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Benefits of An Unplugged and Social Media Blackout Vacation

Benefits of An Unplugged and Social Media Blackout Vacation

An Unplugged and Social Media Blackout Author Vacation

So you are an author, an entrepreneur, and a blogger in 2018 and you go on vacation. What do you do? Most would prepare the social media posts and schedule them in advance then continue to engage with their readers and followers while on vacations, for fear that they will lose their followings. It is a legitimate concern, and I wanted to experiment going rogue and do a social media blackout without any notice on any of my social media platforms to see what the fallout would be. Well, curious? Me too!

FOMO-Fear Of Missing Out is a Thing! 

I have it, a lot of my friends and families have it. We don’t want to miss out on ANYTHING! We stayed online and plugged in. We participate in activities to maximize our life experience fully. This phenomenon transcends into our writing and creative life as entrepreneurs too. I know many of my bloggers and author friends keep up on their social media while they are away, even though they procure the images for the social media posts. 

I took off on Tuesday last week at an ungodly hour, four in the morning to make our flight at six thirty to Mexico. I had prepared no posts and was going to do them daily on vacation. I won’t divulge too much but suffice it to say that with my husband, two adult children plus their significant others and my girlfriend, it seemed wrong and invasive to work in their presence. It’s called Vacation, for crying out loud! 

A Declared Social Media Black Out Vacation!

I promised them that I wouldn’t work, even for one hour while I was with them that week. I will admit, it wasn’t easy to shake off the thought of working just for a few minutes here and there on Social Media, but I stayed true to my words while restraining from checking my phone on work stuff. The results? No posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Website, or email (except for two high school events invitations) for a week.  

The trouble with having a great camera on the phone is that I’d carry it around to record our memories and I sometimes liked a photo here and there from my personal Facebook. At least it’s not work-related, so it didn’t count!

Break My Social Media Addiction!

Calling a habit of checking my phone to engage with my readers an addiction is a bit unfair and harsh because it is after all my work, and I do enjoy the engagement. But I think it’s a healthy habit to call it off during vacations and at least an hour before bedtime. As a part of my minimalist practice, of simplifying and having boundaries in my work and personal life, which I’ve been doing this for several months. It’s peaceful, and I don’t have the blue light issues of not being able to sleep at night.

Benefits of Unplugging from Social Media.

A week went by, and I never excused myself from working but instead focused on being fully present for my family, friend, and myself. I wanted to prove that I can relax, rejuvenate and recreate during this precious week with my family in paradise. 

I finished my reading on my Kindle because I didn’t want to have excessive luggage or check-ins. We went hiking and explored places that we haven’t been. We chartered a fishing boat that took us out near Punta Mita, and my son and husband caught some fish where we saw more whales breaching and frolicking in the distance. We spent the day on an almost deserted beach that is perfect for beginner surfers like me. It was a bittersweet moment when I realized that my son and I experienced a role reversal, he was patient and kind as he paddled out and helped me catch the waves. 

I loved every moment of our time together. No one worked! We had all of our meals together. We talked, laughed, told tall tales, and ate a lot of deliciously home prepared Mexican dishes with fresh seafood and plenty of fruit and salads every day. 

Unplugging is My Practice of Minimalism.

I’m an author and a practicing minimalist. Why? I treasure my personal and family time. I don’t spend our family’s financial and time resources on accumulating material goods but on travels and experiences instead. Unplugging is another benefit of minimalism, of focusing on what matters most to me. I can nurture my passion for writing, outdoors, reading, and establish healthy boundaries to focus on being with my family. 
I’ve been on this Minimalist journey about a year ago and have achieved many of my personal and professional goals. I have clarity and focus on my life goals because I have minimized my financial obligations from not accumulating the material goods, and frankly less time on organizing and cleaning them too.

Results of a Social Media Black Out Week

None! I didn’t lose followers on any of my social media platforms, any more than the pesky follow/unfollow Instagram folks, but they were never my audience in the first place. 

The bottom line and lessons learned here are that as an entrepreneur and author, I engage with my readers and followers authentically and organically. Those who chose to join me and my writing journey will be there because a week is a mere blink of an eye. I would touch base and keep my readers updated on important events and changes. Otherwise, I’m convinced that one week of going AWOL is a non-issue.

What has been your experience with the blogs you follow or if you are an author/blogger, what do you do while on vacation? I’d love to hear your thoughts and wisdom on the matter.

Peace Be With You!

Hoàng Chi

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