Remember when social media fasting was trending during Lent?

My big undertaking for Lent was to fast from Facebook, and though it wasn’t complete, it was my first attempt and pretty strict. It was such a huge change for me that months later, I’m still processing the experience and reaping rewards from the fast. My takeaway is that when you de-clutter your life, God has space to bless you more abundantly.

My biggest blessing was that I was offered three separate professional opportunities during my Facebook fast. Though I was poking around, all of them seemed to come out of nowhere. I also increased my profits for my own business during the fast.

People have different ways of explaining these mysterious shifts or windfalls that happen in life and I’m not an expert on each of the philosophies, so I’ll stay simple. Quitting Facebook temporarily was kind of like deep cleaning my house and feeling satisfied that I made more room for my current belongings and new things to come. Similarly, the results of my Facebook fast make made me wonder if God knew I wanted more in my life and for some reason, wasn’t going to give me anything until I cleared some space. I needed to de-clutter my daily social media routine to make room for the blessings.

Now, I frankly assumed that God would have answered my prayers and made room for his gifts himself. But, every time I think that I should be able to just sit back and reap rewards without making an effort to sew anything, I find myself in the midst of a lesson that teaches me otherwise. Sewing, by the way, doesn’t have to be a huge and draining undertaking. It can be a simple shift in focus.

So, is social media cluttering your life in an unhelpful, unproductive or “unfun” way? If it is, you might benefit from tracking the time you spend on social media per day, or be more mindful about your interactions and how they make you feel. A document that recently made the rounds, the 10 commandments for the digital age, can also help you reflect upon how to use social media positively. Though many were amused by the way it encourages us to share “digital smiles,” I think a lot of us can resonate with the intention behind these commandments after years spent behind a computer.

Since my fast ended, I am more conscious about the way I use social media but am amazed by how quickly I can go back to my old ways. Scrolling for a “just a few minutes” can turn into longer than I am okay with. Just as traditional dietary fasting is proven to help the body heal and renew itself on top of the spiritual benefits, I’ve discovered that social media fasts are totally worthwhile in any season.

[This piece was published on CatholicMom.com and CatholicLane.com in July 2014]