Giving up Snapchat for 40 days during Lent; What I Realized About my Truest Self and how it leads to JOMO: The Joy of Missing Out
Many months before Ash Wednesday, I decided I wanted to give up Snapchat for Lent. Even though I had turned off the app’s push notifications a while ago, I just felt like I was using it too much.
Often when I went through my Snapchat stories, I closed the app feeling slightly emptier. It’s hard to pinpoint or describe this feeling exactly, but I just began to feel like I was opening and watching everything out of routine, and not really getting any genuine joy or encouragement from a lot of what I was seeing.
I decided Lent would be a good time, and almost an excuse, to give up Snapchat for a while and to focus more on spending time with Jesus and less on social media.
Even though I was sort of excited to take a break from Snapchat, at first I was actually nervous to go off the app.
“What about my streaks?” and “How will people know what I’m up to?” and “How will I know what’s happening around me?” kept going through my head.
I felt obligated to open or respond to my snaps, to stay apart of my group messages, and to be in the know of what was going on (I had FOMO aka Fear Of Missing Out)…
But, then I realized that it was Snapchat– an app– I was worrying about, and how silly it was to actually feel like giving it up was really even a comparable or worthy sacrifice when Jesus gave up food and water in the desert for 40 days.
When Lent first started, there were times I almost instinctively wanted to pull out my phone to “Snapchat” something I was doing. At the same time, however, it was a little freeing to not have to feel obligated to post, open, or respond to anything, to just live my life completely intentionally in what I was doing, without feeling like I needed to post it for everyone to see. I could truly just live in the moment. I definitely experienced a little JOMO: the Joy Of Missing Out.
By the end of the first week, I did not miss Snapchat at all nor did I feel like I was missing out on what other people were doing. I honestly forgot that other people were still using it.
As the weeks went by, I felt like I was growing in my relationship with Jesus, too. It was just easier to pursue Him, when I wasn’t so focused on analyzing whether or not to post something or mindlessly going through stories.
I learned 3 main things when I gave Snapchat up for Lent:
- You don’t, and shouldn’t, need Snapchat to keep up with your closest friends. (And I realized many of my Snapchat “friends” were people I hadn’t actually talked to in years, some I hardly, if at all, even knew who they were.)
- I’m not proud of everything I have sent on Snapchat in an attempt to be liked, funny, or to fit in. I felt like a more genuine version of myself without it.
- I don’t need Snapchat and I don’t need to know what others are doing or vice versa. My identity is in Christ and not in social media (and I continually need to work on remembering this for all social media.)
Don’t get me wrong, I know Snapchat, and social media in general, can be a great way to keep up with old friends or send funny things, and I in no way think it’s wrong if people use it, but for me personally, I gained a lot from taking a break from it. Honestly, I don’t miss it. For now, I don’t know when, or if, I will download it back!
I think everyone can benefit from a little social media detox now and then! Without constant content and information, you might just be surprised at how able to tune into your own thoughts you are 😉
Have you ever experienced JOMO: The Joy of Missing out? Whether with social media or something else? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
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