by Jan Schlain
Though fewer Christians abstain from eating meat during Lent now than in the past, many still choose to give up indulgences like pastries, or chocolate, or alcohol during the season of penitence leading up to Easter. “I gave up Facebook,” says U-M grad and library assistant Deanna Parham.
Parham, twenty-four, says she wasn’t as obsessed with the social networking site as some people she knows. But with her mobile phone set to remind her whenever a friend made a post, she found herself checking the site “constantly”—as often as thirty times a day. She can’t even say why—she recently unfriended her boyfriend of three years, and changed her relationship status. Still, she says, “It’s like a bad habit. You get Facebook anxious.”
This year, one of her favorite Facebook days—her birthday—fell just after Ash Wednesday. She looked at her birthday greetings, posted “Thank you everybody” on her wall, and then deactivated her account. In March, she hadn’t yet decided if she’ll be Facebooking again after Easter. “Maybe. Maybe not,” she says. “Hopefully, my habit will be broken.”
[Originally published in April, 2012.]
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