Get Social

vacations are healthy…right?

Posted on: March 16, 2011

Last Friday night, I wrapped up work stuff and left my computer on my bedroom floor. Armed with an iPhone and a friend’s laptop for emergencies, I unplugged. I updated a client’s twitter feed and kept up with my responsibilities there using HootSuite for iPhone, and followed my own network periodically on Tweetdeck. I heard about Japan on public radio in the car on the way to beaches, trails, and dining destinations.

Great, right?

Well. I’m usually a pretty self-motivated person; I get up and go to work, I manage client work on the side, I drag myself to yoga nearly every day, I keep up with exercising my dog. This week, I didn’t have any motivation to practice yoga– despite a thumb drive full of AVIs and mp3s– or to crack open a laptop for more than uploading a video of dogs playing to facebook. So, I was bad and also didn’t contribute to this blog. Not to worry about the dog, though, he had plenty of off-leash walking time and runs on the beach.

I started to get antsy thinking about our little project and where it’s going. We (there are two of us) set milestones and mini-goals for ourselves, but sometimes we don’t hit them. (I, for example, was going to update this blog, at least twice a week.) Being semi-unplugged from the B2C world, I started wondering how useful what we’re doing really is. Sitting by a fire and listening to records (with iPhone in hand, don’t worry, I didn’t lose all touch with reality!), I wondered who really cares about facebook pages, twitter streams, and word press contests. I took a break from them, and I survived.

Luckily, I snapped back into reality, receiving an email newsletter from O2 Yoga on my phone. I actually saved reading it for an undetermined time in the future when I felt I’d be more desperate to connect back to ‘real’ life. I got a few twitter mentions. People commented on the photos I posted to Facebook. A former teacher and friend revealed some wonderful news and blogged about it, so I had some e-reading material for an evening.

I took a healthy, sort of break from social media, using it for what I needed (as opposed to checking in idly constantly during the workweek— we all do that, right?). What I found so reassuring was the connectivity social media gave me back to things that keep me grounded when I’m not away: yoga, friends, family.

Taking a few steps back from being so wrapped up in the the topics I want to write about and share insights on made me nervous at first. But all of my networks were here waiting when I got back.

This week, I’m jumping back into my routine and seeking out 3-4 new social tools per day– anything from a client like HootSuite to a metrics solution like Sprout Social (thanks Quora!). I’ll share some good tools when I’ve gotten my hands dirty and can comment on them.  Here we go, milestone to hit.

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