Here is a quick and dirty list of things I’ve learned during this past Lent season. I gave up social media and news and I’m grateful for the experience!
If I want friends, I have to work for them.
This is not entirely news to me. But sometimes we forget the obvious.
When I was younger and in school I had a bunch of friends! I got to see them everyday for several hours a day. I didn’t have to try to nurture these friendships because they sort of fell into my lap. Of course I had to choose which groups to belong to and who to consider an acquaintance and who would be my BFF, but overall it was pretty easy to keep up with people.
Once I entered the workforce and became an “adult” my pool of friends shrunk. I was lucky if had one or two co-workers that I could hang out with outside of work. I’m sure if I were an outgoing social butterfly this wouldn’t be so hard, but alas I am not. Building relationships from scratch is not a strength of mine.
I felt a false sense of community.
Maybe I’m alone in this, but once I was off social media, my world suddenly got smaller and quiet. very quiet.
I went from knowing the daily whereabouts of my friends form NYC, Florida, Denver, London etc, to forgetting they even exist (total exaggeration).
I couldn’t see who was at Disney Land, who had just worked out, who just ordered a latte from Alfred Coffee, who’s birthday it was, who just got married, blah. blah. blah.
Did that part bother me? No, not really. What really bothered me was the fact that nobody, except a small group of friends and family (you know who you are) actually tried to get in touch with me over the last month and a half or so.
This is not a blame game or anything, I’m just pointing out the reality of my situation. I realized that I didn’t EARN the role of “friend” in a lot of people’s lives. That didn’t bother me before, because I was always getting snapshots of their lives on instagram regardless of my rank and station.
Once I withdrew from social media completely, I got a reality check of who I wanted to stay in touch with, and which friends really wanted to stay in touch with me. A lot less people than you’d think.
Not reading and hearing about the news made me less agitated.
This is a no brainer. Need I say more?
I have more time than I think
It’s not like I was spending hours on social media in the first place, but I think I got a lot more done when I was off it completely. I don’t know exactly why. Maybe I felt the fire under my butt to actually make good use of my time? Either way, I baked more, I finished at least 2 books, and I was more present with Rowen when we would play together.
I’m going to be wiser with the time I spend online and I’m going to make an effort to nurture friendships by spending *gasp* time with people. Like, have them over for dinner. I know, shocker.