The social media revolution

Lent is a source of angst for many who celebrate it, both Catholic & Protestant. Should I give up a favorite food or beverage? What about some activity? Maybe I should pray a rosary daily or go to church every week.

My old standby has been giving up soda. I've done that for as long as I could remember. In a more ambitious year I gave up all foods made with white flour. Turns out there were far more foods made with white flour then I'd realized initially. Needless to say, that one didn't work out. In another even more ambitious year, I gave up caffeine. Family and friends asked me to start drinking caffeine and never give it up again. That one didn't work out well either.

When thinking about this Lent, I had to start with my ambitions for Lent. Did I want to give up something to kick start my diet? Or did I want to do or give up something that would kick start my relationship with Christ? I decided on the latter. Once making that decision, I had to decide what exactly I would do to accomplish that ambition.

Then it dawned on me: social media. I use social media to distract myself from so much. Someone I haven't spoken to in 5 years uploaded new photos on Facebook? That sounds so much better than reading for class. Checking Twitter is much better than working out. Quiet time gets cut short by Tumblr. It's amazing how much sway social media has over my time. Should my time more accurately reflect my passions, namely Christ? Sure social media has its uses. It's not all bad. But it's a lot like money: capable of good but easily susceptible to misuse.

So I'm going (almost) social-media free this Lent. No Facebook. No Twitter. No Tumblr. No Flickr. I will continue to use this blog. But that's it.

Ash Wednesday isn't until March 9 so I have some time to enjoy social media. I believe this will be a good thing for me. Hopefully by the time Lent is over, my relationship to social media will have changed.

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