This week saw the beginning of Lent, which is described as follows:
“Lent is the Christian observance of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday.”
Traditionally, during the time of Lent those who observe it either do something consistently or give up something that they know is detrimental to them – or is a habit they;d like to eliminate. Common things include smoking, drinking or eating junk food.
But we;re in the 21st century now, and perhaps it’s time we look at a few of the things that in today’s day and age you could give up for Lent that would make an impact.
1. Social Media
This is a biggie.
What if you quit tweeting during Lent? Imagine steering clear of Facebook for that long of a spell? Maybe you should stop checking in on Foursquare instead?
These may seem like tall orders, but not too long ago these things didnt even exist. Think about how much you’d get done – and be able to do – if you only paid attention to social media when it was absolutely required, like at your place of work.
One thing you could look at doing is only tweeting the writing you do on your website during Lent. After all, there are plugins or services that will do that for you.
Giving up social media for Lent seems huge, but think of the value you’ll get by engaging people by other means for a substantial time period rather than via status updates and retweets. It’s worth exploring.
2. Mobile Gadgets
We all love our gadgets. Whether it starts with an “i” or not, they keep us connected to a world that’d be tougher to reach without them.
Why not take this time of year to set them aside and keep things on your laptop or desktop computer and not take them with you everywhere you go? If that’s not possible, restrict yourself to only the necessary times and applications on the mobile devices you own.
Not using these devices during Lent may seem difficult – if not impossible – but that’s all the more reason to make an effort to do so, isn’t it?
Wouldn’t it be great to not have to deal with email during this time of year? Think about the freedom you’d have of not wondering when the next one was going to arrive.
Again, quitting email for Lent may not be a luxury you can afford if your job relies on it as a means of communication. But what if you gave up personal email? Adjusted the times when you’ll check it?
There are tools out there (AwayFind, for example) that can help you do this, and even Gmail has an autoresponder that may be usually reserved for vacation time. If you look at this as a “vacation from email”, then using the autoresponder built into Gmail is an easy thing to do.
And you wouldn’t concern yourself with getting to Inbox Zero every day, either.
These are just three of the modern conveniences (or tetherings) we have that you could give up if you observe Lent. In fact, they may be tougher to stay away from than the old stand-by vices I mentioned off the top.
If you’re observing Lent, what are you giving up (or focusing on doing) and why? Let us know in the comments below.
(Photo credit: Conceptual Image of Faith via Shutterstock)