I am currently on my yearly vacation and one of the prerequisites of my vacation is that it has to be outside of the U.S. so it makes it harder for me to have access to my email, Smartphone, computer, etc. However, one of the hardest parts for me is the first few days of social media detox that happens. Usually I still have some sort of access to wifi or internet in some capacity but, not this time so I have had to truly detox on this vacation.
Detoxing from social media is much harder than it looks. You don’t realize how truly addicted and attached you are to checking your email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. every few hours, every hour, every few minutes, etc. I even had a huge moment of panic when my homestay mother told me she didn’t have wifi or internet at all and the closest internet for me is at the university or at the center I am doing my program through. Both of which are quite a walk away and not something I can instantly access. This has literally meant I cannot be constantly connected to all my channels 24/7.
This is part of the reason I take vacations such as this is to detox from all of these things but it is not easy. I almost feel like I have to stand up and say, “Hello, my name is Mandy, and I am addicted to social media!”. At the end of the two weeks of my vacation I know the fact that I can’t instantly text someone or check my Facebook page will no longer bother me and I will wonder why it is bothering me now but for now it is a weird feeling of panic that has settled in my stomach that I am missing out on something by not being connected. Do you ever get this feeling? How do you combat it? Do you ever have to completely disconnect for an extended period to be able to reconnect later on?
The reason I do this is two-fold. One reason is that I am doing this so I prevent burnout later on. If I am constantly on these channels and never give myself a break I will burnout and will not be able to come up with fresh ideas and concepts as well as will get frustrated with the platforms and wonder why I am on them in the first place. The second reason is I think that everyone needs to be able to remember what it is like to connect with people without social media and remember how to use every day social skills that can tend to be forgotten when you are constantly on social media channels. You also remember how to look straight ahead when walking too.
This detox is a necessity for me to be able to continue to do my job as well as stay connected as a person. I have been at the point where I don’t want to connect with people and I just can’t stand another minute of connecting with people and that was because I didn’t take the time away from connecting with my everyday group of people to connect with a new and different group of people on a different level which allows me to come back and be recharged and revitalized. I know this sounds a little confusing but it really does work. It is basically stepping back and doing something different to remember why you do what you do.
So I am stepping back from my constant (almost 24/7) social media use to remind myself why I use social media and to also remind myself that I can exist without social media. Basically I don’t exist because social media does, which is an extremely important lesson to learn.
Have you done a social media detox? What were your results? Please comment on what your detox was like below!
P.S. I am really missing my GPS capable Smartphone. I only got lost three times today so I guess that is a good day!!
I saw this post and felt I needed to share it. I feel it basically hits the nail on the head when it comes to talking about how to be successful in using social media as well as technology in general.
You can check it out yourself here - http://www.brasstackthinking.com/2011/05/your-secret-weapon-for-standout-social-media-success/
One of the main points this article makes is that responsiveness is key. I couldn't agree more. It is so important to one simply respond back to people and two to do so in a timely manner. I can't tell you the number of people that simply don't respond. I can tell you that you will get further by simply responding even if it is to say you don't have the answer now but will shortly. Sometimes it is the small things that can make all the difference.
The article even suggest some general guidelines of how quickly you should respond according to the various forms of social media. What do you think of their suggested timelines for responding? Do you agree or disagree?
Many people will ask - "How do I get started with Twitter?". For me, the answer is simple - you just need to participate. The more you start interacting on Twitter the better your success rate will be. You may be a little dumbfounded by how simple that sounds but it really is that simple.
Basically what I mean is that you need to create an account and start posting information as well as retweeting information you find interesting. You should also start following people you find interesting and that pertain to your interests and your career field.
What you will found is that if you follow someone or retweet their post they will tend to start following you. People on Twitter are really that nice. :) It may seem a little odd but true.
The other question is - what to post. This is really up to you. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason why certain posts are more popular than others. Basically my philosophy is to post things you would normally want to tell your friends or colleagues. That is what Twitter is about - posting short pieces of news to your friends and colleagues via the WORLD.
Twitter makes things really easy to post almost anything. So if you read an interesting blog you can post the link. If you see take an awesome photo you can attach it to you post and so on. There are really almost limitless possibilities.
However, I will give you a few words of advice. One don't post everything all at once - meaning don't log in just once a day and post everything you want to say at that time. Try and spread your posts throughout the day. Also, be kind and retweet. This is kind of a general twitter rule and thank those that have retweeted your posts. Kindness really does pay off in the Twitosphere.
Other than that just have fun and enjoy all the information you will be able to glean from the world we call Twitter!
This blog is all about social media. I hope to offer tips, tricks, advice and more on using social media within international education and international travel.