Lent is a period of fasting (40 days) before Easter. It starts on 1st March and this year it will end on 13th April (Holy Thursday, the day before the Good Friday). In the nutshell, lent is a period when Christian gives up certain things as form of fasting. The idea is to follow Jesus’ example who fasted 40 days before he started his ministry on earth. It’s a period where Christian kind of getting themselves focusing their mind more on God; to pray, act and give, preparing themselves for Easter.
Lent is normally related to giving up certain foods. Some people give up chocolate or sweets or meat. A friend of mine gives up alcohols for the lent. I decided this year I’m giving up on social media (Facebook, Path, Instagram and alike media). I gave up meat for last year and I surprisingly didn’t miss it that much after lent. I’m more into plant based food nowdays or if I want meat then I eat fish. I still eat meat though, occasionally. So this year I want to know if it would work the same with detaching myself from social media. I want to see if after Easter I’d get used to spending less time on them.
I never thought it was actually dead easy to shut down myself from social media. Last night I uninstalled all social media apps from my device and I set my router to block their website (so I won’t be tempted to log in via browser or when I’m on my laptop). If you read this blog as a result of clicking a link from one of my social media account, it’s WordPress posted it on my behalf.
I had been considering to give up Facebook for lent for quite sometimes. I got the kick on the back side when I read an interesting article awhile ago about a guy who take time off work to go on a project he set for himself. He’d go out everyday and make new friend, proper eye contact and proper chat. He’d post a photo of him and his new friend on Instagram everyday. The reason he does it because he wanted a change in the head-down society (everywhere you go you’d see people with their head down on their phone and I think it’s really sad). The article made me think deeper about people and relationship and how social media plays part in shaping them.
I sort of started to see social media as a platform for non-authentic life and filtered people. The social media become a safe platform to be someone else. I’m sure social media has plunged many people into depression. Imagine if day in and day out looking at the endless stream of news of other people’s life that always seemed perfect, one would start comparing with what is lacking from their life (consciously or unconsciously).
Then there’s a lot of shares of articles and news (and the sharer sometimes didn’t even realise the news they shared are hoax). Many articles and news I read really disturbs me, the world has really turned upside down. People who shout ‘racist’ or similar words to others don’t realise they have become a bully themselves. They think by pointing finger and shouting something-ist to somebody makes them the righteous one.
So I’m off the social media and I’m sure I won’t be desperate without it. Facebook especially. When it started in 2007 I thought it was brilliant, it’d help me to stay connected and updated with old friends and family which it still does but recently it become less about connecting people.
I’m off to start a journey of living a proper life, connecting with people in real way. It would be a challenge for me as an introvert to come out from my shell more often but I’d try anyway. It’d be my way to give; by giving away my comforts.