4 Things Learned From A Social-Media-Free Lent

This Lenten season I took some time off social media (specifically Instagram and Facebook. I leave tweeting for the birds.) and in the process I made a few significant discoveries. The reason I did this in the first place was because I became frustrated with the way in which I would constantly open up Instagram or peruse Facebook whenever I had a minute where I didn’t have to be doing something else. It became second nature to open & scroll all the time. And as a person who doesn’t even like having my phone on me all the time, I was over it. I highly recommend doing this if you haven’t — even just a week off social media is really freeing and clarifying. And I promise you’ll learn a lot!

So firstly, I discovered that I have a lot more fun and am a lot more genuinely myself when I’m doing something fun without trying to get a picture of it. Or even (shocker) sans phone completely. That whole #doitfortheinsta thing? Kinda funny but kinda…sad. From now on, I’m going to be doing leaving my phone in the car/at home as much as I can. I’ve found that it’s so freeing and allows me to really connect with wherever it is that I am or whatever it is that I’m doing.

I patched up my relationship with selfies (Not group selfies. Always been a fan of those). For quite some time I’ve been one of those selfie-cynics, rolling my eyes at the solo self-pics as I scrolled through my feed. That is a thing of the past. We should be allowed to celebrate our individuality and unique beauty, and if that means posting a selfie for you, I fully condone it. Heck, I might even join you…maybe ;)

I also realized that Instagram is about posting the people/places/things that YOU love. If that means 900 pictures of latte art or 25 baby nephew photos in a row or hilarious quotes you found on Pinterest, it doesn’t matter. Just post what makes you happy and call it a day. And if people unfollow you because of it, they’re probably not anyone with whom you were good friends to begin with. Instagram isn’t about the number of followers you have, the number of likes you get, or the number of cool things you do—it’s about self-expression and connecting with others. Not numbers. So post what you love. 

I can honestly say that I didn’t miss Facebook one bit. By taking time off for Lent, I completely broke the habit of logging in as soon as I open my laptop or mindlessly scrolling the app when I’m waiting for something. I now rarely go on Facebook except to check notifications and friend requests and probably only stay on for about five minutes, tops. No more mindlessly scrolling of my news feed. For this, I’m thankful. Because if we’re being honest, my newsfeed rarely ever did anything good for me.