I am one of those people who considers myself relatively active on social media.
I have been on Facebook since 2007 (it was only available to college students before that and I was already well out of undergrad) and have been an active tweeter since 2009. I am also on LinkedIn and Instagram and Google+ and, up until a few months ago, also had a Tumblr account. Not only do I manage all of these platforms on a personal level, but I am also in charge of updating and engaging on several platforms for work.
All day. Every day.
And this is why I recently decided to take a break.
I came across this article recently and found myself nodding as I read it.
Last week, as I was standing at the Farragut North Metro station, I found myself mad — really angry — that I couldn’t refresh my Facebook feed. The train was minutes away and I wanted to know how many users had like the latest post I had created for work. 50? 100? I needed to know right then and there!
This realization made me stop and think. What was driving me to worry so much at that moment? Why couldn’t I wait until I got to a station that had cell service — or even wait an hour until I got home?
Sometimes, when we are so involved with something — whether it’s work or a specific project or even family — we lose the ability to be able to step back and look at the bigger picture. I would even argue that mega-involvement, as I call it, stifles creativity and can impact productivity.
So I decided to take a break. No social media of any kind for four whole days. I was able to accomplish this because I had taken vacation days last Thursday and Friday, and thus didn’t even need to worry about my work accounts.
I have to admit, I felt a little cut off from the world on Thursday. It was difficult, but I soon immersed myself in other things. Grilling. Friends. Family. By Sunday, I didn’t feel the need to share anything with anyone via social media. I was at the pool relaxing with a good, old fashioned magazine. Work would start again, bright and early, on Monday morning and I was comforted by the fact that I would be able to check all of my accounts again.
And so, this morning, I found myself oddly refreshed after my hiatus. I don’t want to quit social media (it is, after all, a big part of what I do for a living), but I do realize that it’s good to put the phone away every once in awhile and concentrate on other things.
So, what about you? Is it time for you to take a break from social media, too?