Social Media Vacations

Can you take a break from social media? I’ve been offline much of the last month. Instead of doing social I’ve been out and about being social. I didn’t plan it that way, it’s just what happened. And it’s been grand.

I kept up with my offline work obligations – teaching assignments, coaching sessions and speaking engagements but I didn’t do all the extra odds and ends that fill my business days most of the time. I’m not saying I’ve unplugged completely. I’m not sure I could do that – even the campground I went to had (admittedly sketchy) free wi-fi. My Facebook Profile (which I keep private to friends and family) has been up to date and I’ve been reading many new blogs. But every action, or rather, in this case, inaction, has consequences.

So, let’s tally it up:

  • My Klout score is down.
  • My Facebook Insights have flatlined.
  • I haven’t blogged. And comments? What are those again?
  • My newsletter hasn’t gone out.
  • My status updates look woefully neglected.

Yet, I did accomplish a great deal:

  • I went RV camping.
  • I plotted an impending bathroom reno.
  • I read a dozen magazines and finished two novels.
  • I saw The Smurfs movie and watched all 4 seasons of The Big Bang Theory.
  • I played with my son and marveled at how he’s grown.
  • I talked to my best friends with audible words not clicks.
  • I walked by the river, along the beach and through the forest.
  • And, best of all, I spent time with my husband doing nothing at all.

None of the offline stuff has anything to do with my work but I’m a more relaxed, tanned and content person now. Won’t those things make me a better researcher, writer and teacher?

So, while my social media scores are down, I don’t really think it matters. Over the next few weeks I expect they’ll rise again. And if they don’t, perhaps I was part of the wrong conversations and need to find some new ones.

Now, I’m curious, would you take a social media vacation?

  • http://caitlinboyles.com Caitlin B.

    I think we all did (especially those on the east coast affected by Irene). The lack of power has forced many to take a hiatus and it wasn’t even that bad!

    • http://www.beachcombercommunications.com Angela Crocker

      Good point, Caitlin. Mother Nature has other plans for us sometimes. I live in an earthquake zone and have deliberately set up trusted, out of province back up admins just in case. But creating content and online chats will be a low priority.

  • http://ideagirlmedia.com/ Keri at Idea Girl Media

    Angela,

    I actually did take a few days earlier this summer to focus on things offline.  Like you, I noticed my stats & numbers decline.

    But, when you get back at it, as you said, all things return to “normal.”

    Would I take a social media vacation?  YES!  :)

    ~Keri

    • http://www.beachcombercommunications.com Angela Crocker

      Yeah for vacations! I know you work very hard, Keri, so I’m glad to hear you had some down time. In a way, we’re in an odd position – we are socialable women in the business of being social so we’re doing social things 24/7.

  • http://smartboydesigns.com Christian Hollingsworth

    I’m planning on taking a social media vacation, and it looks like you’ve confirmed my thoughts in successes. I’ll also be taking a vacation in October that will be even a little different. What I’ll be doing is spending the month of October in Idaho on my friend’s property where there are horses – and miles of hiking trails. I plan on cutting down my work online to only a few hours, and then spending the extra time researching, learning, reading and writing. Should be a nice change!

    • http://www.beachcombercommunications.com Angela Crocker

      Christian, I’m thrilled you’re planning on a vacation and hope you enjoy every moment of it!

  • Anonymous

    I took a weekend vacation awhile ago. I found it extremely difficult to disconnect. Truthfully, I just didn’t want to, and I’m ok with that. 

    The online world is no longer an extension of human life, it is deeply interwoven with our mental selves. So when we disconnect, we are actually shutting off part of ourselves. A bold statement, I know, considering I was of a different opinion only a year ago. http://davegallant.blogspot.com/2010/01/disconnected.html

    • http://www.beachcombercommunications.com Angela Crocker

      Hi Dave,
      I had to think about you comment for a while. I agree that the online world is a deeply interwoven part of ourselves but I do think that it’s possible to take a break professionally and continue to use online tools socially (as I do with my Facebook friends). It’s a tough call for business owners and marketing execs – how do we fuel our own energy reserves so that we can give everything needed to the brands we represent? Do we have to disconnect online to do that? I think it depends on the person.  Angela

  • Csilla

    As already mentioned on my wall in FB – thank you for that wisdom.  I feel much better about having done the same … taken a break.

    • http://www.beachcombercommunications.com Angela Crocker

      You are most welcome, Csilla. Sometimes we all need a break, right? I hope you enjoy yours. ~ Angela

  • http://www.paulholmes.ca/ Paul Holmes

    My Social Media vacation starts Tuesday!

    • http://www.beachcombercommunications.com Angela Crocker

      Happy vacation, Paul! Enjoy yourself, okay? I’ll catch you online when you’re rested and relaxed.

  • Anonymous

    I love the fact that you really enjoy the Big Ban Theory!  

    • http://www.beachcombercommunications.com Angela Crocker

      Thanks, Kristin.  Last week’s Halloween episode had me crying with laughter. Such smart fun! See you soon next week.

  • Jazzmatazzdance

    Hello, just here in class, accidently missed last week, so I have a bit to catch up on. Help.

    • http://www.beachcombercommunications.com Angela Crocker

      No worries, Bev. Your adventures in blog comments are great. Keep it up!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Angela,
    Very nice site.

    • http://www.beachcombercommunications.com Angela Crocker

      Thanks, Johnny! And great work in class. I look foward to seeing you again in the New Year!

  • Trinette

    Good for you, Angela!  Life is about LIVING and you’ve allowed yourself time to truly live.  Kids grow faster than you can imagine; each moment spent with loved ones is precious.  You can get back your blog, your newsletter, your social media commitments & addictions (in my case) but you can never get back time.  I’m hoping you’ll unplug a little over the Christmas holidays too!
    Cheers!

    • http://www.beachcombercommunications.com Angela Crocker

      Thanks, Trinette. Yes, indeed, I’m planning to take a break over Christmas. I’m looking forward to hot chocolate with Bailey’s, homemade cookies, Miracle on 34th Street and a few other relaxing traditions with friends and family. I hope you’ll enjoy something similar with your loved ones!

  • Rhondapalm

    Having only briefly met you I’d say it was great for you. I believe that life passes by too fast to not stop and smell the roses, so to speak. It can all change in a blink of an eye, so be sure to enjoy what you have while it is still there.
    Rhonda

  • Tracey Lohnes

    Great article Angela!  Everyone needs a vacation and quality time spent with their family.  Way to go!!