I wasn’t raised Catholic or any of the other Protestant denominations that continue to observe the tradition of Lent, so I was completely unfamiliar with it when I first heard it mentioned a few years ago at my church. Since then, I have used Wikipedia and other sites to inform myself of some of the finer details of the season, but I have never been brave enough to observe it personally. Self-denial isn’t my strong suit, I guess.
This year, as Ash Wednesday approached, I began pondering what I might be willing to give up. I thought of this and that, but nothing seemed to really hit the spot until I happened upon the idea of giving up Facebook. “It will be easy,” I thought, as I mustered up as much fortitude as possible.
Although I have frequently opined here about my love/hate relationship with Facebook, I am hopelessly addicted to it. It is usually the first thing I check in the morning when I log onto the internet, and the last site I visit before retiring for the night. I access it several times a day – via my cell phone or computer – and enjoy commenting on the status updates and photos posted by my friends. I try to “accentuate the positive” by remembering that human relationships are always complicated and messy, and I “eliminate the negative” through such simple practices as hiding annoying people and game updates.
So, here I am with almost a month left of Lent, and I’m still suffering withdrawal symptoms. I pacify my urges with Twitter. It’s fun, but it certainly doesn’t fill the niche that Facebook can.
A rather ironic and unfortunate thing happened while I was writing this post. I had another tab open in my browser and mindlessly clicked the Facebook link on a business page. I quickly hit the back button, but not before the profile page appeared. A minor setback. Onward and upward…