Finding Balance Doesn’t Always Mean “Giving Up”

If you’re reading this, you’re probably not in the club of people who have given up social media for Lent.

I’m with you.

I’ve discovered that maybe what I need isn’t an all-or-nothing approach. Maybe what I need is balance.

One year, about halfway through Lent, I felt very convicted that I needed to institute Offline Evenings. The concept was so simple it seemed silly: close the laptop and don’t go online after dinner.

That meant not checking email to see if I’d gotten a reply to something important, not cruising around the blogosphere to see what wisdom awaited me, not playing on Twitter or Facebook or any of the rest.

Those were the days before the infiltration of small online devices–iPad, iPod Touch, phone–sneaking the internet into my every waking moment. Back then, I could just close the lid to my laptop, pick up a book or a basket of laundry, and continue on my merry way.

These days, I’ll admit I’m having a harder time. I can text updates from my phone. I can play Words with Friends and then easily dip into email. I can fritter away an entire evening online before I realize I’m breaking my own rule.

It doesn’t seem to hurt anything, at least not at first.

Then I see the stack of reading I haven’t done, feel the cross-eyed headache from staring at a screen for too long, and, if I’m lucky, I realize something’s wrong.

It would have been easier, in many ways, to give up the internet. It would have been less effort, in many ways, to just go back to pen and paper.

What I need to do is learn to balance the good of these tools with the addictive pull I feel to use them all! the! time!

Without balance, I can’t use these tools effectively for anything, much less any sort of evangelization. When the people in my home see them taking over my life, my mind, my existence, what example do I set?

For what’s left of Lent, I’m going to keep struggling with balancing. Because it’s worth it.
Copyright © 2012, Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard continues to be shocked and delighted that her life as a grown-up involve horses, writing, and sparkly dress shoes. In her work in the New Evangelization as a Catholic wife, mom, writer, parish employee, and catechist, she’s learned a lot of lessons, had a lot of laughs, and consumed mass amounts of coffee. She’s online at and, and is the author of a number of books.

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