For the past few years I’ve given up two things for Lent: Facebook and Book Buying.
The book buying because, well, let’s be real. Emily has a lot of books, and she doesn’t need that many. So I usually donate the money I would’ve spent on books to a worthy cause. And no, this doesn’t mean I go hog-wild on Amazon right before Lent, either. 🙂
Giving up Facebook is harder.
One of the reasons I like Facebook is that it enables me to connect with people that live far away from me (friends in Boston, in the UK, family spread all over), theater friends, and people I may not see on a regular basis. I love being able to see photos of people’s babies and know what’s going on in their day-to-day lives. And really, that’s why I keep facebook–for those great connections.
A lot of the time, it’s a time suck. I’m there because I’m procrastinating: I don’t want to write, I don’t want to clean, I don’t want to do something I should be doing. It also encourages unhealthy comparison: this person has the life I want. This person is going to Italy for two weeks. This person just got a new car.
I’m happier when I spend less time on Facebook. All through 2015, I’ve been sort of easing my way off it. I will never get rid of it completely, for the good pockets I mention above. And being a writer in the 21st century almost demands that you have a “social media platform”. (And why yes, I do have an author page. Sorry. Plug.)
I do not need more comparisons in my life. I don’t need to feel like I am “less than.” What I need is to spend more time with God. By eliminating Facebook use during Lent, I’m cutting down on a distraction that keeps me from Him.
To reiterate: There are GOOD PARTS of Facebook. I have wonderful friends there, people that I never would have connected with if I didn’t have Facebook (I’m thinking of some awesome Catholic writers and other Catholic women that I’ve met through their blogs, but on Facebook I’ve been able to chat with them and share things more deeply.).
However, we have to keep the right balance in these things. Food is good–to a point. (Like the piece of Guinness cake I may or may not have had for breakfast). Wine is good–to a point. See where I’m going?
Books and Facebook are not bad in and of themselves (unless the book is 50 Shades of Grey…..or the Da Vinci Code). It’s how we use them.
So that’s why I give up Facebook for Lent. It’s so I can focus on the better part.