Like many of us here in Northeast PA, I was raised Catholic. I spent 40 days and 40 nights every spring giving up cookies, or peanut butter (sidenote: why did I do something so heinous to myself?), or something else I just couldn’t live without. Then I grew up and became the type of Catholic who is quick to identify as such, but really only steps into a church on Christmas Eve, weddings, and funerals. I stopped giving things up years ago.
I resurrected Lent this year, not because I had some sort of come-to-Jesus moment, but because I wanted an excuse to get off of Facebook for a set amount of time.
Why did I want to get off Facebook? Well, for one, I had a terrible Facebook problem. If I’m being completely honest, I probably logged on between 50-80 times a day, just to check and see if anything new happened. You know what almost never happened? Anything new. I was that person who sat scrolling through FB at parties, would converse with you with my eyes on my phone, and while I’m not exactly someone who is validated by “likes,”…I’m just going to stop right there, admit that I don’t know what I was trying to pull, and confirm that I do seek validation through likes.
Facebook was also making me hate people I didn’t want to hate; between the election, people overreacting to anything on the drop of a hat, and sad compliment fishing, I found myself rolling my eyes at Facebook, more than thinking, “oh, that vacation looks awesome.” I was initially going to give myself the month of March off, but then decided to just do all of lent.
It was hard for, maybe the first two or three days, but for the most part, and I actually am being honest here, I didn’t miss it that much. I’m not even just saying that. It’s true. Easter came and went this past Sunday, and I didn’t log on right away. It took me until late Monday night to reappear. I’ve also noticed that I’m logging on much less. I think I’ve been on twice today, and one was simply to stalk a new co-worker back a few years to figure out their deal, not to engage with anyone myself. I haven’t even re-downloaded the Facebook app to my phone, and I’m not sure when I will (because, I will).
Listen, I’m not going to sit here and type that I’m over all social media. I’m not at all. I actively like Facebook. But I do think I’ve successfully forced myself to use Facebook like a fully functioning adult, and not the millennial that at this point I’m too old to be.