Social Media Fast

April 16, 2017 at 7:55 pm • Posted in UncategorizedNo comments yet

For the season of Lent, I gave up social media. This included looking at, posting on, responding to and doing anything with any social media venue. Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, Linked-in were all gone from the start of Lent (March 1) until today, Easter Sunday. Now, the general rule for Lent is that you can break your fast on each Sunday in lent as they are not counted. In my case, I simply went on Facebook 3 of the Sundays to check my Facebook Messenger messages to make sure there was nothing urgent, only responding to 2-3 the whole time. I also scrolled through notifications to look for urgent stuff, but did not find any so never clicked on any of those.

Once I took Facebook and Facebook Messenger off my phone, it was really easy to do this and quite frankly it was nice. I like social media for keeping up on friends, family and colleagues. I like hearing about what is going on in peoples lives and love thoughtful, educated opinions, articles and funny links. I hate the uneducated political garbage and the hate that shows up on social media so I don’t really miss that. I usually go on social media when I have 5-15 minutes to kill, other than occasionally posting when I have a thought I want to share. In that sense, my life did not change a lot time wise or in many other ways.

I have always known though that much of the discourse on Facebook in particular (especially around politics) has been toxic. In that sense, I did notice that because I was not exposed to as much of that. That said, I do try to protect myself. I delete anyone who intentionally attacks my family, uses my Facebook to attack me or anyone who intentionally is trying to hurt the church I serve. I also hide people when the stuff the put up is almost always unhealthy. I do on many occasions hide individual posts that are hateful or clearly not accurate or blatantly uneducated. This will continue to be my practice.

I pretty much accept any friend request if I know them and I don’t take social media too seriously. That said, there is some level of trust in accepting people. There is also a level of wisdom in what one posts. I am not perfect at either.

After this fast, I will still use social media, though less. I am less likely to comment on other peoples posts, though I will read them and like them. I will continue to post, though mostly through my third party app, HootSuite. Social media has value, but it certainly has gotten toxic. I do not want to lose the value, but I do want to avoid the unhealthy stuff.