Giving Up Facebook For Lent

Some friends put together a chocolate Twitter party just in time for Lent. We exchanged recipes, desert ideas and other uses for cacao powder, but the only thing missing from this cyber soiree was the chocolate!


Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent. Traditionally, people try to make a sacrifice by 'giving up' something they enjoy — a vice or a luxury. Food, alcohol, smoking, and chocolate are usually at the top of people's Lent lists. Others choose more unusual things; a girlfriend gave up coffee for forty days (I can't and wouldn't want to do this!), while another friend gave up shopping which was rather admirable! For kids, it's usually laying off the candy or, with  modern technology, discontinue playing video games until Easter. Lately, I've heard rumblings about abandoning Twitter or Facebook to be considered huge sacrifices by some.

However, the period leading up to Easter Sunday doesn't always have to entail a fast or personal sacrifice of the material kind. Lent can also be a time to make a personal change for the better. Setting a  personal goal during this religious time can be another way to challenge yourself to transform a particular aspect of your personality you dislike; be positive; be more tolerant; conquer jealousies or be more  forgiving. These are difficult traits to change, but well worth the effort and a good opportunity to teach your kids by example.

During this Lent period, take the time to talk to your kids about why Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, is such a big deal. Why do people celebrate it with excess? It could be viewed as if people were eating and drinking to make up for the 40 days they won't be while observing Lent. Then again, it's not just about the party or the beads, it's the days that follow this festivity that matter.

I recall my parents using this time to challenge us siblings to not fight and to love each other. Other years it was about the candy or keeping our rooms clean — it changed year to year. But, I won't forget the year I came home from Sunday school and asked my mother to help me decide what to give up for Lent and she said: “Lent is not only about the extraordinary sacrifice to give up something, it can be about doing something extraordinary for others or for yourself.”

This really struck a chord with me, and I realized that chocolate or TV were a lot easier to give up than to try to become a better person … something I am still trying to do each day.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Bravo, Suzette! I really enjoyed your article. I also have wonderful memories of this lent season. Chocolate was always the most common thing to “give up”. However, more than anything it was always a time of reflection. I recall the wonderful dishes my grandmother would prepare during this time, and always being in prayer. My mother continues with these traditions and God willing my sisters and I will also. Thank you for reminding me of these beautiful memories.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi Carmen,
    I'm glad you appreciated my thoughts about lent. Traditions are so important, aren't they? They provide me with comfort and security. I'm glad you have them, too!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi Suzette,
    Your last comment really struck a chord with me. Just last night, I was pondering how to focus on being a better person – with Lent as a focal point for the effort. This will be the first year I have not decided to give up chocolate (thankfully, as I already had some this morning). To start being a better person – I am going to do a better job of looking my kids in the eyes and truly listen to them with both ears (vs. always thinking about the nagging to do list in the back of my mind).
    Thanks for the spot on post.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I know what you mean about listening vs. hearing. I'm guilty of being a fake listener, too (and still do it sometimes, even with an 18 year old!). Bad, mom. I'd like to improve on this as well, so thanks for the tip!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hey there…Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!!
    I really loved your post, as it is so true that tradition and culture shine through our children..I have yet to determine what my vice will be; however, a daily struggle is to be a better person…
    I wish you luck and can't wait to read more of your posts!!
    All the best and thanks again!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Loved your blog too! Tried to leave a comment, but it takes me to a strange page. WUWT?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I love this way of thinking of Lent. I recall my feeling so “put out” and deprived as a Catholic kid during Lent. Your mom put a terrific spin on it. I'm going to share this with my kids!

  8. Anonymous says:

    San Diego Momma,
    So nice to see you here! I recall feeling the same way as you during Lent – it was especially hard as a kid to give up something AND not eat meat on Fridays (no tacos!).
    My daughter decided to take up 'positive thinking' for Lent. So far, I like what I've seen her do – she even got a sponsor to make sure she stays positive!
    Great idea, huh?

  9. Anonymous says:

    For one thing I don't think I could ever leave Facebook for Lent, I don't think I could do that since I am almost depending on it. Perhaps the best thing I could do for this lent is to become a temporary vegetarian.

  10. Anonymous says:

    An excellent idea. Love it. Also. No. I couldn't give up Facebook for Lent. How would I spy on my kids?

  11. Anonymous says:

    I'm with you on that one! Maybe a family agreement to give up Facebook together would work better? It might be a nice break for all to disconnect at the same time. Having said this, I (we) did not make this sacrifice — we stuck to a moral one this year.

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