I try to always give up something for Lent. I very rarely fast and it wouldn’t be safe for me to fast from food… So for Lent, I try to get a bit more creative.
This year, I have given up social media apps on my iPhone and tablet; I’m not going on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. I have used Facebook on my work laptop for work purposes and I’ve posted my blog updates on Instagram. But I have not browsed.
Social media is probably the greatest distraction in my life.
One of the reasons is that I am a “Social Media Scroll”.
I am addicted to scrolling through my social media. Most of the time while I’m doing it, I’m glazed over… not even acknowledging what I’m looking at. I don’t know if my thumb just needs to keep doing the scrolling motion or if my eyes need to be dazzled by the changing of the screen. I scroll while I watch TV, before I go to bed, while I’m on the bus and as I eat my lunch. Fortunately, I make a point not to scroll while talking to people but sometimes it’s very difficult.
But my biggest problem is that I have “Obsessive Comparison Disorder”.
I love that with Facebook and Instagram I can see pictures of my niece and nephew that live across the country and I can stay up to date with what my cousins are doing in Trinidad. I love how small the world suddenly becomes as I look through pictures of friends travelling the world and how I can feel a part of celebrations that happened miles away. Unfortunately, I take it quite a few steps too far.
As I scroll through the posts, I end up comparing my work, my marriage, my house, my friendships, my finances, my clothes and my faith to everyone. I start to wonder why my life is not as amazing as everyone else’s life. Why am I not travelling through India? Why didn’t I have a huge wedding? Why didn’t my husband buy me flowers for Valentine’s Day? I start wishing for things… I wish I didn’t have debt so that I could buy more frivolous things. I wish I didn’t work so much so that I could go clubbing. I wish I had gotten married earlier so that I would be able to post pictures of my babies now.
My OCD not only makes me very very crazy. But it also makes me very ungrateful.
As I compare my life to others, I stop being thankful for the wonderful life I do have. I feel cheated and self-pity instead of enjoying the many blessings that God has given me.
Before social media, I would question my life every now and then, but for the purpose of bettering it. Questioning helps you refocus on your goals and move towards a great future. But with social media, my questioning becomes depressing and debilitating.
And now without social media, I have found myself happier. I am able to focus more on what’s actually going on in my life. I am able to fully live without trying to live vicariously through someone else. I feel as though I can see much clearer.
I encourage you to also let go of the biggest distraction in your life (which I’m pretty sure is technology) and try to live your life to the fullest.