If you follow me on Twitter, or are friends on Facebook, you will know that I went into a social media blackout period during the Labor Day holiday weekend. Starting at 1:00 p.m. Friday afternoon, I shut down Twitter, closed Facebook and discontinued looking at my reader. To be honest with you, I did cheat one time on Friday afternoon, but that was only to correct the “public record.” 🙂 In all seriousness, the folks that really know me thought it would be impossible. Guess what? It wasn’t! However, there were a few things I learned during the blackout period that I thought were worth sharing with you.
- I rely on you for a lot of information – it’s amazing to me how reliant we’ve (I’ve) become on third party sources for news. Whether it be links people post to Facebook, or share via Twitter, or even things I learn of after reading the blogs in my reader, I need you for information. Sure, there are plenty of things I can find on my own, but it is no where near as much as I can learn about when being connected to you.
- I missed interacting with you – for those that think social media is a big time sink, all you’d have to do it engage with people for a period of time and then take it away to realize how faulty that logic is. I missed reading status updates on Facebook. I missed tweets about college football on Saturday. I missed sharing professional experiences with people I’ve connected with on Twitter. And heck, I also missed checking out photos on Facebook (those are always must-view material after a long weekend!).
- Escape the echo chamber more often – one of the things I absolutely loathe about social media, particularly Twitter, is the constant recycling of the sames ideas. There are a lot of smart people on these social networks, surely we can come up with more original thinking then we do now, right? I had the opportunity to spend time with people this weekend that aren’t nearly as active on social networks as I am. Guess what? That was comforting. Sure, the topic of social networks came up, but their perspectives on the power (or lack thereof) was refreshing, and eye opening at the same time.
- Life would go on if social media disappeared tomorrow – don’t get me wrong, I don’t think social media is going away anytime soon. However, I do know that if the Facebook’s and Twitter’s of the world were to go away tomorrow the world would not come crashing down onto our heads. All that would likely happen is that we’d find new outlets to share our ideas — hey, maybe in face-to-face interactions? What a concept!
Anyway, have you had similar experiences where you haven’t accessed social media for several days? What were your takeaways?