I thought about writing this last weekend, at the end of Lent, but…well, I didn’t. Obviously. But I decided to write about it anyway. Better late than never.
This year for Lent I decided to fast from Facebook.
I know. I’ve groaned at so many people (only inwardly, I promise) for doing that same thing over the years. So lame, I thought.
But I just needed some space in my head. It’s pretty noisy in there as a rule. But the constant barrage of information from Facebook was getting to me. So. Much. Information.
It snowed where a friend lives; look, a photo of her driveway. Here’s an article I should read. Opinions I agree with. Opinions I disagree with. Arguments. More pictures. So very many pictures. Another friend made a new kind of pasta for dinner. Good information mixed in with stuff I don’t care anything about. Important news and the minutiae of life from people I barely knew 20 years ago and people I love dearly. All of it.
And what’s worse, I was subjecting myself to it constantly. Scrolling through when I woke up in the morning, last thing before bed, and anytime I had a spare three seconds throughout the day. Scroll, read, absorb more minutiae.
I realized all this as I was thinking about what to give up for Lent. I wanted to observe the Lenten season. I wanted to be intentional about preparing for Easter. I love Easter. (How can you be a Christian and not love Easter; the resurrection is the foundation of our faith!) So it just all fit together for me and I decided to take a break from All The Information during Lent.
My scrolling finger was a little itchy for the first few days, but then I relaxed and really enjoyed it. I did use Facebook messaging; people use it like e-mail, so it’s hard to avoid. But I didn’t scroll, read, post or comment.
That left me with more time to read actual books. Instead of picking up my phone and aimlessly scrolling, I picked up a book and read. It was awesome. (I’m keeping track of my reading on Goodreads these days, if you’re dying to know what I’ve been reading.)
Near the end of Lent, I discovered that the Daily Office (Anglican morning and evening prayers) is available online — wait for it — as an audio file.
I adore the internet. I really do. Instead of flipping through a prayer book to find the readings and prayers, I can now simply listen to someone else read them. Amazing! Trust me, it’s a much more peaceful way to begin and end my day compared to reading someone’s opinion on the latest season finale.
I would much rather be formed by the Word and prayer – means of grace – than by the musings of friends. Taking an intentional break from Facebook helped me find this new habit.
If you happen to be interested…I first started listening to the Daily Office at Cradle of Prayer and then discovered The Trinity Mission, which I prefer. The first one is nice because there are two voices, the priest and a cantor. I like that there’s singing, and I like that someone else says the responses, but when they pray together they sound like aliens. (I’m not even kidding. Listen to one and you’ll see what I mean. I imagine red, swirly eyes like on a cartoon.) The Trinity Mission is read by one person, and there’s no singing. It’s a really nice way to start and end your day and I recommend it to you!
I’ve also been listening to a podcast about Anglicanism which I have found very helpful.
So what I’m saying is, during Lent I became Anglican. 🙂
I’m sort of kidding but sort of not. I’ve leaned that way for awhile now. I love a high church service. I love the peace, the beauty, the order that I find there. And as I’m learning more about Anglican traditions and beliefs, I continue to feel at home in that tradition.
As for Facebook, I’m back. I don’t think anyone missed me, which is appropriately humbling. However, I did delete the app from my phone and plan to confine my Facebook use to our desktop computer. No more aimless scrolling in bed, in the kitchen, at stoplights…(I wish I were kidding.)
Anyone else end or begin a new habit during Lent? Have you ever tried to quit Facebook? Anyone else super interested in Anglicanism and want to talk with me about it? 😉 (My youngest sister is the only ear I have at this point. If anyone else I know is similarly interested, I’d be shocked and thrilled!)