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March 5th, 2014

CHRISTINA — DAY 1: And so it begins

Lenten Facebook Fast

 
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I should start by admitting that this is not the first time I’ve given up Facebook for Lent. Note: this won’t be a blog about how hard it is to give up Facebook for the first time. This time around, I didn’t choose to do it to simply see if I could do it at all. I didn’t choose to do it because I was uninspired about what to give up for Lent this year and felt the need to hit replay (e.g., “I guess I’ll give up chocolate again this year.”).  This time, it’s for deeper reasons.

Facebook is a huge part of my life. It occupies my early morning hours before I leave for the day, waiting for the bus, riding the bus, waiting in line, taking a mental reprieve from lecture in class, killing time before dinner, and powering down in the last few minutes before going to sleep. The first time I was introduced to giving up Facebook for Lent was from a friend’s Facebook wall post that she was doing it. I thought, certainly, I can’t do that. The next year, I gave it up. However, I looked at it kind of like giving up an addiction. Facebook was like caffeine: I dreaded my withdrawal. I made it through. I didn’t get headaches — that I remember.

So, I’ve conquered the addiction. I’ve proved to myself I can do it. And that’s what the first time around was all about. This year is different. I chose to do it again because I’ve really started to question what Facebook adds to my life and what it takes away. I still spend just as much time Facebooking as I did before I gave it up for Lent the first time, but the first time I wasn’t learning. I was just proving. This time, I want to ask the hard questions.

The other day, a friend of mine told me she was deleting her Facebook profile, for good. I thought to myself: I could never do that! Who knows? Who knows where this Lenten fast will lead.

 
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The Author : Christina Gebel
Christina Gebel has theology and psychology degrees from a Midwest Catholic university. After college, she spent two years as a full-time volunteer at a faith-based organization in Chicago. In her free time, she enjoys writing, taking walks, photography, and serving as a doula. She currently resides on the East Coast and is pursuing a master’s degree of public health in maternal and child health.
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  • Griselda

    I am on the exact same boat! Deleted all of my social network accounts because I really don’t think they add anything vital to my life. I want to try to be less of the world, and more of God. “Lord, empty me of me, and fill me with You.” Blessings!

  • Veronica

    I gave up Facebook last year, and also “survived”. I thought about doing it again this year. But, THIS year, things have changed. I’m still underemployed, so much that I had to move in with my aunt, and I need the “contact” that FB provides. Instead of giving it up completely, I’m going to limit my FB time to one hour a day. The rest of the time I would waste on it, I’ll read a devotional book and pray the Rosary, and help with a parish ministry.

  • Arleen McClung

    I think about this sometimes too. But I think rather than giving it up forever. Maybe thinking about how you use it and maybe ditching some of the parts that are less valuable is another option. Also limiting the amount of times you check it. I think it depends on the individual. :-)

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