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Why I’m Giving Up Facebook, Twitter and Instagram During Lent

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Imagine walking into a huge room with six thousand people in it. Everyone is standing around talking. The Christians are in one section discussing theology, engaging the culture and why so many prominent Christian Rappers are selling out. Others are pulling out pictures of what they had for a lunch a few minutes ago. A group of guys are arguing about who is the better basketball player: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James or Wilt Chamberlain. Several women are gathered showing off pictures of their children. The Pastors and ministers are taking turns sharing inspirational quotes. The musicians and artists are passing out fliers for their new CD’s, concerts, radio appearances and music videos.

You’d be overwhelmed if you walked into that huge room and attempted to participate or even listen in on each one of these conversations. Every time I log onto Facebook, Twitter or Instagram this is what I experience: a couple of thousand different voices talking about many different things.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Social Media. Chances are, if you are reading this, we are probably connected on one of the Social Networks. You may even be reading this article because of a link on one of my social media profiles. I’ll explain later on why my profiles are still active on social media even though I’m not personally logging in right now.

Social Media has actually afforded me the opportunity to make a living promoting Christian Hip Hop Music and Artists. So, I’m very grateful for visionaries like Mark Zuckerburg (Facebook Founder) and Jack Dorsey (Twitter & Square Co-Founder).

Despite the blessing that it has been for me personally, there are four reasons why I decided to give up FacebookTwitter and Instagram during lent this year.

1. I Need to Clearly Hear from God During this Season

I have a lot on my mind these days. My Grandfather, whom I am very close with, has been in the hospital the past 2 months. I’ve been presented with a couple of ministry opportunities that I want to ensure I’m in step with God on. In addition, my responsibilities at church have increased (I’m a candidate to be a Deacon) and I don’t want to burn out.

As I mentioned above, I hear thousands of voices every day when I log in to one of the three major networks. If I’m honest, it has clouded my ability to hear from God. Sometimes I’ll worry about how my radio listeners will react when I know I need to make a decision. No disrespect to those of you who support me, but God’s voice should matter most. At times I have allowed the voice of social media to dictate what decision I made instead of the voice of God. I need to reverse that.

2. I Spend Too Much Time on the Major Social Networks

When I look at how I spend most of my day, a lot of it is tied up in Social Media. While I do try to limit how much time I spend on the networks, I still spend a lot of time there. Too much actually. If I’m on the phone with someone, chances are I am probably on Facebook or Twitter as well reading my timelines and news feeds. I have even began checking updates or typing status messages when I am in my car driving. The last sentence is embarrassing to write, but it’s the truth. Hopefully, a 40-day detox can help me re-set a bit when it comes to my social media usage.

3. I Need to Better Discipline Myself on How I spend My Time Online

I also hope a 40-day fast can help me develop better discipline in how I spend my time online. Many studies have shown that habits can be broken and/or created within a 21-day window. My goal is during this 40-day detox, I can better prepare myself to exhibit self-control and time management in this area.

While, I do enjoy keeping up with friends and family on the networks and engaging in conversation with my radio listeners and supporters, I do need to ensure that I am not spending time on lower priority items at the expense of what should be higher priority items. Some of it is necessary. Keeping up with the latest music and news is part of this ministry. However, not all of my time on social media is spent doing those things.

4. Lent Is a Season of Sacrifice and Fasting

Many Catholics give up a luxury during lent as sign of repentance and penitence. While I do feel that my social media usage has been sinful at times, I don’t want to do this solely as a sign of repentance. We can’t do enough good works to please God and me giving up social media for 40-days is certainly not enough to pay for my sin.

I do believe this period of sacrifice and fasting will help me draw nearer to God. Especially since this is already a heightened spiritual time for me, given that we are now less that 40-days away from celebrating Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. I am committing myself to use this extra time to pray and read the Bible.

Now, can I achieve those four things while still being on social media? Possibly. I want to give myself every opportunity to trust God and develop more discipline, though. Recently, I have found myself checking my phone every 5 minutes to keep up with comments, email, breaking news, status updates and the like. Again, there is a place for this, I just fear that I could be creating an idol with the amount of time I am spending on  FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Will my Social Networks be updated during lent?

Yes. Currently, prior to the fast, much of our web content was posted on Facebook via RSS Feeds. That will not stop during this time. I won’t be checking direct messages however. On Twitter, several members of our team (Rasheda and Jacob) have my passwords and they will check those periodically as many people use those to ask questions, find out how to submit music, inquiring about booking me for an event or asking me to host their mixtape. Rasheda and Jacob will also post status updates alerting everyone to new content on the site as well.

In Isaiah 6, the prophet Isaiah remarked that it was in the year that King Uzziah died that he finally saw The Lord. Many theologians have interpreted that passage to mean Isaiah couldn’t have a genuine relationship with God until Uzziah died because the king was such a big part of Isaiah’s life. I don’t want Social Media to become my King Uzziah. I want to enjoy genuine fellowship with God right now. Please keep me in prayer … this is will not be easy for me by any means. I do feel it’s necessary right now. I need to make sure nothing comes between me and God.

If you want to keep tabs on how well I’m doing with staying off the networks, you can follow along via FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

 

Questions:

  • Do you think I will be able to successfully keep my social media fast?
  • What are you giving up for lent?
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DJ Wade-O is a New Jersey-based DJ, Radio Host/Producer and blogger who loves Jesus.  He's married and has 3 kids. He also has a tendency to binge watch TV Series via Netflix and Amazon Prime.

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