Ok, technically I only fasted Twitter. I started with both Twitter and Facebook, but had to log back onto FB to do some emergency damage-control with our business (we were undergoing construction, and people thought we had closed) and theories floating around that I had disposed of my business partner in a sinkhole. Just kidding - but yeah, people were worried. You gotta watch the quiet ones.
Anyway, I learned a couple things during my Lenten fast.
1. I was kind of a crappy mom. It's true. I did not realize how much I was neglecting my child until I gave up social media. It wasn't an intentional thing - but I would find myself absent-mindedly scrolling through my Twitter feed while she was doing God knows what. Is this fair? No. It is not. So, my time away gave me perspective, and I really listened, really got involved with her interests, and it paid off. I had a child who just needed attention. That makes me sick to say. But her behavior, school work, and general happiness improved because of this fast. That isn't a coincidence.
2. I have a husband? Wha? Same thing for my marriage. Sure, after you've been together for awhile, you don't need to be breathing down someone's neck 24/7. But, we weren't talking like we used to, and we were kind of on autopilot. That isn't good! There is a reason Facebook is blamed for almost 30% of the divorces in this country. It sounds crazy - what weird reality did we get sucked into?? Now, he likes his devices and gadgets too - and this is something we both need to work on. But I realized my part of the problem, and I am fixing it. With cookies and foot rubs, and actually looking at him when we're talking.
I am not a "I have a perfect marriage, be jealous of me" blogger. No way. I snore, we argue, I forget to throw away potatoes.
3. I'm creative! You probably noticed an uptick in my blog posts if you check in here regularly. I had the motivation and energy to do things. I kept a cleaner house. I organized my laundry room. I made papier mache houseshoes. (You know I'm joking, right?) I wrote, I took photos, I remixed the closet. I felt like someone shot me up with a ritalin and caffeine cocktail. Maybe it was a placebo effect, but I can give the fast credit for making me more aware of my creative impulses.
4. Social media isn't the devil - my addictive personality is. Social networking is a great tool for business, for keeping up with friends and family, and for sharing information. It is not, however, a substitute for basic human interaction and entertainment. I can definitely say that, after a week back on, that I have broken my addiction, and I am able to limit myself to just a few minutes per day. Enough to check messages, maybe post an article, and leave it at that. I no longer have the "fear of missing out" syndrome. Life is too short to spend so much time locking eyes with a retina display.
Did you fast anything for Lent? What did you learn about yourself and others?