Taking a Stand for Lent

I don’t really do the whole “giving something up for Lent”, I found it was easier to just give up religion (which, as the same joke I make each year, is one thing I definitely won’t be giving up). But I’ve been thinking of something recently, and now seems as good a time as any to give it a try.

My plan is to try and only use social media on my phone while I’m stood up. And my reasons are thus:

1. Cutting down on social media

The first obvious reason is to cut back on how much I use it (which is currently “a lot”). I don’t think social media is a bad thing. Sure it has some issues (social media bubbles, everyone putting their best foot forward, and a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses issue that comes from seeing only other people’s best bits, etc). But I think I use it too much.

To me there’s a kind of faux-productivity which my brain rationalises by saying “Ahh, but to be a super famous successful writer, statesman and all-round wit of a generation, you need a social media presence!” And then after 45 minutes I’ve achieved little more than reading puns, looking at other people’s lunches and delving into a thought piece on what the rise of kale tells us about millennials. It’s not as productive as I might hope.

I do enjoy it, so I don’t feel I need to cut it out completely, but odds are not much has changed in the 15 minutes since I last checked.

2. I’ll, well, stand more

It’ll encourage me to stand up more. I imagine this’ll have close to zero impact on my waistline, but considering I’m sat all day at work, it will hopefully reduce the risk of me having a stroke or something in later life. Assuming I don’t use the standing up as an excuse to get a biscuit.

3. Making it a conscious action

I realised I don’t often consciously go on social media. I go on it often, but I never think about doing it, I just sort of… well, do it. Habit takes over and there I am wasting my time. I’m hoping this’ll make it more of an active decision.

My plan is to always have a book to read and a notepad to jot in so that when I get a spare 5, 10, 20 minutes, instead of killing the time on Twitter, I’ll actually have spent it well. And worked my way through the piles of unread books I currently own (and many more I plan to purchase).

I’m mostly sharing this as I have a terrible, terrible memory, so odds are I’ll forget I’m meant to be doing it. Probably hourly. So if you see me you now know I’m a weak individual who deserves you contempt and can throw things, jeer and otherwise publicly shame me.

But, if you do, I’m totally gonna tweet about it. Just while standing. And eating a biscuit.