Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Abstaining from Social Media during Lent

Greetings and Happy Wednesday! I'm back from what was an awesome vacation in Mexico!  It went way too fast, as I knew it would!  I was ready to get back to normal eating habits but I was very sad to leave the sand, sun, and surf! I'll share more about my trip later this week or next week when I get caught up on life.

Today is Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of the Lenten season for Christians. As a Catholic, I've always given something up for Lent, from alcohol to sweets to soda to TV.  It feels weird to say this, but I kind of enjoy the season of Lent because it forces me to work on saying no to myself which results in personal growth. I know that some of the things I have given up over time are petty but it's still a good exercise to say no to small things over the course of 6 weeks.

This year I have decided to give up social media for Lent - namely, Facebook and Instagram. While I enjoy keeping up with what others are doing, I also recognize that these platforms are a HUGE time suck for me as I spend waaaaaaay too much time on these aps, especially on my phone. Plus, as I mentioned in my 7 lessons in 35 years post, comparison is something I try to avoid and Facebook and Instagram makes this harder as you are constantly seeing the highlights of others' lives.

Last night I deactivated my profiles on both sites and I deleted both aps off my phone.  It's been a long time since I've taken a break from social media so I am looking forward to seeing how I feel at the end of Lent.

I do plan to continue to blog and read blogs over the next 6 weeks as I personally don't consider blogging to be a form of social media. I am sure some may consider this 'cheating' but blogging has such a positive influence on my life and it allows me to stay connected with far away friends so I am going to keep writing in this space.

Do you observe the Lenten season? If so, are you giving anything up this year?

19 comments:

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

I don't really consider blogging social media I just got worried that you would and I feel like I keep up with your life on here :) Ha ha (she says after she hasn't blogged in months ha ha)

It's funny- I grew up Catholic but never gave up anything for Lent. I don't think it was ever explained to me well, and even as a teenager I remember being like UGH everyone just uses it as an excuse to go on a diet. I still get annoyed when people who aren't religious at all do this. But, I really enjoy hearing about what you are giving up each year and hearing your perspective on it. It just makes more sense to me in the way you go about it. Clearly I needed to know you as a teenager to understand it!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I think that is an excellent idea! I am not Catholic and I have never given up anything for Lent, but I have done personal challenges, like the No Book Buying challenge, which have made me take a step back and realize that I don't NEED half the things that I WANT. So in that case, I think it's not a bad lesson to learn. As far as getting off FB, if it wasn't a way for me to make plans with friends, I am not sure I would be on it. I actually rarely use it, except for messenger and an occasional scan through the home page. I find it a time suck (dare I say "waste") and usually I don't think that the time invested is worth it, as I would rather be reading a book than learning about my friend's friend's baby or what concert they went to or what they ate for dinner, which I could care less about.

Jeanie said...

Good for you, Lisa. The reason I don't do Instagram or Pinterest or Twitter (though I do have P & T accounts, I just never go there) is because of the time I already spend online and I sure don't want to add to it! I'm pretty good on FB -- usually once a day, or maybe again before bed. And no phone apps so that helps. But it can be a sacrifice.

I'm glad you are keeping your blog up though -- and like you, I don't really consider blogging social media but something quite different, like tea at the coffee shop or something.

Lent crept up on me this year. I don't always "give up" but I do try to do something Lentish. A few years ago it was random acts. Or a daily donation. I may do something like that this year but I'd better start thinking! Giving out, not giving up.

Nora said...

WELCOME HOME! It's freezing here (really) so I'm sure it's even chillier for you.

I did a FB hiatus a few years ago and it was awesome.

I haven't decided what I'm doing for Lent, though I should. Like Jeanie said, it crept up on me, too! I'm considering taking the purging thing further, into Lent, and saying I have to ditch 5 things each day after February purge is over. Other than that, while I have dessert only once on the weekend, I'm considering kicking that all together. Will see what I come up with!

Glad you'll still be blogging. It would be weird without your posts!

26dishes.com said...

I definitely don't consider blogging social media and I'd very glad you'll be continuing through Lent. As you know I'm not Catholic, but I'm a big fan of religion in general so like Kelly I find it frustrating when people use Lent as an excuse to diet or as like a jokey bet with friends. Isn't it supposed to be about personal growth through sacrifice?

Raquelita said...

I was worried you wouldn't be blogging when I saw your FB status the other day, so I'm glad you will be continuing to post! Weirdly, I use FB for work (I maintain our department's page and do a lot of communication with academics at other institutions that way) so as much as I thought about giving it up this year for a few weeks it would make things complicated for work reasons (as well as personal ones, of course). I haven't observed Lent the past few years, but in the past I've given up things. I like Jeanie's Idea of giving out.

Thank you so much for your generous donation and support!

Emilie said...

Funny, I am doing the same. I did not deactivate my profiles but I did delete FB, IG and SnapChat from my phone. I am thinking I should have said something just in case someone tries to reach out to me via FB messenger with a wedding question but, if it's really important they will find another way to get in touch.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I've never given anything up for Lent. It wasn't really preached at us when I was going to the church and I just never got into it. Plus we know I have no will power.

Erin said...

I will miss seeing your posts in our Minimalist challenge group--but you can text me as you progress through the month!

I have done various things for Lent over the years. Sometimes I have given something up. A few years ago I started sending a note/card in the mail to someone different every day. This year I've decided to play off of our purging of products in the house.

I have a box that I am going to put one item for donation in throughout the entire lenten season. I'm going to give these items to our local women's shelter. My hope is it will be easier for me to get rid of items in my closet/kitchen/bathroom etc when I think about them going to help these women. I'm hoping this will encourage me to get rid of some of my nicer items that I don't wear/use often (or at all) anymore instead of just putting stuff in there that I consider "junk."

Welcome back from vacation by the way! You should have a package arriving from me soon :)

San said...

I was raised catholic, but I never really observed Lent, so I am not planning to give anything up (although I could probably try and give up Facebook or Twitter for a few weeks, not Instagram though ;)). I do think it's a nice exercise in self-regulation to do something like this... but I am glad that you'll continue blogging (I agree, I also don't see a blog as a social media platform).

Gracie said...

My husband is giving up Facebook, too! I like to make lent non-dietary sometimes, as I feel that it can easily just become a diet, which isn't really the point.

Carolina John said...

You will be amazed at how much free time you'll have!

Elizabeth said...

Yes I'd been thinking about doing the same thing (or at least how I needed to do so) and then you inspired me! :) I'm still trying to figure out how to do a modified version of it. I stream all the news sites, global health sites, and a variety of NGOs in my newsfeed that helps me stay up to date for work and teaching. It's less of a time suck to have it all in one location rather than having to figure out news related tid bits at each site, so I'm trying to figure out if I can log in once a week or a few times a week just for work. I also use FB msg for some international contacts as well which makes it harder to just delete. :) But I am working on a plan on attack while still taking a reprieve. It's amazing how stepping away truly just focuses life in a better direction :)

Caroline said...

I was worried you were going to stop blogging for a second! Few. I think pulling back from social media every one in a while is so refreshing. I wish I could do it more often with my job :/ I don't usually give up anything for Lent, though once (like in early high school?) I gave up soda (when I used to drink Sprite a lot) and it was a really great experience that I still remember today. I think I understood the point of giving things up for Lent after that. I also never went back to drinking soda regularly, now I just drink it with mix drinks, which is really rare.

Stephany said...

Yay! Glad you are not giving up blogging. Definitely do not consider it a form of social media at all!

I've given things up for Lent before, but I decided not to this year. I am doing a challenge with my mom, though, where we have to call each other every night and compliment ourselves about one thing. We can be negative nancy's sometimes, getting down about ourselves, so I think this will be a good challenge for the both of us!

I do love giving up social media, though! I try to give it up completely (along with blogging, just to clear space in my head for a while!) every August. Social media can be so incredibly noisy and it's nice to get away!

Amber said...

I think giving up social media is an awesome challenge! I would love to do that. Unfortunately managing social media accounts is part of my day job / freelance work. However, I could definitely stand to delete the apps off my phone and spend MUCH MUCH less time uselessly scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. It is such a waste and a silly use of time and a terribly bad habit I need to break. I've actually started leaving my phone on the other side of the room when I'm reading or watching TV so I won't be tempted to grab it and scroll. It's kind of sad I have to do that but whatever works I guess! I should also take the apps off my phone as I can manage social media for work on the actual computer and don't need them on my phone for that...

Becky said...

I gave up Facebook one year and after the initial urges to check it, it was actually very refreshing! You can do it!

I feel like there's so much going on in our household of three I barely remembered it was the start of Lent! I don't have good ideas of what to give up, but I'm trying to be more intentional - enjoy a moment with Parker instead of thinking of what still needs to be done; savoring time with Ben instead of being on our phones next to each other; intentionally breathing and saying a prayer when feeling overwhelmed. I think it will be good!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Great idea!! I'm interested to see hear how your break from social media goes :-) Also, can't wait to hear about Mexico!!!

Jenny said...

Facebook is less and less appealing to me too even though I do end up checking it a few times a day. I think I would serve myself better to only check once a week. Blogging is quite different and I'm much less likely to compare and instead borrow the ideas I like and take inspiration to change things about my life that need changing. In that respect, I feel blogging is more supportive and uplifting than bite-sized social media.