4 Things I’ve Learned One Week into Lent

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At Revolution, we challenged our church to give something up for Lent. While most people give up caffeine or chocolate and then spend 40 days complaining about how much they are suffering, we took the angle of asking, “What takes up time in your life? What could you live without and replace that time with Jesus?” For me, I decided to give up Facebook for Lent. Here are 4 things I’ve learned one week into it:

  1. Facebook wastes a lot of moments in my day. I took Facebook off my phone and iPad and off my app of choice, Flipboard. I find that without thinking I go to check Facebook. It is amazing to me how automatic it is. As I think about it, it really is sad to me how much a part of my life social media has become. I can get lost in it without thinking about it.
  2. I care about how many likes I get on things. This is hard to admit, but I like when people like things on Facebook that I post. I want people to be impressed with things. This week has been good because I don’t know what people are thinking about what I post. I’m curious. It is teaching me that it doesn’t matter.
  3. I have no idea what people are doing, which makes me think I have some fake community in my life. While fake social media community is now the way we do community, it isn’t really community. I have over a thousand Facebook friends, many of them I’ve never met. This is cool on one hand, but it also keeps me from getting community. It makes me feel like I don’t need it. I now have to connect with people  give them a call, go out for coffee or have someone over to find out what is happening in their lives. While Facebook is a time saver in this regard, it also keeps you from actually having community.
  4. My life is connected through Facebook. People have asked me about why things are posting on Facebook if I gave it up. I have given it up, but I realized how much my life is connected through Facebook. My blog, twitter, linkedin, signing into hootsuite and a whole host of other apps have to have my Facebook login. Disconnecting from Facebook was more work than I felt like it was worth. So yes, I’m not reading it.

Question: What did you give up for Lent? What are you learning during this season?

2 thoughts on “4 Things I’ve Learned One Week into Lent

  1. I gave up Facebook last year, and learned a lot of those same things. Checking Facebook, not once, but several times each day was a habit. I was checking to see if friends had liked or commented on something I’d posted. It took up a lot of time and focus. But for me it actually was the best way to get in touch with my long distance friends (we planned skype dates and such on Facebook) so I ended up just checking it once each day and only reading through it quickly before logging back out. I wouldn’t post anything.

    Now I do still check Facebook a lot, but I don’t obsess over it anymore. I pay a lot more attention to what I post, and less attention to whether it gets any notice.

  2. I’ve given up Facebook for Lent as well, and I’ve realized some of the same things mentioned here. The main thing that I’ve realized is that it really, really DOES waste time. Time I could be spending doing something that’s way better for me and the people in my life. I’ve noticed that suddenly, even on days when I’m running late, I actually DO have 5 minutes to spare to start my day with some Bible reading. Previously, that time was taken up by mindless browsing of my newsfeed.

    One thing that I’m struggling with is the urge to replace FB with something else. I realized that I had started doing this with a few things that were even more mindless than looking at all the junk that people put on FB. To combat this, every time I want to go to Facebook, I open my YouVersion app, or my physical Bible when I’m at home.

    Something I’ve been thinking about a lot is idle words, and self-absorption. How much does Facebook promote this, and how many times do we get sucked into it without a second thought? I was more entrenched in it than I cared to realize until I began my FB fast.

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