How to Give Up Technology for Lent

give up tech for lent

Lent is upon us, and with that, many choose to give something up for the next forty days. In 2014, it was found that 33% of Americans were giving up technology during this time. However, this isn’t really possible for many people. They need computers at work, they need access to texting when communicating with close business clients or coworkers, or perhaps they need access to social media to post on a company page. However, if you feel that technology is taking over your life a bit, and many of us do, there are ways to give up technology aspects for Lent without entirely removing it.

What is really the issue?

There is a reason why you want to give up technology, and in order to be successful, you need to find the root of the issue. Are you on your phone too much? Is social media becoming a distraction? Are you binge-watching too many shows? Instead of using a blanket term like “technology,” get down to the exactly what about technology is causing the issue in your life.

lent technology

What aspect of technology is keeping you from living your life? This is what you need to pinpoint when giving up technology for Lent.

Why am I doing this?

Next, we need to ask ourselves why this is an issue for us. For example, let’s say that I am spending too much time on Facebook. I now need to ask myself why I am always going on Facebook. Some reasons may include:

  • boredom.
  • out of habit.
  • entertainment.
  • wanting to stay in the loop with friends/family/that guy I had a crush on in high school.
  • trying to escape my own personal life and/or problems.

Jot down why you go to this activity. This will help you in the next steps.

What do I want my life to look like?

Once the issue is out of  the way, what do you imagine your life being like? Let’s go back to the addicted to Facebook example. By giving this up for Lent, what do you envision your days to be filled with? If you cannot see your life without this distraction, it will be difficult to stick with it. Maybe you want to expand your horizons and find new ways to occupy your time. Perhaps you’ll want to use your time to focus more on your body and mind, improving your health and wellbeing. You may want to use these extra hours to improve your relationships with others. No matter your reasoning, write it down and look at it everyday and/or when you need the motivation to remember why you chose this.

lent technology unplug

What do you see your life looking like when you unplug the cord? This will be your motivation this Lent.
Flickr: Chris Yarzab

How can I supplement this?

Now that we see the true source of the issue and why it has spiraled out of control, we can figure out alternative ways to counteract our longing to do this activity. By finding new or different ways to supplement this, we can have an easier time giving this up for forty days, and possible beyond. Here’s how we could combat these situations:

  • boredom.
    • Find something new to try. Read a book, go for a walk, take up knitting, or try a new class with a friend!
  • out of habit.
    • Notice the warning signs, and snap yourself out of it! If you like to browse through your newsfeed on your phone in bed before you doze off, try playing a relaxing game on your phone, or use a meditation app to center yourself before bed.
  • entertainment.
    • Watch a favorite movie, or meet up with a friend to see the latest flick at the theater. Binge-watch some Netflix. Listen to your favorite band, or dust off your old guitar and create your own music. Try watercolor painting. Find a new recipe to make, and have a friend or family member over to try it with you.
  • wanting to stay in the loop with friends/family/that guy I had a crush on in high school.
    • Give them a call. Shoot them a text. Snail mail a card to say you’re thinking of them. If the person really matters in your life, there are ways to contact them.
  • trying to escape my own personal life and/or problems.
    • This can be a tricky one. This one requires some soul searching, and potentially outside help from a trained professional.

With these tips, you are on your way to keeping your Lent resolution this season once and for all. What tricks have worked for you when giving something up? Do you have any lessons learned? Share with us in our comments!