When Social Takes Over Your Life: The Digital Vacation

10-Things-Not-to-Say-Job-InterviewI’ll admit it, I have a problem. I’ve become so accustomed to checking my email, social media, and text messages that I’ve been on autopilot.

Recently I’ve caught myself mindlessly unlocking my phone every couple of minutes to check if I missed something. Did my phone beep to indicate a new alert had come through? No. Why not??

Constant digital engagement has just become the norm in my life.

More often than not, I have my head down, focusing on some form of computer screen or smart phone. My brain is constantly working, multitasking virtual discussions and networking. Suddenly, it’s August and I don’t even know what I’ve done in my physical life that was significant. And then I was struck by a term I heard on #TChat – the “digital vacation.”

I was curious.

Don’t get me wrong: I love this industry and all the things I’ve been able to come in contact with because of social media and digital options. However, if I see (or even write) one more buzzword, my brain might spontaneously combust!

How can someone just take a break from this? How can you unplug without putting yourself completely behind? Apparently, it’s not as hard as I initially thought. Here were some suggestions from the wonderful contributors in #TChat:

Set Expectations

Inform your networks that you will be taking a digital vacation and that you will be unavailable. This can prevent them from contacting you with something pressing that you can’t ignore.

Utilize Your Tools

There are so many great tools out there that allow you to schedule posts to go out on specific days at certain times. I use Hootsuite pretty often when it comes to this. Even if you aren’t physically present on your social media, scheduling posts to go out while you’re on vacation can allow you to maintain your consistency.

Create Boundaries

Find ways to ensure your phone and computer aren’t tempting. Turn off alerts that come to your phone for that week or set a boundary for how much time (or what set hours) you can use your devices.

Have a Responsible Person on Your Team

The world doesn’t stop turning just because you’re unavailable, and thanks to technology, this is even truer. If your social media and digital presence is especially important (i.e. you are a business, consultant, etc.), have at least one person monitoring that and contacting you ASAP if anything dire happens that requires your attention. Knowing you have this safeguard can make you feel more confident about taking this break.

Relax!

Need I say more?

I didn’t realize how much my digital life had taken over my regular life until I caught myself clutching onto my phone like a lifeline, terrified that I’d miss something major.

I realized that it’s ok to take that break, especially if I don’t want to make my love for this industry turn into something that feels like a suffocating obligation. I appreciate all the tips about taking a digital vacation …and I’m going to be trying this very soon.

 

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For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at The Social HR Connection!

 

Ashley Lauren PerezAbout the Author: After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in human resources and organizational management, Ashley pursued her passion and secured a career path in the human resources industry. She is currently a Sourcing Specialist for WilsonHCG, as well as a Brand Ambassador for WilsonHCG and #TChat.

Additionally, she uses her experience and knowledge to write a blog focusing on an array of Social HR topics. Even if you aren’t in the Charleston, SC, area, you can easily connect with Ashley on LinkedInTwitter and Facebook.

 

 

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