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April 17th, 2014

CHRISTINA — DAY 44: Signing off!

Lenten Facebook Fast

 
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nobody-314697_1280Well, I did it. In just a few days, I’ll be breaking my Lenten Facebook fast. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this being the end. In a way, I’m excited to get back to the things I’ve missed about Facebook. On the other hand, this time has been a really fruitful self-reflective experience for me, and I’ve learned a lot about my use of Facebook.

I thought I’d end by summarizing all of these things in the all-too-viral Internet list.

The Top Five Things I’ve Learned From My Lenten Facebook Fast

  1. Fasting from technology creates a hunger for “real life” experiences. There were many times when I missed something that Facebook had once given me, e.g., seeing babies grow up or posting a funny status. God was with me on this journey and always sent me those things in a more real, tangible form. He pushed me to share my comedy outside of the virtual world, and He sent me cute babies to visit with in the meantime. I’ve learned not to get stuck in my same-old ways of experiencing life and to challenge myself to find new outlets for things that I love.
  2. Any fast has great spiritual rewards. I’ve replaced my Facebook time in the morning with prayer. I’ve enjoyed it so much that I think I will keep this practice in my mornings. Instead of getting distracted by surfing the Web and running late, I’ve started my mornings in an intentional, peaceful way.
  3. Fasting from technology opens doors to self-betterment and productivity. I’ve gotten so much more done these past 44 days than I would have if I had been on Facebook. Each time I had the urge to log in, I found myself distracting myself with something I really should be working on (like school). It made me realize how much time I was spending just surfing around on Facebook and what I could be doing to be more productive or to work on self-betterment, like taking a reflective walk outside.
  4. Technology is here to stay in our society. So many times this Lent, people told me, “Oh, did you get my Facebook message? Did you get my invite?” I was painfully aware of how “given” things like social media are in our everyday lives. I don’t think this will go away, but I do think that I can change how I engage with things like social media, in hopes of making that engagement more intentional.
  5. Many things in life can be judged by the fruit they bear. Consistently, throughout Lent, I’ve really asked myself what Facebook is bringing into my life, the good and the bad. I’m going to keep this critical eye going forward. I don’t intend to stop using Facebook (I’m sorry if that’s a huge let down). However, I want to improve my relationship with it. If I find it producing bad fruit in my life, I know now to step away. If it produces good fruit, I know what to keep.

So, that’s all for now. Until next time, I’m Christina, signing off! (pun intended)

 
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The Author : Christina Gebel
Christina Gebel has theology and psychology degrees from a Midwest Catholic university. After college, she spent two years as a full-time volunteer at a faith-based organization in Chicago. In her free time, she enjoys writing, taking walks, photography, and serving as a doula. She currently resides on the East Coast and is pursuing a master’s degree of public health in maternal and child health.
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