But McDowell, distracted by social media like so many others these days, wasn't done updating his status.
"I was like, 'Whoa, whoa, wait â€" I just gotta finish this,' " McDowell recalled. "Like it was important, like it had to get done."
In the big picture, it wasn't important. So when the topic of life's distractions came up at a weekly Bible study McDowell and his wife, Jami, host at their home with other
On Monday night, after the Bible study session had concluded, McDowell tweeted:
"I am signing off be back on Twitter and
He immediately deleted the apps from his phone â€" before he even read the responses from some of his 35,000 Twitter followers â€" and hasn't checked the account since.
McDowell still has an auto-posting service tweeting daily Bible verses, but he won't be making any personal status updates until the brief
"For me, it's like it's become almost an addiction," he told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday. "It's something you almost have to do; you want to see what people are saying and you want to keep your fans up to date and you want to be engaged â€" but you don't realize how much time it actually takes.
"We don't have much downtime, and with two kids, I just got to the point where the season is going to start soon and I want to make sure I'm engaged with my family with the time I do have while I have it instead of constantly checking Twitter."
Fans who responded were largely supportive, even though McDowell hasn't seen their responses. He instinctively reached for his phone several times, though, which showed him just what a difficult habit it is to break.
"You'd be blown away by how many times I go into my phone and I go into the folder and it's not there and I go, 'Oh, hey! It's not there anymore,' " he said.
McDowell views a dependence on Twitter and
"The only thing we should be dependent on, for me, is God," he said. "I don't want to put anything before that. If I have time to go look at my
McDowell was one of
He emphasized he's not turning against social media as a whole and said there's "a lot of good that comes from it." On a personal level, McDowell said, he just needed a break.
"It's got nothing to do with anybody else, other than I was spending too much time on it," he said. "I'm cutting it out because I saw something unhealthy in my own life, not somebody else's."
McDowell hasn't announced his complete 2013 plans yet, but said he expects to be back in
The 28-year-old is entering his sixth full season of