Taking a Social Media Vacation

keep-calm-im-taking-a-short-break-from-social-media-1I realize that this may be an odd blog topic for a class promoting Social Media, but do you ever just want to take a break from using Social Media in your personal life and fly under the radar? To be completely incommunicado for just a short time and not have everyone know your every move and be able to reach you anytime, anywhere? To quiet your mind and be under-informed rather than having access to mass amounts of information all at once, so much information that it’s impossible to process, so your brain just seizes up (case in point – as I attempt to write this post, I keep obsessively checking my phone for texts, emails, and Facebook updates which is making me lose my train of thought)? I personally get overwhelmed by all of this and think it would be nice to take a vacation from Social Media/technology every once and a while.

IMG_7174I actually tried implementing this Social Media vacation concept in my own life when my husband and I took our kids on a trip to Australia for a month last year. My big plan: each of us would be allowed to use our devices for the plane ride only and then after that, just for taking pictures. There was going be no emailing, googling, texting, Instagraming, Facebooking, and so on. I wanted us to live in the moment and not feel the need to share everything instantly. When we were not sight seeing, I wanted us to read books, play board games, and chat about life. The trip was truly an amazing, once in a lifetime experience, but my electronic ban plan was an epic fail. We stuck with it the first few days, but gradually, the kids managed to talk us into letting them watch TV at night to unwind. TV watching eventually turned into watching shows and YouTube on their iPods and then everything went downhill from there.

So maybe a month was too long to pull off this experiment, but I still do firmly believe in the concept and will try again when given the opportunity. Constant online connectivity is hard enough on adults, but I actually think it’s damaging for our kids to feel the need to be in contact with others all the time. Kids have no downtime, no quiet time, and no time to just be themselves. Everything they do is on a public stage with no chance for a ‘do over’ if they make a mistake. Being given an excuse to take a mini vacation from all of that (especially when you can blame your parents), should be a welcome idea. Because of this, I have now set my sights on smaller goals for my family: electronic free Sundays where we kick it old school and power down. While my kids are still outwardly resistant to this idea, I believe they secretly like it – I do think they recognize that Social Media adds an element of stress to their lives.

Social Media is a lot of fun, don’t get me wrong, I just think we need to learn use it with moderation in our personal lives because it’s everywhere we turn.  Not only has Social Media become an integral part of our culture, it is a valuable and vital tool for businesses, governments, non profit organizations, and more.

If you would like to try having a Social Media vacation in your own life, there are many online resources (yes, I realize the irony in this suggestion) available for reference. For example, sites like Forbes and Buffer Social and have posts that provide useful tips.

 

5 thoughts on “Taking a Social Media Vacation

  1. I love this post! I often feel the same way as you. I know I NEED a social media vacation, but it is definitely challenging to go without touching my phone for a day or two. This past week I started a new job, and while I was getting trained, I obviously couldn’t be on my cell phone (not that you should be on your cell phones while at work anyways). It was a really nice break for my day though. When I was off work I had time to unwind and still check my social media accounts. I didn’t miss anything… I believe some of us go to the extremes and almost have an addiction to social media. The scary thing is that it’s becoming common and almost normal for people to constantly be on social media accounts. I myself will try to have more social media vacations, not only because I am at work, but when I am at home or out of town. Great post and blog idea – I think more people need to take a social media vacation, too! I am finally starting to get to the point where I know if I don’t post something on social media, the world is not going to end. Thanks for sharing your ideas and links to tips – I will be checking those out for sure!

  2. Very thoughtful suggestions. the notion of taking a social media vacation is a good idea. I have often thought about it in recent times. I think having smart phones does not help at all. Sadly, many have have become addicted to social media. The question is when is it time to take a break?

  3. Very interesting post! I love the idea to take a vacation from social media, it is difficult to restrain or control from smartphone addiction.I don’t follow any social media during day time but I spend almost an hour before going to sleep to answer my friends’ posts. This is disturbing my schedule and I get less hours of sleep. I will try to take a break from social media. Thank you for the wonderful suggestion….

  4. Good idea and food for thought. I think taking a break from social media may be a bit of an eye opener (for me any way). I find myself constantly picking up my smart phone to check Facebook status’s and the news feed. I used to just check it out once a day when I had a spare block of time, but now it’s so readily available and comes along with you where ever you go, so in I go, checking it, in the grocery check out line, doctor’s office waiting room, while watching television, during commercial breaks, etc… it really can be addictive.

  5. Here here! We all need to disconnect once in awhile. Don’t feel guilty about promoting this idea even though you’re a student of the “craft”. We all need to reminded to turn off, tune out and experience reality in real time!

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