Social networking site Facebook is becoming a Lenten sacrifice, what with members spending more than 700bn minutes per month on the site.
Several groups, whose members plan to give up Facebook for Lent, have mobilised on the site, in fact, to recruit members and highlight their intentions. One group, based in Germany, aims to avoid ‘poking’ friends, requesting friends and accepting friend requests, and posting messages to their friends’ walls.
So why give up Facebook for Lent, the 40-day period between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday?
“We waste so much time on Facebook and other social networks that we could invest much better elsewhere – in our relationship with God!” is the motto of one group, Facebook fasten.
Dan Hues, associate pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fresno, California, told The Fresno Bee that the point of Lent is a time in which to grow closer to God.
"The point is to leave selfish behaviour behind you, to put off the ‘self.’ Facebook is almost a shrine to yourself, with pictures, status updates, seeing if people ‘like’ you. It’s all about you," Hues said.
Lent this year begins on 9 March and Easter Sunday falls on 24 April.