We are 27 days into Lent, more than halfway through! I decided to keep a journal of my experience to see if there’s a point when the habit of clicking on social media disappears. Thus far it has not, but I’m hoping by April 1st I will not have such a strong desire to mindlessly scroll. I am really hoping to develop better habits of being purposeful with social media use. It can be a helpful tool. It has been more of a black hole, sucking out all of the free minutes of my days, minutes that could be better spent reading, writing, or engaging with family and friends. While I don’t have access to social media, I am working to read more and connect with family and friends.
Day 1: I am glad I took the apps off of my phone. I have found myself picking up my phone in a down period and then putting it back down because my options are checking email or searching for something on Google and I don’t need to do either.
I decided that I wanted to read The Story as a replacement for some of my social media time during Lent. It’s a chronological telling of the main points of the Bible so I will be reading scripture with some additional dialogue to explain the story more. I think it will be good to spend more time reading scripture as I prepare for Jesus’s suffering, death, and resurrection. I have picked it up and read some twice already today. I think my book reading time will be high during Lent.
It hasn’t been a normal day as my daughter is home with pinkeye but it has been nice to get to spend some extra time with her. Because of the pinkeye, I decided to wash everyone’s sheets, towels, and washcloths. Then I remade everyone’s beds and Lysoled all of the doorknobs and light switches. That led to dusting the house and then vacuuming downstairs. I think some of the productivity is due to not being able to waste time on FB (my main black hole).
I haven’t really missed seeing what’s going on. I have thought a few times about something I would have liked to post but I can text or email it to family or friends if I really want someone to see it. My husband informed me there’s a St. Patrick’s Day party in our cul-de-sac. I’m sure we would have heard about it through word of mouth if neither of us was online. So far no real FOMO, but it’s only halfway through day one.
Day 2: Yesterday I received an email from an acquaintance. This morning as I was waking up I began thinking about a response. I wanted to remember where she previously lived and thought I would look it up on FB before remembering I do not currently have that portal at my disposal. There were a couple of times I had my phone in my hand out of boredom but then I put it down and found something else to do.
Day 3: Last night I dreamt that I was scrolling through Facebook. I realized I was dreaming before I began to really freak out about breaking the fast. I received an email from Instagram this evening, I assume to try to get me intrigued by what I have missed the last three days. I am just deleting it without opening it. I remember Facebook emailing me after about a week of inactivity once.
Day 4: Nothing really to report. Adam was sharing some news he learned from Instagram. I’m trying not to look at his devices when he’s on them.
Day 5: I had another dream about scrolling Facebook.
Day 6: I learned via an email newsletter that there’s a giveaway for a book I want to read but I have to enter through an IG post. Boo for me.
I finished a really good book today (Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine) but can’t talk about it in my FB book group so I pondered book lovers I know and then texted my aunt to talk books. I think I will be having more direct communication with people I know in lieu of social media.
Day 7: I don’t have as much of a compulsion to check the part of my phone that used to house my social media apps. I kind of wonder what I’m missing. I haven’t found another electronic substitute thus far (thankfully), just more reading time. I took a super cute picture of the kids in giant animal heads and texted it to the grandmas and aunts. I also shared with my aunts that I’m painting a bedroom tomorrow because I wanted to share it with someone. I received my second email from IG today trying to entice me back. Didn’t open it.
Day 8: I painted my guest bedroom today but can’t public post. I had already told my aunts so I will send them pictures.
Day 9: Adam was showing me a few photos and videos from his social media accounts this evening. I don’t consider it breaking my fast because it was purposeful communication and interaction between us. And I wasn’t using it personally or as a distraction. I’m not, however, looking over his shoulder as he scrolls, just looking at the specific thing he shares.
Day 11: I received my third email from IG today. Adam had his IG account open and I was tempted to reach over and scroll but I didn’t. If I went back to social media right now I would be right back in my old habit. I really want to break this habit and use media more mindfully.
Day 13: I am still thinking about social media a lot. I wonder if there’s something I’m missing that could be important. I don’t know what that would be other than something from the website I will be contributing posts to starting in April. They have my email if it’s essential, so I shouldn’t worry. I really don’t want to think about social media as much as I do.
I have noticed that I have started checking my email more frequently to see if there’s anything new. I need to watch that to make sure I don’t develop another bad habit. I have been reading a lot and have had days where I’ve tired of reading. I didn’t think that was possible.
Day 14: My fourth email from IG arrived today. It’s not really tempting me, but I do still have a pull to FB.
Day 15: I received an email from Twitter today trying to entice me over there. I don’t use it much even though I put it on the Lenten fast.
Day 16: I wonder how many notifications I will have on April 1st. The temptation will be to catch up on everything I’ve missed for six and a half weeks. I will have to ignore most of the notifications and probably only deal with any involving being tagged. We’ll see. Hopefully, I will be in a better frame of mind by then.
Day 19: I am tempted occasionally to watch Adam scroll social media. I am still able to notice times in my day when I used to scroll and I am briefly at a loss for what to do now that it is not an option. I suppose I could sit quietly with my thoughts and enjoy a bit of unstructured time. It’s not my strong suit but I could work on improving my ability to rest and relax.
Day 20: I received an email about a book launch team and am interested in reading the book as it seems like it is quite relevant to my life. The application requires my FB URL which I don’t know offhand so I asked Adam to find it for me. It is interesting how integrated social media is into different things I am connected with.
Day 21: Fifth email from IG. They’re slacking off.
Day 23: I feel like I’m used to being off of social media now. I have a tiny bit of curiosity of what’s going on over there but I don’t feel a strong pull. I am a little over a quarter of the way through The Story.
Day 26: Only twenty more days to go! I still feel like I’m not quite over the hump of checking it out of boredom. I really want to be purposeful about its use. Maybe I should set a timer when I am using it recreationally so that I don’t lose large chunks of time mindlessly surfing. I probably should think more about what practices I can set up after Lent to use social media better.