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Are social media sabbaticals a good idea?

I have seen quite a few people as of late decide to take a break from social media for 30 days or some other relatively random span of time. Part of me wonders why they are doing it. Another part of me envies them for doing it while yet another part of me wonders why I even care that they are doing it. Let’s take a look at each reaction I had in greater detail.

1. Why take a social media sabbatical at all?

Apparently making a big deal out of the fact that you are taking a sabbatical is one of the most intense forms of self-promotion. The people that I have watched go through the process have ranged from an immediate removal from the social space with little or no fanfare to the long drawn out “No really I am really going to do this right now, really!” set.

Self-Centered Sunday June 5: Car Phone!
Photo credit: Pahz

My preference? The do it with no fanfare set. There is nothing worse than watching someone blather on about how brave they are to step away from the altar of social media for any period of time. If you are going to go and are truly interested in possibly learning if anyone gives a rip about you in the social space just leave and when you get back see if anyone was inquiring about your conspicuous absence. If no one noticed, you may to rethink your whole social media strategy.

2. Should I envy the social media 12-Steppers?

I have to admit that when I see someone announcing their self-denial of social media for a period of time I turn a little green around the gills. Once I have figured out that it’s not because I am going to barf at this person’s overblown sense of worth in the online space but rather the green comes from envy I wonder if I should make the same move.

This always causes me to think through why I am active in the social space in the first place, to which my first response is that I am a member of the industry, so I NEED to be active in the social media space. Almost every time I let myself entertain that thought, I hear a loud buzzer go off in my head that sounds like the old game show sound effect for when you have come real close to making an ass of yourself. Just the idea of someone like me, who has lived in a pre-social media world much longer than in the social media space, thinking that social media is a necessity is quite sad. It conjures up images of bathrobes and a face that hasn’t been shaved in a week and a lot of scratching. You get the picture.

So, should I envy those who dare step off the social media bullet train? Only if I am serious about doing it myself, but doing it the right way.

3. Why should I care at all?

The truth is that, in most cases, I don’t care at all. Harsh, huh? There are so many people on social media, with the vast majority of them being extreme tests of one’s patience that bring to mind all kinds of questions about our education system, that it feels like missing a day in the middle school lunchroom. There’s a lot of activity, but none of it means anything once you leave the room.

So where is this going? I don’t know and I really don’t expect you to care. All I can say is that I need to keep my eyes on my own paper and make a decision as to just how important social media really is to me. In the meantime, if you are going on a sabbatical from social media just do it. If you are missed, then you are missed. Congratulations.

If you are not, don’t be hurt. All the bots that are your friends won’t feel the pain either.

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