Why I'm Giving Up Scrolling Social Media for Lent

As we all know, Lent is the period of time during which, traditionally, Christians would give up a "luxury" of theirs, in order to teach themselves to live in a godlier way and to repent their sins. In today's world, many people - no matter their beliefs or religion - will use Lent as a time to give up something that's deemed bad for them, whether that be a certain unhealthy food, habit or activity (e.g. smoking).

I've never tended to practise Lent, as there has never really been anything I've felt so strongly compelled to give up. However, this year I have had a rather grand change of heart as I've taken the time to sit back an analyse my habitual behaviours. Being a millennial (albeit not a good one - I don't even like G&T's!?), my phone is somewhat my life-support; something that facilitates most of the activities I undertake on a daily basis. Although I do indeed need my phone for some of the most banal tasks e.g. getting on the bus (my bus tickets are stored on a smart app), listening to music on my commute up to uni and checking the time, I've realised that I spend far too much of my time mindlessly scrolling through social media, which is what I've decided to give up for Lent.

We have all fallen victim to the aimless habit of scrolling through the likes of Instagram and Facebook, as it's a good way to pass little titbits of time such as waiting for the bus or a friend to arrive. But, what seems as such a innocuous, blasé thing to do actually contributes to unknowingly worsening our mental health and wasting such precious time that could be so much more productively spent.

Now, I say that social media having an adverse affect on our metal health is "unknowingly" done, but in reality, our society is actually becoming so much more aware of the drawbacks of social media, but many of us are choosing to ignore them and to turn our backs on the problem because we don't think it is - or can - affect us. Me included. But when you take a step back and evaluate the amount of times we actually finish a scroll-session feeling inadequate about ourselves or wishing we looked like someone else, it's utterly mind-boggling to realise that these thoughts do in fact traverse our minds every single day.

Scrolling through my social media is just such a royal waste of my time and I wouldn't say that the benefits of it being slightly entertaining and keeping me occupied warrant the massive disadvantages that it brings; the fact that I find myself constantly comparing myself to those I find on my feed and feeling, as a result very inadequate. Most of the images we're exposed to have been meticulously edited, or the people in them have had so much work done, that this image of perfection that we are striving to be doesn't even exist! How can we justify comparing ourselves against a level of appearance that isn't even natural? More so, why are we judging ourselves and other solely on the way we look, or the aesthetics of our instagram feeds and not our intellect, social capacity or kindness!?

Don't me wrong - I do enjoy social media and I think it brings so many advantages with its use, I mean... I own a blog for goodness sake! I will still continue to post at my leisure and when I feel happy to, but I will ensure that it will be for my benefit. I'm not going to concentrate on how many likes, views or clicks I receive, because at the end of the day those numbers are an indication of absolutely nothing tangible or valuable, but as long as posting whatever I'm posting is actually making me feel happy, then I'll continue to do so. It's the time-wasting, mentally deranging and underproductive components that I am going to steer well clear of this Lent.

This is why I feel it's high time for me to put my phone down much more often and appreciate the real things in life; the face-to-face social interactions I have with my friends, the feeling of receiving or giving a hug to my mum or best friend or even just keeping my chin up and watching the world go by instead of having my head buried into the depths of Instagram! I'm bored of this feeling of inadequacy that social media is just feeding into, and I am one million percent certain that I will feel so much more positive, open and willing to experience every little detail in life when I'm actually living it - and not living virtually through the glass of my phone screen.

I hope my thumbs thanks me for the rest I'm about to give them!


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