The other day a friend of mine asked me where I’ve been. I responded with the “what do you mean?” question. They said they hadn’t seen me around lately and was wondering if everything was all right. I said I was right here. They stated they hadn’t seen me online recently. “Oh, that” is what I said, and then explained that I was taking a planned social media vacation. They looked at me as if I was crazy.
I’m not crazy.
A planned social media vacation is exactly as it sounds—time away from the social scene in order to appreciate life. I’ve been planning this for a while, and now that I have a few projects with long timelines in the works, I figure it’s the perfect time to exercise my right to disappear.
Let me explain this in more detail for today’s Freedom Friday post.
I love this time of year. I really do. I’ve written about it countless times, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone. I’m into the whole fall/winter thing—bundling up in my favorite coat, mitts and toque—visiting friends and having a grand ol’ time along the way.
I’m not regretting it. I’m actually enjoying it. I’m in the process of reading three books, watching two TV series, and catching up with a list of summer movies, that if measured, I would estimate it running the length of my arm.
What’s the best part about it? I’m spending more time with the family and less time online, which makes for the perfect segue to mentioning how staying offline keeps my perspective in check. I know I sound like a repeating loop, the kind you hear in one of those awesome rap music videos, but I have no other way to describe it.
How do some folks have time to chat/tweet/message for hours at a time online while life slowly passes them by? It’s beyond my comprehension. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with hopping online to spend minutes posting a few “how-are-you’s” and “thank-you’s”—but all day? Sorry, I’m daft that way. You’ll have to explain it to me.
Here’s a snapshot of my social media life for the next few months: Log into facebook, like and comment on my notifications, and post a link to my latest WordPress post. Log out. Log into Twitter, favorite and comment on my mentions, and post a link to my latest WordPress post. Log out. Quick and simple. No lingering.
I suppose I’m passed that phase where I’m chasing it.
Maybe I’m not taking a social media vacation after all. Maybe, just maybe, I’m taking an anti-social media vacation where I don’t feel guilty for not responding right away to every notification I receive.
Whatever it is, I know it’s the best thing ever.
Dare I say it? Why not try it out, you might like it.
Have you planned any time away from the social media scene? If so, what are you planning to do with that time?
21 thoughts on “Social Media Vacation”
I need to incorporate a wedge between me and Facebook into my life. I’ve been logging out more and more often, but man, is it ever hard for me to stay away. I’m a procrastinator and FB and Twitter, etc., deliver such instant procrastinatory payoff. It’s like the rat hitting the cocaine button, you know? More! More! More! Structure may help me. I might just try a system similar to you…
Bravo! It’s so hard to break the social media addiction. I’m trying to stay off facebook, it’s such a small thing yet hard to do. The thing that gets my goat is when you’re visiting friends or out at a restaurant and they keep checking their phones. That is my BIGGEST pet peeve. So rude. And yeah, they are missing the moment.
Jack, I am with you and try the best I can to keep up and do it in a time efficient way. Sometimes I wish I could step away but know it is never going to happen. I have too many folks I like. (I mean in the actual sense, not the button sense)
I spend an hour a day updating all of my family contacts on Facebook, and catching up on my blog reading on wordpress, then I get ready for work and update my boss’s online prescence. In the evenings, I do not want to be anywhere near a computer, unless it is playing a movie that my husband and I can watch together. I need the rest of my time for family and art. For me, making sure I have time every day to do the really important things keeps social media from taking too much more time.
Social media & family should be kept relatively separate.
My family members and friends of my old church livesfar away, so we contact each other through Facebook. I am also part of a facebook group involved in genealogy research for my family. While I agree that I can’t spend much time doing that because there are so many face to face things to do here, I really value the social connections I am able to keep even though we moved away for my husband’s job.
I have some acquaintances on Flickr, some family & friends on LinkedIn, I try to limit things like this or else I’d probably wind up spending every waking moment online.
Definitely, even if it were a phone call and communicating more directly with family and friends far away, eventually I’d have to say, “I’ve got to go now and get these other things done.”
I have an acquaintance in Indonesia who takes her Blackberry everywhere. She might as well have it miniaturised & implanted in her skull.
I honestly CANNOT remember the last time I sent anything by old – fashioned post, even a card.
It’s fun to get mail… and if you send mail, you will get some.
But it is important to remeber that the SOCIAL part of social media is valuable, even if the games and pictures/mini-posters and other time wasters seem to fill it up.
This year I am writing personal messages in the holiday cards, and making a family newsletter to send in the actual mail. My dad just mailed me a calendar and a newspaper clipping with his last letter.
It seems like you have it figured out, I think the structured social media time keeps it from bleeding into your quality time.
Keeping it under control is the only way I can have all this quality time. Thanks for your article. You made a lot of very good points. Enjoy your vacation!
Oh this isn’t my article 🙂 I was just chiming in on your comment because it seems very prudent 🙂
Oh, I was replying to Zathra a few times and didn’t check the name. Yes, I try to make room for other activities too… I hope it rubs off onto my children as well.
I have a friend who stepped away from social media and he never came back. I haven’t planned a trip away due to utilizing it being part of my job, but I definitely see the appeal. The tough thing is that I have several friends and family members who only converse through Facebook. Kind of frustrating to find out someone is engaged, married, divorced, with child, given birth, etc. after the fact because one simply missed the post.
I avoid FB like the plague. Keeping up with Twitter & Google + is difficult enough.
I’d leave it alone if most of my friends and family weren’t on there. Seems to still be the social media of choice.
If I joined anything else, I’d be online 24 / 7. My e – mail gets piled up as it is.
I try to take time away from the internet – At least a couple of hours every couple of days. I just turn the computer off, get out ( harder during Winter ), contact people in other ways, listen to music, DVDs, etc. My cell – phone can access the Internet, but I rarely use that feature because it can gobble up air – time minutes ( & the screen is small ! 🙂 ), I may text whil I’m out or use the cell – camera, but that’s different.