Wednesday, March 12

Why I'm Fasting From Social Media

See this photo?
Before I began weekends of social media fasting, or media-free weekends, I missed this.
I was sitting next to them, endlessly scrolling through instagram, pinterest or facebook. With no reward.  Without any real pleasure.
And I missed this
I was staring into other people's homes and lives, and missing my own.

After an unexpected facebook conversation which left me feeling professionally uneasy a few months ago, I deleted my facebook account.  And honestly?  I felt lighter.  Although I'm sad to miss the pictures of old friend's weddings and new babies, it felt good to free up some time in my life.

Then Lent approached.  I try to challenge myself with a real, true fast.  Something that seems impossible for 40 days.  Initially, I referred back to my usual snacking fast- chocolate, ice cream, wine.  But after my husband challenged me, I turned to what was left of social media.  And I love pinterest.  And instagram.  So I was afraid I wouldn't do well without them.  These are so accessible, after all- just a touch of my phone!

But on Ash Wednesday, I started the real social media fast.  Jesse listens to talk-radio daily, and hears many perspectives on social media, and it's presence in our lives.   I think he fears that I've gotten caught up in comparision and envy, which he worries will only lead to unhappiness.  Honestly, he may have been right (not that I'm eager to tell him- not yet).

After just one week of social media fast, I find myself enjoying my free time as I had, pre-iphone days.  (Seriously, that was pre-July 2013, it's really not that long ago!)  Then I read this article, and it sealed my decision.  I've enjoyed more books, more quiet time in thought, more yoga and exercise, more baking, more gardening/planting, enriched conversations with my husband, a better idea of the news, more dreaming.  And although I've had the worst two weeks of work (I'm the sole provider in a three-provider clinic for 2 weeks!), I can't say I'm as unhappy as I may have been, had I cherished the instagram-friendly lives of those with less stressful careers, more flexible hours, or those without careers at all.

I'm obviously aware that this blog is also a form of social media, and I'm not trying to pretend it's not.  But I really do use this as my journal, a record of my family's life. And I hold myself accountable to at least one post per week.  So I kept this, and my husband agreed.  And I thought I'd document my journey here, too.  So that if or when I pick up instagram and pinterest again- I'll know I can skip a few days, and I'll be just fine ;)

We're seven days into Lent.
And just 3 weeks from my sister's due date!
I've got so much to be thankful for.


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