Need a Holiday from Your Online Network?

by Christa Melnyk Hines on December 30, 2013

SocialMediaImage Many people approach social media with an all or nothing approach. The truth is, social media offers many benefits, but every now and then a break might be necessary.

More than half of us love connecting with our friends and family through social media. It’s fun, entertaining and a great way to extend our community. But social media becomes a problem if you are so connected to your online network that you barely notice the people standing in front of you, getting bored of politely waiting for you to finish yet another status update.

Just as we wouldn’t want to gobble up all of the holiday cookies in one sitting, we need to approach our networks in moderation. We give ourselves space from people we see every day, so why not give your online social network a break every once in awhile, too?

Here’s how to know if it’s time to take a short holiday from your online world.

  • You spend every free moment checking to see what your friends, family and neighbors are posting and notice that you are starting to sink into a slump.
  • You push aside the people in your life who need your support because you are more looped into your virtual network.
  • You start thinking of your day in terms of status updates.
  • You procrastinate on other projects or responsibilities by hanging out on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter, only to realize that two hours have disappeared and you have nothing to show for it.
  • You start to notice a decline in your creativity because you aren’t taking time to rest your brain and disengage.
  • Your energy takes a nosedive and you feel burned out.
  • You grow anxious and depressed because you are caught in a wicked cycle of comparison.

If social media is taking over your life in a negative way, turn it off for a few hours or a weekend. During your holiday, notice the times when you want to turn to it.

  • Are you avoiding something?
  • Are you bored?
  • Are you unhappy with something in your life?
  • Or do you simply miss the online interaction with your friends?

Decide how you can strike a healthy balance between your online and offline worlds. You’ll return feeling refreshed and with a greater sense of control over how much is just right for you, without sacrificing the live, in-person relationships populating your day-to-day life.

Illustration courtesy FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Photoraidz.

 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue LeBreton December 31, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Have had my parents here for 2 weeks. They live on the other side of the country so I have been mostly absent from social media so I can truly be present with them. I am hoping it helps me find a balance going forward as well. Happy New Year.

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Christa Hines December 31, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Happy New Year, Sue! Have a wonderful time with your folks!

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