Right before I left for my summer vacation I enjoyed a blog post from Tim McDonough (@TMcDonough1973) at edSocialMedia.com entitled What I Learned On My Summer Vacation. The post that follows is my personal addition to Tim’s lessons.
While reading Tim’s post I felt like he was describing me and not himself: enjoys his family, going on vacation with the goal of unplugging,”hyper-connected, sometimes to a fault,” and a wife who is a realist. Tim’s post challenged me to take some time away from social media and after my week away I think his lessons are definitely on point but realized that I’d add one additional lesson to his list.
I was honored to be included in Tim’s post as one of three people who he followed on Twitter that he checked while on vacation. On a very personal level it was nice to hear that people were actually “listening” to my tweets and, more importantly, found them useful and interesting. I was flattered that Tim mentioned me in his post and connected with him through Twitter to thank him for the mention and for listening. Tim tweeted back shortly thereafter and then it hit me. I needed to add one more lesson to what I learned on summer vacation – the meaning of social media is connection.
I know it sounds simple and I know that you have probably heard this many times over but it took a vacation from social media to re-emphasize that the purpose, the goal, the reason for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc… is to connect. Whether you are new to social media, an established veteran, or somewhere in between, remember that social media is designed to help people connect that might never have had the opportunity to do so.
As the school year quickly approaches I wonder if there are any other lessons you might have learned while on your summer vacation. I encourage you to share your lessons in the comment section below or at Tim’s original post.