Giving up something for Lent can be a challenging task. Some people give up favorite foods, sweets or soda. Others try to kick habits like sleeping in or eating out. How about giving up social media for Lent? Yes, I said it. Social media. Imagine not being able to use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest for 40 whole days. How would you survive? Several avid social media users rose to the challenge and discovered that giving up social media isn’t such an unattainable goal after all.
In 2012, blogger Sam Forzley gave up social media for Lent. Forzley wanted to spend more time face to face with friends and family and become a more socially active person in real life rather than on social media. Another woman in Chicago spoke out about giving up Facebook for Lent. Christine Melendes had been an avid Facebook user since 2007, so giving it up was a big adjustment. Although she successfully gave up Facebook, she described giving up Twitter as “impossible.”
Giving up Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest can be a difficult task if you work in social media, but if these platforms are merely an addicting hobby, it may be a great opportunity to unplug from the digital world, remember a time when hashtags didn’t exist, and enjoy the extra free time. If you’re one of the few who have given up social media this year, here’s a list of things to do instead:
- Meet an old friend at a restaurant or bar for a quick catch up instead of writing on their Facebook wall.
- Give a family member or good friend a phone call before heading to bed instead of surfing the web and monitoring your news feeds.
- Journal your thoughts (or things you’re dying to tweet) in order to write a killer blog or to come back with some creative tweets post-Lent.
- Enjoy the freedom of being social media-free. Take a walk, snap some photos (but don’t Instagram!) and spend more time with your favorite people.
Even though it may seem like a big adjustment, social media will still be there for you 40 days later (with new updates and probably more platforms to join), so enjoy the time away!
All the power to you.