what is lent?
Each year for Lent I follow the practice of giving something up for the season of 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. For those of you who may not know, the practice of Lent began in the early Christian Church days to symbolize the 40 days Jesus fasted in the desert before he began his ministry. With the season, however, comes a lot of confusion with the denominations of the Church that split from the Roman Catholic Church. I have not always fasted during the Lenten season since I grew up in a Protestant church. As I’ve gotten older, I have realized the importance of this season beyond simply giving something up. I think the following video really breaks down the purpose of Lent into something easier to understand:
how does this connect to social media?
In the past few weeks, I have been reflecting on what distracts me from spending intentional time with God. Each morning I find myself picking up my phone and scrolling through my various social media feeds: Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook (and repeat). I discussed this problem with my friends, and I realized social media is what I needed to give up for Lent.
When I look back at my social media life, I see eight years of my life on Facebook, six years of my life on Instagram and Twitter. As a twenty-one-year-old, my time spent on social media has been a third of my life. I have childhood memories of spending hours outside without interruption or reading a book in a day or even a life with less comparison of stats. In a few years, that fraction is going to grow. When I’m older, I will have spent more time being on social media than begin off it.
My brain has become hard-wired to constantly check social media in any downtime or even when I’m in class. I want to release my life from this hold. For Lent this year, I want to redirect my morning or night time to not be spent mindlessly watching Facebook videos or liking random Instagram pictures. Instead, I want to spend that open time in my routines to focus on God. I want to actually complete Bible devotional plans, read the Bible with intention, and enjoy life again.
what does this mean for the blog?
I will still be updating the blog regularly. I hope to knock down my postings to once a week during the semester. With the lack of social media, though, I won’t be promoting my posts beyond the initial (and automatic) shares since I have my Twitter and Facebook pages connected to the blog. If you found this from Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram, you can keep getting notified of my new posts by following through WordPress or email. (Just look to the right side of the screen to find that box!)
a final note:
My biggest hope and goal to come from this Lent season is to reset my relationship with social media and God, but what comes next is the most important part. I want to do social media detoxes at least once a month, if not more. I want days to disconnect from being online in order to continue to have a healthier relationship with being online and to continue my intentionality exploration.
I hope you can take a moment to reflect on what is taking your time away from being intentional and focusing on God in your life. If you aren’t a believer, thank you for reading this post. I hope you can still take away being able to detox from social media in order to focus on an area in your life where you need to be productive.
Let me know in the comments if you have ever done a social media detox and/or what you’re giving up for Lent!