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The Lent Connection: Reflections of disconnecting with Social Media

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The opening scene of Holy week depicts a scene where Jesus, an unlikely king, is riding a donkey into a city as a new symbol of hope.  Sometimes Hope doesn’t look like what or who we wanted. It looks inadequate at first but it is what is needed.

I think hope exists in the times when I am the most hopeless.  I whine when life gets too overwhelming and I  start to become angry when a small thing doesn’t go our way or we will try to spite someone who has it better than we do and we know that if they were my friend this wouldn’t be the case.

Regardless of my lousy attitude and or actions I know there is Love, which treats most of our ailments.  It may only look like a small amount but we are given more than we are aware and it is pretty potent. 

We live in a world that it is easier to observe than it is to love.  The internet gives us insight to the lives of not only famous people but our acquaintances, friends, and family members that has never been available in the rest of history.  I found myself knowing a lot about people I know through a news feed but never really connecting with them or myself due to the distraction social media had become. After this realization I made an important decision: I decided to give up social media as a vice for Lent (full disclosure: I didn’t include Sundays because in the early Church they were considered feast days so I would log on those days but not very long). I did this because I felt like was only accessing a representation of people’s lives.  While it is great to update people on the internet, it is hard to see who a person really is on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and even more so to know who they are and by extension, to love them.

I generally use these networks to post what I have written or created to share with others.  As a writer, I like when someone has seen what I have written and enjoys it. It is like a dancer receiving applause  after giving a performance.  The reader doesn’t see the missteps and falls from the previous drafts.

It is nice but in my case it was at the point where I was hoping and anticipating the praise too much.  I was afraid to write what I really felt and create the projects I wanted to make.  The acknowledgement was addicting and I was numb when it was silent or when no one saw the piece I posted online after I spent so much time working on it.  I was miserable and I forgot creating was more important than accolades. Fulfillment never comes from the comments other people make.  It serves as a good push to keep going forward but not to sustain the pace long term.

I learned how to be brave as a writer and an artist. It is important to stand by your work even if it isn’t perfect or if no one notices it.  I have also grown closer to My creator and I understand him more because of this experience.

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Posted by on April 4, 2015 in Writing

 

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