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My Experience: Giving Up Instagram For Lent

For Lent, we are encouraged to give up a luxury or something we enjoy in order to replicate the journey Jesus made for 40 days with no food or water. We do this to show our appreciation for what he did for us. Also in this process, we have hopes of growing as a person or to realize we are blessed with what we have.   

Why I gave it up?

I personally really enjoy looking at the different pictures on Instagram of my friends and family from back home while I am away at school. Instagram would allow me to see what my friends at other colleges and my family at home are up to. When I see their pictures I know what they are doing and it is like I am still with them. I also enjoy looking at beautiful, color-coordinated feeds that are aesthetically pleasing. Sometimes… OK, maybe a lot of times… I would get caught up looking at Instagram when I was supposed to be studying, doing homework, getting ready or procrastinating from doing anything else. I felt as though I could make better use of my time by giving it up, even though I do enjoy it.

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What have I noticed since giving it up?

Now that I have not been using Instagram for about three weeks I have noticed a few things. Firstly, I noticed that I don’t even miss it. Prior to giving it up, I thought I would feel like I was out of the loop. I realize that if I want to know what my family or friends are doing, I can Snapchat them or call them. With that being said, I realized how much I actually dislike Instagram because it is not a personal form of social media. Although I was not a huge fan of the new Snapchat update, like most people, it is a much better form of communication. On Instagram, besides tossing your friends a red heart or a comment saying “Cuteee” or “Pretty,” there is not much communication in the app. On Snapchat, I enjoy how most of the time there is an ongoing, private conversation taking place, so I am actually able to communicate with people I really want to talk to. On Instagram, I would waste so much of my time looking at pictures of people I am not even that close with, whereas now my social media use is focused on communicating with people I actually want to talk to.

Have I benefitted from giving it up?

As a result of giving up Instagram I, use my time more wisely. I do not procrastinate on my phone as much anymore because after I check my Snapchats, texts, and emails I really don’t have any other reason to keep looking at my phone. I have more time to do things I enjoy now, like hanging out with my friends when I have all of my school work done earlier, because I have not spent time scrolling on Instagram for an hour before getting started on my homework. I also feel happy with the choice I made because I realized how blessed I am to be living the life I am living. I am taking my time away from Instagram to appreciate life without being glued to the screen of my phone looking at pictures of someone else living their life.

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Sam is a freshman at Siena Collge. She is loving every moment of her first year of college and looks forward to sharing it with her readers!
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