Holidays

Why I’m Fasting From Social Media For Lent

In case you were wondering if I fell off the face of the planet, I’m still here and everything’s OK. Things are great actually: I’ve been on a social media hiatus — specifically, Facebook and Instagram (other than for work). I had heard of millennials giving up social media for Lent and I’ve wanted to take a break for a while anyway. It’s crazy how much of the in-between spaces of life you can waste away with distraction.

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Someone summed it up this way:

Logged Out: 5 Reasons I’m Giving Up Social Media this Lent
1. Less Digital World. More Spiritual World.
2. Less Consumption. More Creation.
3. Less filled-up. More being full-filled.
4. Less looking down. More looking out.
5. More Jesus. More Whole Life.

(Side note: Mormons don’t traditionally celebrate Lent, it’s more a catholic thing, but I liked the practice and wanted to borrow it. We do that sometimes — I had a professor who was an Isaiah scholar who led Passover services at BYU every year! “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things,” 13th Article of Faith — see also Krister Stendahl’s rules of religious understanding & the concept of “Holy Envy”)

I know what you’re thinking: “Wait, isn’t blogging social media too?!” Well since this is creating something and not consuming media, I don’t really see it the same. Blogging also isn’t a problem for me (in fact it’s hard to make myself write sometimes!) so I don’t really put it in the same category. I can’t mindlessly write on my blog 😉

Anyway. Easter has been on my mind. I love Easter, it’s always been my second-favorite holiday (after Christmas of course!) and this year the build-up has felt extra special because of the deliberate things I’ve been trying to do. This “social media fast” has been really good for me, if only to break some bad habits. I want to be clear that I don’t think Facebook or Instagram are bad — I love Instagram! And I love keeping in touch with friends via Facebook, and getting to read interesting articles and viewpoints my friends and acquaintances post. But I don’t love how easy it is to spend too much time scrolling through that feed or clicking because there’s a bright red badge. I needed a clean break, and starting the book “Hands Free Mama” over Christmas was a good motivator too.

I won’t lie, I’ve had some withdrawals, and I’m really excited to get back to Instagram, but it’s been good. It has given me back those little in-between spaces because instead of checking my phone when I have five minutes, I think “what have I been needing to do?” and can write in my journal, read the Ensign, read a book, get some scripture study done or write a friend or make that shopping list or… you get the idea. More focus on the things I actually want and need out of life instead of mindlessly entertaining myself. More moments just soaking in our sweet girl. And more time to hear the quiet whispering of the Spirit that we can so easily tune out.

(This is making it sound like I was severely hooked on social media… Maybe not to that extent, but I think we all, sadly, know the compulsion to just check that little red number one for a sec, and then it’s been ten minutes.)

Anyway. Holy Week is coming up and we won’t be doing anything too big and fancy this year, but we’ll probably do a special scripture study leading up to Easter, and I’ve been looking for ideas and thinking of ways to celebrate Easter more meaningfully in the future, especially as our children grow older and can understand more. (Hmm, maybe I need to make a holy week advent calendar…) I ran across this book the other day and it looks like a great resource!

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Also, Adelina is going to be old enough to grasp the concept of an Easter egg hunt and that is going to be awesome 🙂

Speaking of which, she is sick with a fever and nobody got any sleep last night, so I’m going to take advantage of her nap to take one of my own. I’ll just throw in this beautiful video to close, it is so joyful and so full of hope!

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