar situations. Outrage to started to build in my body. I imagined how frustrating that was for the people on the plane, and saw myself bravely leading a charge to open the emergency doors not caring if fines or arrest would result. I noticed I was angry. A sharp electric blue flare of angry thought travelled up my left side.
What was doing!?! That was just after reading the headline for something that I really don’t care about. I put the phone down for the rest of the day and started thinking about time and how I use it.
When I used to work in television, there were these promos called “Interstitials”. You’ve seen them. Brief blasts with the network logo and something like – “You – are – Watching – FOX”. These little pieces of promo flair were also called “Bumps”. Adult Swim had some of the best ones. They were just white text on a black background that would say something like “Someday, we will come up with something that’s actually funny…just kidding.”
These little promos stitched together the end of one show to the beginning of the next and tried to keep viewers from changing the channel. They were also tied to the all important BRAND, and were a way for the channel to express personality and build a relationship with the viewer. It was time filler with a purpose.
I have a lot of Interstitial Time. In between time. Micro-moments. Brief minutes in between duties that never seems long enough to get started on something productive (like read a book), but aren’t short enough for me to just sit and relax either. Time where I expect to get interrupted by the kids needing something. Time that’s been perfect for checking Twitter with a quick run on IG and just the groups I’m in on FB.
As I thought more about it, I realized that huge parts of my day was this type of time. What if I started using this time as fertile ground to improve my life rather than just zombie-scrolling social media? What if it could be filled with magic that reinforced my goals? What if it can be a steady heartbeat of the day that enriched my life instead of just time to spend? What if I started creating my own interstitials?
Not to say that social media doesn’t have its merits. I really enjoy my online friends and these relationships have enriched my life immeasurably. Nor do I feel a need to make every minute of my life productive. Sometimes a rest is in order and doing nothing is exactly what needs to be done.
I’ve made a list, and have started to run these following interstitials on my personal schedule.
- Intentional Breathing
- Making a Reiki Energy Ball
- Checking in with the Garden
- Drinking a Glass of Water
- Reviewing my Summer Goals
- Crocheting or Knitting a row of a project
- Astrology Journal writing
It’s been good so far. I’ll probably rotate these short activities out and add new ones in, as needed. I like having a list to rely on as I figure out beneficial limitations on social media for myself. More than that I like being able to control these brief periods to some extent and use them intentionally to stitch together more major blocks of time. Who knows? Maybe my personal interstitials will become just as memorable as the Adult Swim ones?