Did you give up Facebook for Lent? The Revd Audrey Scanlan, Bishop-elect of Central Pennsylvania, did. On her return, she offered some reflections via a public Facebook post on her fast. Quoting with her permission, she said in part:
When I was a little girl, we would sometimes go on “pajama rides” after our supper and a bath; I loved driving through neighborhoods and wondering what was happening in each of the houses as we drove by… families clustered around dinner tables, the glow of tvs in living rooms, someone at a kitchen window washing the dishes in the sink, an old grandpa sitting on a porch swing smoking a cigar… FB is not too far from the old-fashioned pajama ride- except instead of using one’s imagination, one is privy to what is happening.
That said, FB is a construct that allows us to project what we want the world to see and know of us. One of my friends quit FB because it made her feel bad. She said that her life didn’t “measure up.” She didn’t understand that FB is a one-dimensional representation of how we want the world to see us. It may be Truth… but it is not the Whole Truth.
Scanlan missed some things:
Without FB, I did not get to see Kute Kat videos or go down the rabbit hole of perverse theological debates on things like the pros and cons of foot washing vs. hand washing on Maundy Thursday. I did not get to view the “People of Walmart” latest installation and was left wondering about Bruce Jenner’s happiness.
Without FB, I did not get to see pictures of my friend’s first grand baby or learn of the death of a classmate’s parent. I missed wedding photos, party pictures and, sadly, international news items.
My FB half-hour would have been best spent replacing it with a good news source.
Learned some things:
I’ve learned that the details of my life- and of my hundred of friends’ lives- are (at the same time) mundane and extraordinary. To go without broadcasting them or having access to my friends’ life details is, for the most part, not a big deal. No one really cares what I cooked for dinner last night. And yet, there is joy to be found in the details. And much holiness, really, in the “old brown shoe” day-to-day-ness of our walk. And we care deeply about the little things. Because it’s the little things that add up to the measure of our lives.
Wondered a little about the future:
I’ve been cautioned by many that with my new “job,” my FB postings will need to change. I disagree. I’m pretty sure that anyone in Central Pennsylvania will not care if I post pictures of family dinners with us tying napkins on our heads. It is a family tradition. And folks in Central Pennsylvania seem pretty cool with family stuff.
Did you fast from social media for Lent? How did it affect your relationships? Your time? Your attitude towards what you share? Your spirituality? Have you made any resolutions for your return?
Posted by Rosalind Hughes