Smartphone with facebook logo being crossed out. Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Don’t Get Lent Out Of Shape

part one

10 more days until I can check my Facebook again. I lented Facebook this year, as well as Reddit and Tumblr, but of the three of them, Facebook is the one I noticed the most.

I’m not particularly religious, and most of I know about lent I learned from the movie Chocolat, so I think I’ve got the gist of it: give up something you like for a couple of months because life should be miserable and harshly judge others who are not as pious as you. Also, you should add chili powder to hot chocolate.  I really like that movie.

My first experience with lent was two years ago as a friendly wager between a small group of coworkers. I gave up TV, movies and internet videos right when the new season of Game of Thrones was about to start. It was quite an exercise, especially for someone who  regularly has a season of, let’s say, 30 Rock running in the background while cleaning house, or whatever. Sometimes I’d put on a playlist, but since I’d have been listening to music and people all day at work, I found myself just enjoying the silence for a bit when I got home. It provided a really nice echo chamber for all the voices in my head.

What I learned from that experience, besides that some people don’t honour bets that they make–Heather–is that there is a great deal of satisfaction and empowerment to actively giving up something for a period of time, something don’t need but really enjoy, not because you have to, but just because you can. I can sort of see why people partake in this or similar practices. I might even tolerate people doing cleanses a little bit more than I did before, but that isn’t really saying much.

As unique an idea it is to forgo logging into Facebook for 40 days, I feel I made the right decision for myself this year. I decided last minute to lent this year after reminiscing about how awesome I felt about myself last time. I’d just spent the better part of the day looking through Reddit, so it seemed obvious that I should just give up Reddit. However, it didn’t feel like enough. Then I thought, “Maybe I should not check my Facebook as well,” and then my stomach did a little flip-flop. I had an, albeit, minor physical reaction about social media. That, for me, was a definite indication that it was time for me to step away for a while.

I keep getting distracted.  I will post more about this after lent is over. I’ll talk about what I learned about the role that Facebook plays in my life and stuff. Now I have a new episode of Girls to watch. Till next time, kids!

Read part two here


  1. Reblogged this on Jen Schwetje and commented:

    With Lent starting tomorrow, I thought I’d share a couple of old posts of mine from when I gave up Facebook for a spell in 2016.

    It looks like my Lent crew will be participating again this year, but instead of giving something up, we are committing to do something every day, so I’ll be doubling my time on Duolingo AND actually making myself write every day instead of just talking about it.

    Wish me luck!


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