Giving Up Facebook for Lent

Giving Up Facebook for Lent
Dan Gould
  • 25 february 2009

What strange times we live in. A topic that’s been popping up on the radar recently is whether or not people should give up Facebook for Lent. For those unfamiliar, Lent is a Christian based forty day long period of fasting and prayer that occurs before Easter. Traditionally participants give up something (candy, fast food, TV) as a sign of faith.

It’s interesting to observe how invested in social networking we’ve become. People are doing a lot of hand-wringing over the potential problems that may come from giving up Facebook for forty days. There is even a guide on Cnet called “How to give up Facebook for Lent and keep your friends”. The benefits of these social networking sites are plenty, but it’s curious how they have become a combination of vice and lifeline in many user’s lives.

CNN reports:

For some, it’s chocolate. For others, it’s coffee or cigarettes. But as this Easter approaches, some young and devout Christians are anxious to return to what they gave up for Lent: Internet sites Facebook and MySpace.

Many users describe the popular social networking sites as addictive, which is why they say giving up these 21st-century temptations is a sincere sacrifice. Members on both sites create profiles and add each other as friends. They can also share messages, photos, videos and personal blogs.

“It’s been hard, especially in the beginning,” said Kerry Graham, who says she gave up Facebook for Lent. Her boyfriend challenged her to do so, describing her as a “Facebook fiend.”

During the first days of Lent, the 23-year-old graduate student admits she had to stop herself from typing the site’s Web address nearly every time she checked her e-mail.

Graham, who was raised Catholic, is studying theology at the University of Nottingham in England. She’s far from her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, and said the distance has made the sacrifice more difficult.

“If I’m missing someone, there’s no real way to let them know,” she said.

that Facebook and social networking are viewed a s a kind of vice or bad habit – which it can be. It’s also interesting the level of concern some articles have been giving it “will I loose my friends if I give up Facebook?”

CNN: “Students Give Up Facebook for Lent”

image: @onefloorup

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