201. A Social Media Fast

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Nowadays many people are social media fanatics. They are always looking at their mobile phones or tablets and updating their Twitter or Facebook accounts. They are taking pictures of what they eat or taking pictures of themselves, which is called "selfies". When people are not oversharing, they are constantly reading or looking at what friends and family members are posting. Social media is becoming addicting.

Research shows that most people spend on average almost 4 hours a day on social networking sites. That's almost 30 hours a week. While some people need and use social media for work or to stay in touch with friends, other people find that using social media so much causes anxiety and stress. People also tend to use social media as a way to procrastinate. So just as many religions ask people to abstain, or not to have certain foods or drinks for a certain time, many people are taking social media fasts. They are not updating their statuses, and they are also not reading what other people are posting. They choose to stay away from social media for 30 days.

Ironically, the details of these fasts can be found on social networking sites all over the Internet. The reasons people undertake a fast are varied. Some people want to reconnect with their families or friends by disconnecting from their cell phones. Some people want to be more productive at work. What did some fasters do instead of logging on? Some decided to connect with friends by actually sitting down and having face-to-face conversations. If friends or loved ones were far away, they would call them on the telephone instead. Some even wrote handwritten postcards or letters. The results were mixed. Some people felt that not using social media made them more anxious. Others developed more positive habits like journaling or meditating.

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