Why going off the social media grid was so good for me
Social media has seemingly made everyone paranoid about social networks. Whether you are trying to get more followers on Twitter, friends on Facebook, connections on LinkedIn, build you Google+ circles, increase your share price on Empire Avenue, get a new badge on Foursquare or you are trying to increase your Klout score - the social media has become a 'pressured' environment to be in.
I know people that worry and stress over these stats - every day!. They get updates sent to their inbox to check on the latest numbers. They systematically go through and analyse why someone unfollows them on Twitter, or sells their shares in them on Empire Avenue. [I am sure the therapists have already got this tagged as an illness!!]
Now, I am certainly not at this extreme, after all I have been on some of these platforms for a good few years and have worked on the organic approach to developing my networks. I am aware of my 'numbers' and I do check the unfollowers list every few weeks - primarily just to see how many 'keyword following bots' there are in operation.
But in the big scheme of things they are not important, right?
Earlier this summer, I made the step to disconnect from the social world for a week. I went on holiday and made the decision to go 'off-grid' for the week.
I didn't blog, tweet or even look at the social networks during that week.
Did the world come to an end? Did all my social networks suddenly collapse without me? Did anyone miss my tweets, blogs or social updates for the week?
>>> The answer was a resounding NO!!!
Wow! I disconnected for a whole week ........................ and you know what .............. it was brilliant!!
It felt strange at first, involuntarily reaching for the iPhone to tweet, or check-in, but I found the experience liberating. I stepped outside the social media bubble.
When I came back from holiday, I deliberately stayed low key, just posting and updating when I felt like it - and if I missed a few days without a blog post - so what!
But as social media is so intrinsically linked to my work in recruitment, it was obvious that 'normal social media service' would quickly resume. Anyway, why wouldn't it - I really enjoy the social media world both at work and at home.
I learnt a big lesson (probably for my sanity!) - by disconnecting and completely stepping back from social media like I did, it has allowed me to re-connect again with people online with a fresh perspective and outlook on the world of social media.
It also helped me (in a strange way) look at social media from the perspective of all the 'non-believers' and social newbies. We are all living in the social media bubble in some shape or form, whether we like it or not, as mainstream media are now now intertwined in Twitter, Facebook etc
Maybe it was just the holiday that I needed, maybe it was going off-grid, but either way it has provided me with a fresh look at what is important (or not) in my social media world.
Have you disconnected and gone 'off-grid' yet? If not, I dare you to do it - after all what have you got to lose - a tweet or two?
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