I have just returned from a week long self-imposed social media ban. We have been off on a little adventure and before I left I decided that I would use the time away as a break from everything. I warned my family that I would be offline and that I wouldn’t blog, I wouldn’t engage in my usual social media forums such as Facebook or Twitter and I wouldn’t Instagram any of my photos.
My daughters had their doubts that I would last the distance, not that I’m a big user of these things but I do like to stay in touch. I had the mistaken idea that by going to the Australian outback I wouldn’t get any reception and so it would be easy! Big mistake!!
Sails in the Desert resort had free wifi in the rooms and in fact most of the resort area had wifi access. Very generous of them! I was getting notifications pinging in all the time, as I had scheduled my posts in the days before our trip. In the end I had to turn to airplane mode to stop all the distracting pings of emails, blog comments and tweets.
I managed to reconcile myself with not telling everyone how much fun I was having in the red centre of Australia but I must admit that I had to send my daughters, my sister and our parents some private messages throughout our time away just to tell them how we were and to share some of the amazing photos I was taking. We live in a beautiful country!! It didn’t help that I only use my phone as my camera so it was always in my hand ( there’s a lot to photograph out there believe me!)
So what did I learn?
1. It helps to be prepared especially when the unexpected happens and you have unlimited reception.
2. Turn off from things in any way possible.
3. Warn people in advance that you will be out of contact as they might worry when you aren’t responding in the normal timeframes they expect from you.
4. Other people use their phones a lot! When you aren’t the one looking at your screen all the time you see just how many people are. I felt quite smug!
5. I love being in touch with people and sharing things. I really missed that side of things and yes I know that probably makes me sound a bit sad, but I like to think of it as being generous – sharing and caring…..
6. I missed the constant contact with family, my friends, my blogging friends and random unknowns who somehow stumble upon my blogs/tweets/instagrams and like or leave me comments.
7. Now that I’m back online there’s a lot to catch up on – blogs to read, comments to respond to, posts to write….!
8. Facebook was the least of my worries and I really didn’t miss it much at all and I don’t think I was missed much either.
9. Don’t take a book all about blogging to read on the plane – it gave me lots of ideas that just had to wait until the self-imposed ban was over.
10. Yes – I’d definitely do it all again!
So that’s my take on switching off. I probably wasn’t all that successful at it, but I showed myself (and my husband) that I can turn off when I put my mind to it. I loved our time away and the scenery was breathtaking so it wasn’t an effort to look up rather than down at a screen.
Have you ever tried something similar? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I’ll leave you with a gorgeous pic from the Red Centre. I’ll be featuring some more of my photos in coming posts as part of my ‘Every day is an adventure’ project so stay tuned!