Sunday, March 05, 2017

Why I Don't Give Up Social Media For Lent

Well, it's that time of year. Time to give up or take on. Lent. My least favorite season (except for late August, which seems to go on forever). I know I'm supposed to love it in some spiritual way. I just don't. It's a season for me to feel guilty for not feeling spiritual about the whole thing. Ah, well.

Anyway, since the invention of social media, one of the most popular Lenten disciplines seems to be giving it up. Eschewing Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Instagram, whatever seemed to be all the rage last Wednesday, as friends bid adieu until Easter. I get it. It soaks up time. It makes you mad. You (can) become a different person by engaging in the various posts and comment.

I honor my friends who give up social media for any period of time. Go. Be at peace. And, yeah, we'll talk about you while you're gone. *wink*

But giving up social media is probably the last thing I'd do for Lent. Here's why:
  • It's my job. My wage-paying work involves planning, scheduling, and posting about The Episcopal Church on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, and a variety of blogs. Timely information is essential to sucessful social media, so I can't wall myself off from it. And I'm not sure it's possible to do the professional part and ignore my personal accounts at the same time. For good or for ill, I can't give up social media for Lent.
  • I can't imagine doing something that takes me out of relationship with family and friends. Facebook, especially, keeps me close to far-flung family, old school chums, and colleagues that I don't often - if ever - see. I intentionally keep the number of "friends" there small - for folks I really want to stay connected with. I love the pictures. I love the silly posts about food or cats or politics. I love watching children grow, relationships blossom, and both happy and sad events unfold. I love going on vacation with y'all and following careers. Why would I give that up? Seems the opposite of what Lent should be, but that's just me.
  • If I give up social media, how would the world keep turning without our Friday Virtual Cocktail Party? Civilization would be fractured. The world as we know it would end. I cannot in good faith be responsible for that. 
So I'm still here, Lent or no. Never fear - our Friday Virtual Cocktail Party shall go on whatever color the season. Cheers!

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