On March 1, 2017, I gave up social media for Lent. This included Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and my favorite – Snapchat. At first I didn’t think I could do it, because I check my social media every hour of every day, but April 16 marked the end of this cleanse, and honestly, I can’t believe I made it that far.
I decided to give up social media because I was addicted and this was so unhealthy. I could not live without snapping someone or checking someone’s story. I mean, it was pretty ridiculous. I was turning into someone who did not know how to have a conversation and I definitely wanted to change that. For 40 days and for 40 nights, I had nothing on my phone.
What I learned throughout this cleanse was to get back into having conversations with people. While I was eating at the dinner table, all my friends were on their phones, and I was just sitting there looking at them like, “Hi, remember me?”. I learned to have face-to-face conversations. I honestly cannot believe that I became more social, because if any knows me, they know for a fact that I am not a social, extroverted person. I keep to myself and myself only.
The next thing I learned was that I missed a lot of news (and I hated this). My only source of news was LinkedIn. That was great at all, but I like news feeds, and seeing other people’s reaction. I would go to work and during lunch, someone would say, “Oh did you hear about this.” Actually, I didn’t hear about that, and now I am behind, because that event happened yesterday. As a communication student who wants to go into public relations, it is always important for me to know the latest trends, and this cleanse really did not help with that.
Nevertheless, I think the most important takeaway from this cleanse was that I don’t care what other people post. “Did you see that so and so got a new car.” No, I did not see that, and frankly I don’t care. I didn’t get a new car, so why should I be bent over backward because of something I don’t have? I learned to not check in on people and see what they are doing. If I want to know what they are doing, I can easily pick up the phone and text them (yeah, I know I should call, but I am not quite there yet). If I really care, then I will ask, other than that, no.
I think cleansing is very good every once in a while. We all need a break from something that is draining us or unhealthy. I think I would do a cleanse again, but maybe with some food and for 30 days instead of 40. I challenge you to give up something for 30 days, and see where it takes you.