Have you felt that 24 hour drive to post and share your life on social media?
Sometimes I think our media consumption fills a void in our lives. What if we stared into that void instead of ignoring it? What would we discover? Are there benefits to going off the grid?
Here are 12 things to explore if you decide to take a social media vacation.
1. Get more done
Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook can be productivity killers. Perhaps it is time to unplug and see if the world continues to exist. I bet a friend or two will let you know if you miss something important.
2. Connect in new ways
Email, how could we forget it. How about the use of a phone or even a video chat? The ease of sending a tweet replaces these more intimate forms of communication. It might be nice to get to know members of your network on a more personal level.
3. Rethink your strategies
Do you keep statistics about your social media use? This is a good time to look over the figures and revise your strategies. Perhaps there are areas in which you can improve. Or even better, cut out the least productive of your daily social media activities.
4. Learn about something new
I truly believe that the world is a very interesting place. Take this time to look around you. Remember these words of wisdom from Ferris Bueller.
5. Work on your writing
My great joy is writing. This is an area where I do not like to rush. I can use my old social media time to work on writing better quality posts.
6. Redesign a website
Paul and Peggy did a fantastic job rebranding 12 Most. We should not ignore how powerful it is for our brand to have a nice logo or color scheme. If you have been neglecting this aspect of your blog or website, take the time to make improvements.
7. Read a book
There are many novels out there to read. I am sure that you will find one to suit your fancy. Do you have a summer reading list?
8. Help someone out
One thing I lament is that I don’t have more time to help friends acclimate to online marketing. Yep, there are still some who do not understand how to use Twitter or post on Facebook. Why not use some of your free time to respond to those requests for help that you receive.
9. Spend time with family
Well, I don’t think I need to explain this one.
Summer is the time to take road trips, a cruise, or even have a staycation. Explore your local town and have a good time.
11. Turn off your computer
This is a handy hint to save money on your electricity bills. MakeUseOf shows us how to calculate what running a computer will cost you on average. $30 may not seem like a lot, but every bit helps. For companies, just turning off the computers at night can save you thousands of dollars.
12. Take up a hobby
What have you always wanted to learn? Personally, I know a lot of metalsmiths in my local town. I wouldn’t mind learning a new craft from them, even if it is of little practical use.
How long do you think you could go without social media? Are you willing to try a weekend or even a week?
+12 on finding a hobby (or 3). It feels great to be on a tennis court again, and I can play it with both my wife and my youngest daughter, so SCORE!
I've been trying to turn off my computer on Fridays. Now, that still leaves the iPad, so I do continue to check social media and use Mr. Reader (and Kindle) throughout the weekend...usually with Pandora streaming. Or YouTube videos so I can analyze what to change with my backhand, volley and serve. Hey, I'm a student of the game!
Of course, I love to read. I try to end each evening reading at least a few pages, and the weekends are great at finding 1-3 hours to just read.
Great post, Susan! I'm planning a pretty big social media break in August so I can just relax before school starts. I took up golf this summer so I could get out into the sunshine and keep my phone in my bag out on the course. It's been great!
@susansilver That sounds great! In high school I volunteered at a therapeutic horseback riding program to relax, get some horse time in, and help out children. You can bet I wasn't checking my phone while I was shoveling frozen manure in the paddock! lol.
My golf game is okay, considering I just started this summer! My dad sounds like your dad. He's obsessed with golf! He plays every weekend, usually several times a weekend, and often tries to sneak out during the week! He just bought a house on a golf course, too...with a golf cart included in the garage! That's part of the reason I decided to pick up the game. He's looking forward to when I come home in August so we can get out on the course. :)
3, 5, and 8 are all particularly alluring to me, Susan. Numbers can take a back seat sometimes but they feed strategic decisions so crucially. It always takes time away from the buzzes and pings to dig in properly, though. Taking time out to write also benefits from a distraction free environment, so unplugging from social makes sense there. Not sure 8 would really give me a social media break, as such, but at least it would be paying it forward and a change of scenery!
@Steve Birkett That is why 8 was important for me to add to the list. When I think of the people I consider successful in marketing (any not just social media) are those who take time to give back. They answer questions and leave comments even when they are busy.
I watched a documentary on one of my favorite artists and he always made time for fans. They tell a story of a signing he took part in at a kids party. He was only expected to give a signature. This way everyone who came through the line would be able to get through it quickly. Instead he gave each kid their own doodle. It slowed things down, but it meant so much to him to give these kids a piece of his art. I am sure for them it was an unforgettable experience.
It is true though, you could end up spending more time on social media not less.
I love your suggestions and watching Ferris Bueller is always a good break. Fantastic addition to your post.
I have a vacation coming up that will be almost all sans social media and I am really looking forward to it. I am sure that I will wonder what is going on and yes, I will hit WiFi when I can but you can't replace the special times with your family. And the tweet will be there when you get back.
I feel that I need offline conversations and reading to come up with ideas for writing. Having some offline time to think will help everything be stronger when you get back. Nice post!
@Peg Fitzpatrick Have a good time on your vacation! Looks like I will be going to Seattle in August to do some networking. Really looking forward to that and perhaps going to the museums I missed when I was there last year.
I took my break a few weeks ago and I came back very refreshed. It help me refocus on building relationships online instead of doing the minimum to get by. I would rather post less, and talk to people more.
@BruceSallan It is a fantastic word. I agree, I have more energy when I am not sitting in front of the computer for hours at a time. I think because I freelancc, I do not keep as strict a time limit on my "working time" as I should. Thinking about going 9 to 5 and having the computerr off a the end of the day.
Just because the email or smart phone is there, doesn't mean we can't leave when we go for a walk, or out to dinner -- or for the whole day. We forget, I think, that we all have the power to tune out the constant swirl of pings and rings. It takes resolve. But July days are the perfect time to try it out! Great ideas, Susan!
@Becky Gaylord Technology is very invasive I think. Specially now that we have smart phones that let us connect everywhere. I think that is why I love my dumb phone so much. I know when I go out that I will not be feeling the urge to check tweets or facebook. I can just enjoy my time.
@reneedobbs Thanks Renee. I took my vacation a week or two ago and feel that it was a good decision for me. It felt good to work on something other than keeping up with Twitter or the latest trend. It made me realize how social networking falls flat if you can't really be present. I lost some followers, but they weren't really interested in what I had to say anyway.