Lessons learned while fasting (from social media).

Published: April 14, 2020

—by M. Kendall Ludwig, president and principal designer, CurlyRed

Weeks before life (as we knew it) would change for all of us, I thought it would be a good idea to completely give up any personal use of social media for Lent. During those 40 days, I discovered a few things that I hope will be good insights for you as well (in case you even ponder a break of your own).

1. Your friends and family won't remember, and you'll need to remind them. I did my due diligence in letting everyone in my life know about my social media break, and even asked close friends and family members to keep me informed on anything important that might be announced or shared in my absence. But 40 days is a long time, and inevitably I got the "Oh I totally forgot, you're not on Facebook right now." Honestly, I expected that to happen, and it wasn't that big of a deal. 

2. Mindlessly scrolling might be the biggest time-suck of all. I don't know about you, but any time I found myself waiting (for the coffee to be ready, for an email back, for just about anything), I found myself scrolling through Instagram to kill time and then I'd lose myself down some social media rabbit-hole. Once that wasn't an option, I used that same time occasionally reading news articles. But more often, I would just sit and wait. Be alone with my thoughts—maybe even pray for a moment or do a short meditation. What a better way to spend that time (and believe me, it adds up).

3. I missed the constant comparison nonsense 0%. Speak of, often during those Insta scrolls, I found myself comparing myself and finding myself (my house, my cooking, my clothing) coming up short. And yet—so little of it is even real! When I read this article by style icon Tavi Gevinson, it made me realize that this is a universal response, and an extremely unhealthy one if left unchecked.

4. I did feel extra isolated at times. I mean, we all feel isolated right now, but my instinct was to immediately log in and see how my connections were handing everything that's happening in the world. One of the biggest benefits and current comforts of using social media is the reinforcement that we're not alone. I had to take other measures (good old phone calls, text messages, video calls, even "snail mail") to stay connected with my loved ones.

5. Being intentional about the content you both create and share is the most responsible way to use social media. We have a choice, every single time with create or share content online, to be a force for good and love and light, or to bring about fear, negativity and hatred. I choose the former, which is why I've restarted a daily challenge on my Instagram feed. I'll share more details below.

 

Things giving me joy.

As a way to share goodness and to store up positivity as I find it, I've started posting one photo each day of something that is giving me joy at that particular moment (such as the Lego family our oldest daughter created, including our rescue pup, Genevieve.) Follow along here and please share with us what's giving YOU joy!


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