My plans for Lent

My plans for Lent

As a practicing Catholic, I observe the season of Lent. Lent is a 40-day period, beginning Ash Wednesday (February 22 this year) and ending on Holy Thursday (April 6), during which Christians engage in a special level of prayer, repentance, and charitable works aimed at identifying ourselves with the sacrifices of Jesus Christ, particularly his 40-day period in the desert, and to prepare ourselves for Easter.

You probably know that Christians and fellow-travelers often give things up for Lent. In the past, I have given up social media for Lent. I will be doing so again in 2023 so that I can reclaim some of the time, attention, and head-space that social media unfortunately sublimates away from me when I use it.

I do this every year, but in the past year, social media has proliferated in quantity as I am now posting not only to Twitter and LinkedIn but also and Mastodon. And with that proliferation, the feeling of being spread too thin that I experience from social media has only worsened. I wrote about my strategy here and hinted about making most social media outlets into "outposts". After 3 months of kicking that strategy around, I decided Lent was a good time to commit to it.

So, for the next 40 days:

  • The only content I'll be posting on social media are links to blog articles, or links to shared items from my Readwise queue, or stuff that auto-posts from other apps like Goodreads or JRNY.
  • Those items will be posted to LinkedIn, Twitter, and Mastodon via Buffer so that I don't have to log in to those sites. Buffer doesn't currently support so I will log in there only long enough to paste and post links.
  • I won't be reading or responding to any replies or direct messages on any of those platforms. If you need to get in touch with me, use the contact form on this website (the link is in the menu at the top) or email me at talbertr at gvsu dot edu.
  • Exception: I'll continue to use LinkedIn because I use their video courses for personal learning, and some people use it for professional communication because they don't have my email.

If you're interested in exploring a Lenten experience of your own this year, I highly recommend Lent with Pope Benedict XVI which gives short daily meditations taken from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's many amazing homilies and writings.