Lessons Learned by Giving Up Social Media for Lent…

I gave up Facebook for Lent. I chose to do this because I needed to make room for better things and most of all for God.

This is the first year that I have given up lent and have made it the whole 40 days. I have had so many people ask me why I’m doing Lent since I’m not Catholic. A couple of my friends at church thought that Christians shouldn’t observe Lent since it is a Catholic observance.  One of the reasons I did this year is because I felt that God wanted me to  devote more time to Him.  Facebook was consuming my time and I didn’t realize how much time until I did Lent.

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I scoured through Amazon to find Bible studies and I bought some and I’m getting ready to start one called,”When God doesn’t fix it… Learning to Walk in God’s Plans Instead of Our Own.” I came across this one by Laura Story and I have no doubt that God has something to teach me. I’m really good at doing things my way. If it doesn’t work out the way I think it should, I can come up with all kinds of reasons or excuses about why it didn’t work out. I’m pretty sure that the main reasons why is because I’m a big time control freak.

As I prepared for Lent and taking time away from social media, I didn’t know what God was telling me to do. I had to trust Him fully and see what God’s plans were. I was in deed of a major detour that would direct me away from Facebook.

One of the things about Lent and one of the main reasons I felt I needed to give up something that was interfering with my own relationship with Christ.  I don’t know why I used Lent as a reason for giving up social media for 40 days, since I needed to have a period of reflection, repentance and to get back on tract with my prayer life and studying the Word of God.

This was the perfect opportunity to re-align my life and focus on God. We are supposed to sacrifice whatever it is that distracts ourselves from God and distracts me from my own selfish desires of the heart.  My objective was to seek to live a more faithful life and get closer to Jesus Christ.

I knew I needed to have a period of reflection, repentance and to get back on tract with my prayer life and studying the Word of God. This was the perfect opportunity to re-align my life and focus on God. We are supposed to sacrifice whatever it is that distracts ourselves from God and distracts me from my own selfish desires of the heart.  My objective was to seek to live a more faithful life and get closer to Jesus Christ.

For years, I always thought of Lent as a way of sacrificing something. I didn’t know many who did anything for Lent. Many friends of mine from church couldn’t understand why I observed Lent this year since for the most part it is Catholics. Giving up social media wasn’t a sacrifice for me since I would get flustered over a lot of it. Mainly because of the political stuff and the faith-based arguments.

I couldn’t 100 percent walk away from Facebook since I still had to do things for my church on there. I didn’t realize how much time I wasted when it came to watching those cure viral videos about puppies and kittens. Then the whole scrolling though messages from others that had to do with their political and religious views.

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One of the most important things I learned during this 40 day hiatus from Facebook is that social media is “TOXIC”.  I don’t spend time on Twitter or Instagram, so my break was from Facebook.

If I had one word to describe what I think about social media, I would say it is “toxic”. When I went directly to my Facebook page instead of my churches, it was kind of depressing. The reason I say that is because of the negativity.  The Facebook statuses was filled with political/faith-based arguments, complaints about how horrible this person or that person is, and people who share cute pictures(meme’s) or viral videos.

For the most part, many of the messages were political and fake images, fake news and fake pages. I hate the term, “Fake News”.  When I hear people say that or I hear it on the news, I hit mute. It isn’t just the news that is spreading fake news, it is people in general. People will share fake pictures that have been photoshopped, lies, fake websites and all kinds of things before making sure it is true. I have shared things before making sure it is true and when I find out it is a lie, I delete it or post the accurate story. People don’t care if it is true or not. I will be posting a blog with a number of fake stories and photoshopped images.

It takes less than five minutes to research a story and find out it is garbage. But, they don’t care because it is funny to them. I have one friend who only watches Fox News. I also have friends who watch either local news, CNN, MSNBC and whatever else. In my opinion, when a person uses only one source for the news, they are getting just one side. Then there are those who has this idea that everything you read or hear on the internet is the truth. I haven’t missed any of this on social media.

Before I stepped away from Facebook, the pictures that are posted below were all over Facebook and I come back yesterday and they are still being passed around.  Then the hatred that is going on with the students from Parkland Florida is horrible. I just want to hit people over the head with a hammer when it comes to common sense. I’m sure I will have some friends and even those who I go to church with who will gasp when I tell them that I don’t believe the spins coming from any of the news station. If people can learn how to post a comment on Facebook, they have the ability to look and see if is story or a picture is true.

When I checked out the stuff on my Facebook page last night it made me sick. It was like a soap opera. It doesn’t matter how long you are away, the same thing goes on. I plan on spending less time on Facebook because of the nastiness out there, I will have to still do things for my church since we need to reach out to the world.

I told myself a number of years ago that I wouldn’t unfriend someone because they voted differently than I did or because they didn’t share the same faith. I still stand by that, but I will unfriend family and friends if all they can do is spill hatred and lies. Nothing can be accomplished by these kinds of things.

One of the biggest things that I learned during Lent is that I’m not out to please the world. My faith and personal relationship with Christ is the only thing I am concerned about. It’s a waste of time arguing with people about politics and faith. I will continue to share my faith with others, but I’m not going to get into a tit for tat kind of mentality.

 

 

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