Busted Halo

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March 12th, 2014

CHRISTINA — DAY 8: Would We Even Know?

Lenten Facebook Fast


Birthday CakeAs I mentioned earlier, this is my second time giving up Facebook for Lent. The first time, it was to prove to myself that I could do it (at all), and this time, I’ve decided to ask deeper questions. One moment that helped me to realize that my work with giving up Facebook was not done happened a few weeks ago, when a met a friend for dinner before class.

We met in the campus food court, and we had a lovely conversation about everything that was going on in our lives, where we hoped to go in the future, and other various topics. I hadn’t seen her for a while, and upon realizing that we both have the same dinner hour, we hugged, parted ways, and promised to get together for dinner again soon.

That night, I got back to my room and went on Facebook. Much to my surprise, there, in the right hand column of my screen, was a notification that today had been her birthday. I was so surprised. I had just seen her hours before. I wrote happy birthday on her wall and sheepishly apologized for spending a good hour or so with her without even knowing, without even realizing. She, in jest, wrote back, “That’s okay. If it weren’t for Facebook, would we even know it was anyone’s birthday anyway? Haha.” A point well made.

It’s stories like this that made me realize my work in determining what place Facebook has in my life is really not over. I’ve always said that I was going to go on Facebook calendar, write down all my friend’s birthdays, and send them a card in time for their birthday. I never did. Instead, I waited for Facebook to remind me, panicked, and sent them a card late in the mail. It’s far easier to rely on technology in order to be thoughtful, and I’m thinking that has to change in my own life.

The Author : Christina Gebel
Christina Gebel holds B.A.’s in psychology and theology from Saint Louis University as well as a Master of Public Health in maternal and child health from Boston 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, photography, performing standup comedy, and serving as a doula and Lamaze childbirth educator. She currently resides in Boston, working in the field of public health and serving as co-chair of the executive committee for the Catholic Extension Young Professionals of Boston.
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