a vacation from social can be good for you

My family and I went on a vacation last week.  Not the tropical, I’m just going to lay on the beach and sip terribly fruity drinks I hate just because of the fact that I’m on a beach type of vacation… but rather the we’re going back home to the Midwest for a wedding and want to see old friends and family type of vacation.  Both have their pluses and minuses.

I shut myself completely out of social media for 5 days.   Well, almost completely.

I checked my own personal feeds a few times, and maybe posted 1 or 2 updates.  But, I did not look at the business accounts that I manage….once.  Seriously.  My fabulous team was covering for me and making sure nothing hit the fan.  It was not easy for me. I am so programmed to click on the brand pages I manage before even looking at my personal feeds – sometimes I don’t even look at my own for a day or two at a time.  I am so deep into the business accounts that they have become my own; in a way.  If you manage business accounts from the client side or an agency side, either one, you know what I’m talking about.

This was the first time in a year that I took more than 1 day off at a time.  So, not looking at social media as “work” for 5 days was ground breaking for me.  It was weird.  I was so curious.  I wanted to know.  But, I realized I didn’t HAVE to know.  I forced myself to stay away and it was…healthy.  When social media is your job, it is a much different beast than people using it for personal reasons.  I wasn’t going to look at my email for 5 days, so, why would I look at the Facebook page?

People who mow lawns for their job aren’t going to sneak in a few quick yards while on vacation.

In the time that I was away from the social business world, Mashable kindly posted around 100 articles of “social media news.”  I typically read several different online social news sources to keep up on what’s new, updates, changes, and beyond.  But, I usually check Mashable first.  Just because.  Not necessarily because it is the best.  Personally I think they blow stories out of proportion most of the time to qualify it as news, but that’s just me.  I still read it.

Why am I telling you this?

100ish social media articles.  Pile that on top of the many emails waiting for me in my inbox and you have an exploded head.  Keeping up with all that is constantly changing, growing, improving, sucking, disappearing, coming back, and working with social media is impossible.  Even if you sit and read articles ALL day you would still miss something.  You can take snippets of all of the “big” news and at least be aware, but to completely be on top of absolutely everything new in the social online world is just silly.  When I got back I skimmed a few of the articles, took away some key headlines and basically chalked up the time from June 6 – 11, 2012 as the week that I had no idea what was going on in social media.

And it feels good.

I like to stay on top of as much of it as I can, so, if I am unaware of something down the road I will just blame these 5 days and hope this “news” dropped while I was on a break.  That might work, right?

Now I am back at it.  But to those of you who also live in social media for your job – make sure to give yourself some breaks, even if just for a few days.  After the 2nd or 3rd day it gets easier.  Do it.  You’ll keep your sanity and want to dive back in that much more when you return.

6 thoughts on “a vacation from social can be good for you

  1. Pingback: Three Must Reads from Peers in the World of Resort Marketing : Ski Resort Marketing - SlopeFillers.com

  2. I totally agree!
    Last fall I went of vacation for 10 days for the first time in over 2 years as a social media manager for a resort (Mont Tremblant Resort).
    After stressing out the week before, training the 2 person who would replace me while I was gone and programming most of the stuff before, it still took me 3 days to stop carrying my iPhone to the beach “just in case”.
    I’m now a social media strategist in an agency and while I now have 5+ accounts to manage, I now allow myself to have my evenings and weekends all to myself.

    • Thanks! Right there with you. It was interesting how disconnecting from it for a little while totally re-energized me. Very healthy. That’s perfect to make sure you get your evenings and weekends (as much as you can).

  3. It’s so refreshing to disconnect! I went to Mexico for four days after our season was over and even though our hotel had a shaky internet connection, I made sure to keep my iphone off the whole time. It was quite heavenly. 🙂

  4. Pingback: getting to know myself – the social media user | socialwerk

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