I am by no means a completely religious man. I have faith, sure, but church and I haven’t been seen together lately (outside of a few visits to my neighbor’s congregation). However, tomorrow is Lent, and we Catholics are supposed to sacrifice something for 40 days (until Easter Sunday for those rushing to calendars) to make us better people or something. I haven’t given anything up for Lent in a really long time (again, bad religious guy), but this year I’ve decided to take the plunge. I had been thinking of giving up that which I’ve decided to give up for Lent for a long time now; I’ve thought at length about what, if anything, this thing is adding to my life. I’ve come to realize that, outside of a few laughs and a few other small perks, that this thing which I used to treasure has become more of a burden than anything else.
Social media, it’s time you and I went our separate ways for a little while.
Whenever I log on to Facebook or Twitter any more, one of three things happen: I chuckle at a funny picture or joke, I get angry at someone being a moron, or I have no reaction at all. I just scroll through my feed endlessly, looking for something to pique my interest. What’s more, some of the discussions I do see on either feed get me so riled up than they can actually change my mood. I could be feeling more productive than ever, the world is my oyster, then I’ll read a Tweet from some idiot talking about God knows what and I’ll come to a screeching halt. It’s time to break free.
For damn near ten years I’ve spent at least five to ten minutes a day wondering what other people are up to. It used to be interesting, it used to be fun; now it’s either someone complaining about their lives, someone complaining about current events, someone complaining about all the people on Facebook complaining about stuff, or cats. I’ve realized that outside of the occasional link to an interesting article or conversation with a friend or peer that I don’t normally see, Facebook and Twitter have added nothing to my life in a long time, so I’ve decided to take a 40-day break. Score points with the big guy upstairs AND try to break free of these social media chains; it’s a win-win.
Most importantly, I realized that a few 140-character thoughts on Twitter or status updates on Facebook could turn into blog posts or even freelance ideas elsewhere. I figure since I’m losing my ability to quickly spout off and say something stupid about something, I can instead turn here to the personal blog, gather my thoughts, and write something more fleshed out. Who knows, my writing may even be better off for it.
Now, there are two caveats: one, I set up this blog to automatically post links to anything I publish on Facebook and Twitter, because I intend to include links to my work in my blog post ramblings. Also, it’ll make it easier for anything who decides to read the dumb crap I write on here a quick way to see that I posted something. Some may call that cheating, but it does not require me to sign on to either Facebook or Twitter, so I call it sound logic.
Second, there is the Lenten rule that whatever is given up is allowed to be used on Sundays, so you might see me on Sundays post a thing or two, but I don’t want to make a habit of it.
So there ya go, my manifesto on my plans for the next forty days or so. Thanks for indulging me! Click on “Portfolio” up top to see my latest works, and maybe click on that “Talk to Me” next to it and drop me a line once in a while. No one said anything about emails!