I reached my fundraising target and all the money will now go towards uniting disabled children in the North East with specialist equipment. Each donation was hugely appreciated and will make a real difference to the lives of local families.
Taking time off social media was both challenging and liberating. When it is something you use every day, it becomes an ingrained behaviour and it takes conscious effort to stay away. I had to put my phone in another room for periods of time when temptation grew. Half way through I did 'break' and have a sneaky peek on Facebook, also posting something on Twitter, which cost me a £50 fine. Ouch!
What I learnt is this: - Social media demands a lot of time both for work and pleasure. I became more efficient without it, especially in the mornings and have changed patterns of usage because of this.
- Social media is a connector in a multitude of ways. While I was aware of the benefits that I enjoy personally and commercially, I had no idea how cut off and disengaged from life I would feel in such a short space of time.
- Life is SO different compared to before the digital revolution. We take for granted what the online world now offers, including immediacy of contact with those we care about and business stakeholders, breaking news at our finger tips and a free opportunity to market products and services. Social networks are also advice on tap - I needed some tips and recommendations about a house issue and had to do without.
- Linking into my virtual world of friends and family on Facebook was one of the things I missed most. Birthdays / occasions came and went and without a prompt I missed a couple, with others I was forced to go old school and send a card. Real effort! I also missed being smug Mum and sharing updates about my kids.
- Not being able to post images and developments through the week was particularly difficult. In particular I had a brilliant scoop I was unable to share and missed at least two great plugs for the business. Irritating to say the least.
- Finally, as a busy working Mum, I rely on social media as a way of keeping plugged in to news and current affairs. At the start of the week I felt like I was living in a cave. Wrestling the zapper off the boys to watch BBC Breakfast instead of Jake and the Neverland Pirates wasn't an option so I turned to good old radio.
Ultimately it will surprise no one that I'm back on social media (although in a more measured fashion) and have no intention of coming off again.
Have you taken time out from being online? Why - and how long for? What would make you do so? I'd be interested to hear your experience and thoughts so please do leave a comment.