Disconnected (And Feeling More Connected) in 5774

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I’ve been quiet here lately, posting the odd theater ticket giveaway or twitter update.  There are several reasons for this but the main one being that I’ve been traveling with my family in the country where my husband was born.  All of my children’s first cousins are here in England and we’ve been visiting their uncles, aunts and grandmother. We also have family coming in from a great distance to spend the Jewish New Year with us. We spent a glorious week in Ireland before  coming here, which definitely gave me food for fodder, and I will be writing about my experiences on Family Vacation Critic, This Girl Travels and Go Girlfriend when I get home.

We’ve seen and done a lot and we’ve introduced my children to amazing new people, cuisine and experiences (fishing in Ireland! a boat ride on a canal in London! eating sushi off a conveyor belt in Manchester!). But I’ve treated this trip very differently than I have in the recent past, disconnecting most of the time when out in order to fully concentrate on our adventures as a family. I understand the power of travel and had every intention for this trip to impact my children in a different way.  They have come to the UK many times in their lives, but now that they are slightly older, I wanted them to value the experience even more.

I’ve taken notes, in a spiral notebook, just like the reporter I know how to be and have always been. I’ll have all the information that I need to make my dead lines.

But I admit that I haven’t been totally social media free. How does one completely disconnect when they are so connected on a daily basis?  At the end of each day, I pick up Wifi and post scenery images on Instagram and sometimes post a few updates on Facebook and check Twitter and email.

Yet I’ve been far more interested in spending time with the family that I see once a year in a country I once lived in and have a deep connection to and have tried to put the devices away. I’ve watched my children bond with their cousins and have turned my attention on the international sites and visions around us, hence leaving social media in the dust most of the time.

As a result, I think that my connection to the medium is going to change when I get home.  As I re-enter the work force and prepare for a few major life changes, I suspect that my relationship to social media is about to take a new direction.

There are changes I want to make, as related to social media, and here are a few:

- Have more personal contact with my friends and family.  Social media has removed me ever so slightly and I pledge to pick up the phone more often and have more personal contact.

- I have long talked about a need for a new brand identity and I will strive to make that change in the new year (as in 5774).

- Continue to focus on the topics and stories that I want to write about and stay true to who I am and continue to partner with the web sites who are in line with my areas of interest, ones that aim to make a difference.

- Organize my time on the computer early in the morning and after the kids have gone to bed in order to spend more time with them, particularly after a day at work. These years are passing by and I want to look up more often.

- Make sure that brands and publicists understand my identity and align myself with the ones who do.

- Strive to partner with more non-profits and organizations who support the causes I care the most about and educate the public about what they, too, can do to help. To launch this effort, I am sending a writer to Memphis with a team from Expedia to report on the research and treatment of blood disorders and infectious diseases in children that is conducted at St. Jude Hospital this weekend.

- Continue to enjoy blogging and remember why I started in the first place.  I’ve loved reconnecting with a very important part of me, and I don’t want to completely give it up but I also need to concentrate on other areas of my life which may require less time using the medium (unless it’s work-related).

There are a lot of changes taking place in the blogosphere and the industry is rapidly changing.  I’m taking stock of these changes and being on holiday has given me time to think about it.  Stay tuned and happy new year.

Comments

  1. Time for a support group — but that would be difficult for us to do while disconnected. :)

  2. Holly,
    I had a similar-type epiphany while I was on vacation with my family and disconnected. I see a big change in blogging; and my roots are and always will be as a journalist and storyteller. I’m going back to that.
    Estelle

    • Yes, Estelle, we have been having these conversations so I know where you stand and I think you are doing a great job of getting your stories out there.

  3. I so get this; sometimes I feel so scattered in my writing – but now I’m honing in on my voice and where my sweet spots are as far as what I want to write about…

  4. Amen, Holly. I can so relate. The week we spent on a cruise was absolutely mind-blowing in terms of the mental and emotional relief I felt from being UNABLE to connect via text/internet, etc. Good for you! A lovely and sweet shanah tova to you, my friend. :) xoxo