For Lent this year, I gave up the big 3: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. On February 13, I pulled the saved log ins for all three from my work computer, personal laptop, iPad and iPhone – and while I’m startled anyway at the myriad of access points I had, I was more startled to feel so disconnected from people.
For about two days.
The first weekend, I felt very free. I could do whatever I wanted and it did not matter what people (near or far) were posting, saying, filtering and tweeting. I did not have to answer to anyone or any platform. Nobody was able to know where I was, how I felt or what I thought unless they called me. Calling me! How novel.
Now, I had my reasons for disconnecting and they ranged from things or people I didn’t want to bother myself with seeing to just me as a human trying to think about only me. I also know I am not the first and won’t be the last to disconnect from social media. I did not break new ground here on the stress or anxiety caused by seeing everyone else’s ‘fun’ or ‘perfect’ life, FOMO is not something I invented, etc.
What I am here to tell you is I am proud of myself for spending 46 days only answering to people I saw in real life, heard over the phone or to myself. I spent 46 days filling my time with cleaning my apartment, reading books (! real ones), getting adequate amounts of sleep or exercise and face time with people and activities. In those 46 days, I had no desire to check Facebook or Insta to compare, I did not feel guilty for staying in alone on a Saturday and I did not let my mind wander into the dark places of anxiety or loneliness.
I like to challenge myself – to see what I can live with or live without, to test my limits of endurance and willpower. I thought of this Lenten challenge this morning when my instinct was to immediately open Instagram as soon as the clock hit 7 a.m. I was up at 6, working (not the intention of these 31 days, but I digress) and was itching to check social media. For what? Good Q.
As the months pass, I consider giving it all up again – or at least taking a hiatus. Could you? Would you? It’s freeing, I tell ya.
Think about it.
This is the twenty-second post in a series, 31 Days of 6 a.m. To see a list of all posts from the month of October, click here. If you would like to have these posts delivered directly to you, enter your email address in the form located at the top right of the home page.