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March 24th, 2014

CHRISTINA — DAY 20: Something We Didn’t Know We Needed

Lenten Facebook Fast

 
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steve-jobs-156930_640Steve Jobs was a visionary. A decade ago, I probably wouldn’t have admitted that. I’ve always been a loyal PC-user, and I never really got into the whole Mac craze. A couple things have softened me. One, I am a photographer, and I do think photo editing on a Mac is superior to editing on a PC and two, Steve Job’s death. Not to be morbid, but his death softened me.

In the weeks following the death of Steve Jobs, I was really impressed by the outpouring of testimonials from all over the world. I was more tuned into the news footage than I expected to be, actually. There was one line, however, that always stuck with me. I don’t remember where I read it, heard it, or even who said it, but it was something to this effect: Steve Jobs gave us something we didn’t even know we needed.

That something was, well, everything: the iPhone, the iPad, the Macbook, iTunes, etc. It is uncanny when you really think about it: this guy invented things that consumers didn’t even know they were looking for or wanted. A true visionary.

If I had ever come face-to-face with Steve Jobs, I would have been one of his biggest skeptics. I am “that person” who clung to her flip phone and refused to start texting until I couldn’t possibly keep withholding. There came a point when I was missing texts from friends who were late, and I found myself waiting sometimes over an hour, trying to call them. “Oh, I didn’t know you don’t have text!”

I finally gave in.

This past weekend, I logged onto Facebook. Yes, it was Sunday and technically Sundays are Lent “free-bee” days, but I still furrow my brow when I think of this idea of a free-bee for Lent.

I logged on because I have two student group events coming up before Easter, and I had to invite friends on Facebook to help shore up support for the events. At least I felt I had to. I thought a lot about Steve Jobs on Sunday. Is Facebook something we need in our society? One friend, who gave up Facebook permanently, told me that she’s noticed she won’t be invited to certain social events as a result of her choice. People won’t call. She has courageously stuck by her decision, and I commend her for it. It’s a sad trade off: ignore the technology and risk being overlooked in this crazed world.

Do we need it? Should I cut it out all together? Keep it but be more intentional about my use? These are all questions that have come up for me this Lent.

 
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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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