Lent begins today, commemorating the story of Jesus and some friends trapped in the desert, starving, hot, miserable, and tempted by Satan. A reminder of piety. It's also a depressing reminder of how cripplingly addicted we are to Facebook.
The idea behind Lent, if I've read this Wikipedia entry correctly, is giving up a vice (let's say, smoking, fatty foods, or booze) and adding an activity that brings you closer to God. Like, I don't know, helping deliver babies (???). But the giving up bit is what gets the most attention, as it's a lot easier to brag about your deprivations, particularly in the age of easy online sharing. But some quick searching shows that the best way our teens, tweens, and other American imbeciles can connect their lives to the Biblical suffering of Christ is to forgo Twitter or FB for a few weeks. Which is... sort of missing the point.
Wellllll, I've decided to give up Facebook and Twitter for Lent.. soooo see you all in 40 days. #legggo— Natalie Knauer (@NatalieKnauer) February 13, 2013
What these two don't realize is that by tweeting about giving up Twitter for Lent on the first day of Lent they've already ruined Lent and are going to Hell. Bye.
This is my last tweet for the next 40 days. Giving up Facebook and twitter for lent!— Heather Cruz (@heatherrcruzer) February 13, 2013
I am going to try and give up social media for lent. If you need to contact me email me at... fb.me/KMBMw1RW— MOYL Photography (@moylphotography) February 13, 2013
This guy is giving up social media, but email is still OK, which should spark some pretty intense theological debates.
for Lent, I will give up Facebook for 8 days (Ash Wed, all fridays of lent). Hopefully next year I can do it for 40 days. #babysteps— Charisma (@ch4riot) February 13, 2013
And this, maybe the saddest: she can't even give up Facebook for the entirety of Lent. Just weekends.
"Swag-Lord Murphy" is on the path to righteousness.
What are you giving up for lent? Post here! facebook.com/AlyonMix1073— Aly Jacobs (@AlyonMIX1073) February 13, 2013
Hm, taking the opposite approach.
No Facebook for Lent. Bring it on.— Myra Gamow (@MGamow) February 13, 2013
It's already been broughten.
I'm giving up twitter and Facebook for lent. Goodbye— FizzyFamilyFreak (@CharityFizzy) February 13, 2013
Good luck, Nicole.
gave up facebook for lent, dont think I can go cold turkey tho and give up twitter— Kaysee Grogan (@kaysee_grogan) February 13, 2013
She's preemptively giving up giving up.
I wonder if I could give up Facebook for lent.— Joanna Marie (@mcmaliceher) February 13, 2013
Maybe next year.
Tempted by the Facebook mobile app as Jesus was tempted by the Devil himself. This is deep stuff, @Nagz2007.
Here's a picture I found on Google Image Search of Jesus in the desert. I bet he wished he had Facebook so he could poke his buds.
There might be an argument that Facebook actually is one of the great vices of our time, more destructive to the self and others than any candy bar or bottle of beer, more alienating than any cloud of cigarette smoke or swear word. Or maybe it's just the easiest austerity measure available to us, and hey, at least we've got Pinterest, y'all!