This past week, with the start of the Lenten season I've seen lots of posts on what folks are giving up for Lent. Often, social media tops the list of "sacrifices" made for the 40-Days Lenten journey. In years past, I too have attempted to "give up" Facebook, Blogging, and Pinterest. Some days...and weeks...were more successful than others. But this year, I have chosen not to ban myself from "the book", as my husband affectionately refers to it, or any other social media websites.
Let me be clear, though, I in no way think it is wrong, fruitless, or a misplaced effort to give up or limit oneself from social media. In fact, I think it can be very beneficial, especially if one finds themselves "addicted" to checking in with Facebook, email, Blogger, etc. and that this time spent on the computer keeps them away from caring for their loved ones and in relationship with Christ.
The practice by Catholics, and many other Christians, of praying, fasting and almsgiving during Lent is for the purpose of acknowledging that we have turned our hearts and minds away from God. By fasting or "giving up" some small indulgence or habit that keeps our focus from being on Christ we begin to repair our relationship with God. Thus, denying ourselves Diet Coke...chocolate...Facebook, etc...we acknowledge that we are not being our best version of self...the best version that we are in Christ.
So,when those 40-Days of Lent are over...when we are celebrating Christ's triumphant conquer over death (Easter), that is precisely the wrong time to go back to old habits! If our old ways are "sinful" = "death" then we don't want to return to those practices. We don't want to put the cloak of sinfulness back on when we've just gone through this season of purification in order to renew our Baptismal vows. Rather, we want to live on in the light of Christ drawing ever closer to him through prayer and a life dedicated to doing His will.
So, if social media is a problem for you...if you find it interfering with your familial relationships and your relationship with our Heavenly Father than by all means give it up...or at least set up some boundaries to adhere to. But, if like me, you find that you have been able to designate specific times for these activities and/or that you can use them to grow deeper in your spiritual relationship with God and for sharing your love of Christ, then do not feel guilty for not giving up "the book"! ;)
Blessings to you,