This year I gave Facebook up for Lent. I had never given up something for Lent before, and I wanted to give it a try.
A few weeks before Lent, I used a device called Circle to limit my Facebook time to 30 minutes a day, and I noticed that it was having a positive effect on me. I figured, “If a 30-minute limit is having a positive effect, then cutting it out altogether must be like a dream!”
I wasn’t that far off! Here are a few ways I benefitted by taking six weeks off from Facebook:
I was more focused on my work.
This is a no-brainer for sure. When you’re not distracted by the biggest time-suck off all, you can burn through your task list without stopping every few minutes to see if anyone commented on your picture of a latte’. I got more done in less time and was actually able to knock off early on a few occasions.
I was more mindful.
If you’re anything like me, it’s wicked hard just to be present in the moment. My brain is usually mulling over the past, anxious about the future, or trying to solve some problem that I really don’t have any control over. When you add to that, the over-consumption of information that occurs trolling the Facebook feed, your family begins to wonder if you’re ever truly with them. Fasting Facebook made it much easier to be present.
I had time for things I actually enjoy.
This goes along with the first benefit. Since I was more productive with work, I had more time to play. I have a creative side that I’ve been neglecting for some time now. I drew pictures, I practiced my guitar, I even finished writing a novel that I’ve been working on for three years!
I got some margin back.
This is huge! Before Lent, I felt like I had lost all mental and emotional margin. Little occurrences felt big, my creative problem-solving capacity was low, and I had a nagging sense that I was burning out. I was overloaded with information, opinions, invitations, and aggrandizements. Getting off Facebook gave me some much needed mental breathing space!
What about now? Well, Lent may be over, but I’m still adhering to a 30-minute limit. I’ve also removed the app from my phone. There were too many times that I would take out my phone just to check the time or weather, and found myself looking at Facebook without even realizing what I was doing!
I feel lighter, and I think I’d like to hold on to this feeling for a while.