Can you take a vacation from social media?   6 comments

I’m on vacation right now. And not that I don’t enjoy blogging (because I do), but even I need a break from discussing social media sometimes. And yet here I am, feeling compelled to keep up with a self-imposed editorial schedule even on vacation. Why?

Even when something is your passion you need a break periodically to stay fresh and maintain your creative drive. Athletes have to take rest days. Students get a spring break. But so many professionals, particularly in social media, cannot shut off. We fear what will happen if we do. We’ll miss being the first of our friends to retweet or comment on a breaking story. We are concerned our Klout score will drop (yes, I checked mine and it’s dropped 5 points in less than a week)–even though we haven’t decided if we care about Klout yet.

Of course there are things we could do to maintain our social media presence while on vacation. Hootsuite allows us to schedule tweets and other updates. WordPress allows you to schedule blog posts if, unlike me, you’ve been able to get ahead of schedule and have posts ready to go (I admit that I am currently living the literary equivalent of paycheck to paycheck). Wait. That’s incorrect. Those tools allow us to maintain a media presence–not a SOCIAL media presence.

That’s really the crux of it. Those of us who are in social media do it because we are social and enjoy being sociable. When we “go dark” and turn off our phones and stop interacting with people online, we feel like we are ignoring friends. If we schedule tweets and blog posts and then go on an unplugged vacation we won’t be able to respond to comments and interact with our followers and readers. And as we generally like those people we don’t want them to feel ignored or unappreciated.

We also feel compelled to prove to clients, bosses and colleagues that we can keep up with social media presence virtually 24/7 instead of admitting we are human and need a break. We set expectations far too high and then have to live up to them.

As a protest to this virtual leash and to get back to my vacation sooner I am making this an abbreviated blog in a few ways:
1. You are reading the first and only draft (as opposed to the first-and-a-half or second draft you normally read)
2. I am typing this on my iPad which doesn’t allow for formatting changes (no putting clever or inspired phrases in bold to highlight them)
3. I am not including a photo
4. I am not digging up or including links to other blogs on related topics (and I know there are many so Google them)

How do you handle social media while on vacation? Without further adieu I bid you good night.

Now, back to my vacation.


Posted July 20, 2011 by Lindsay N. Ball in Career, Internet, Social Media

6 responses to “Can you take a vacation from social media?

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  1. Hi Lindsay! Hope you’re enjoying your vacation! GREAT post – it really delves into some meaty topics such as boundaries vs. habitual content creation. I love that you set some boundaries – maybe that in itself is a workable compromise?

  2. You have an iPad! I would have never known! Have a great vacation. Thank you for your blog post. I am an avid weekly reader.

  3. Pingback: Family Vacation Inspiration | Ramblings of a Misguided Blonde

  4. Nice post Lindsay.

    I’m constantly grappling with this question and one similar, “Is it OK to take a break from social media?” which comes up when I’m neck deep in client projects with little time to get on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

    My internal barometer that is highly competitive and has a thing for accomplishment, says, “No. You have to be in it to win it! Breaks are for the weak.” But my rational, human self who enjoys having a life and gets a bit burned out on too much of any one things says, “Pfft! Take a break. Those numbers (like Klout score) don’t matter. Just the quality of your interactions.”

    So it’s a constant battle and one I’m dealing with now as I’ve put my social media activity/blogging on the back burner to focus on critical projects and my own vacation next week.

  5. Pingback: Blogging: Not for the faint of heart « The Rational Communicator

  6. Thought-provoking post , Incidentally , people need a DoL EE-2 , my kids came across a template form here

    alayna deoliveira

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