This year, I chose to give up social media for Lent. For those of you who don't know, Lent is a religious observation on the Christian calendar which lasts 40 days (not counting Sundays) where one looking to participate will either give something up or vow to do something more. Examples of this would include giving up Goldfish or deciding to pray a section of the rosary each night.
As mentioned, my choice of Lenten activity was to give up social media. For me, this included Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat. I expected this task to be a difficult one, and believe me, it was.
The first thing I realized about giving up social media is that I was not only giving up seeing other people's lives and FOMO (fear of missing out), I was giving up cute videos of puppies and funny gifs and stalking. I'm going to clarify that last part to make sure no one gets the wrong impression. The stalking I'm taking about is the run of the mill social media stalking where you look up that cute guy in your communications class or that girl who just so happens to have the same first name at work just to get more information about them. Nothing obsessively creepy. I really missed being able to do this.
Something else I realized along the way was that I missed some forms of social media more than others. I itched to get back on Pinterest to look up recipes of foods I was never going to make and clothes that I couldn't find and/or afford in real life. I longed for the funny videos and just general news that I would get on Twitter, and, as before mentioned, I really missed being able to look people up on Facebook. However, I found myself missing Instagram only slightly and not missing Snapchat even a little.
I'm not going to lie and act like I didn't cheat on this commitment. I totally still got on Facebook to look people up when I just couldn't bare to wait until Sunday (the day where we are allowed to cheat on Lent). I got on Pinterest to look up Cheesecake recipes (made a great brownie bottom cookie dough cheesecake by the way), I got on Twitter by complete accident so many times just out of habit because the app was still on my phone (one of my exceptions is that I was allowed to tweet for 30North, my school's literary magazine), and I got on Instagram to check posts that I make for my school's library's account.
I by no means did perfectly well on this task I agreed to undertake, but I am still proud of myself. Social media is certainly addicting and at times very toxic. Taking a break was nice. It was really nice. Even though Lent it over, I still don't find myself wanting to re-download the apps on my phone. I'm kind of over it. I also realized that I was less so addicted to social media and more so addicting to my phone because I found myself still spending a decent amount of time on it. But, that is a problem to deal with later.
All in all, it was a good idea to give up social media. I feel like I learned a lot about myself along the way and I can see myself repeating this next year.