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Giving up Facebook for Lent: 15 tips to succeed

Giving up Facebook for Lent, Facebook Fast for Lent, No Facebook for lent, Give up Facebook for Lent,… There are hundreds Facebook groups encouraging users to abstain from the site for the 40 days of Lent. The same rage occurred among college students last year. In 2009, adults seem to be into it as well.

Lent is of course the Christian tradition of fasting and prayer during forty days. In Western Christianity, Lent started last week, on Wednesday the 25th of February, and it will end the 11th of April. Some of you have probably joined one or more of the aforementioned groups, and are undoubtedly having a hard time keeping up the Facebook fast. In case you’re wondering, visting this site isn’t cheating. On the contrary, it might even help.  We’ll give you some tips to persevere, taken from various sources.

CNET‘s Lindsey Turrentine sums up five simple tips to give up Facebook for Lent while keeping your friends:

  • Set your status. This is an obvious first step in any Facebook fast. Tell all the friends who might be tempted to tag you in yet another 25 things/Album cover/Senior Year of High School meme that you really, really won’t be spending your dinner hour trying to remember what you did after prom–at least not until April.
  • Write down birthdays. Don’t rely on Facebook to remind you that your sister turns 30 next week. Jot it down on your Google Calendar or–gasp–on paper.
  • Relax about application requests. Really, you don’t need to sign up every time a friends asks you to plant a flowering pony for a cause. Most Facebook users who send inane application requests mass invite everyone they “know” and won’t notice if you don’t plant a virtual gnome garden.
  • Off Facebook for LentConsider changing your photo. What happens if your high school ex-best friend (the one who stole your girlfriend) tries to find you on Facebook during Lent? If you’re worried that he’ll think you’re an A-number-one jerk for not accepting his olive branch, consider replacing your profile photo with a text block that reads something like, “Off Facebook for Lent.” The downside to this technique? If you’re not religious, it may confuse people, and if you have a common name, no one will be able to confirm that you’re the Tom Smith they’re looking for. Or maybe in the case of the ex-friend, that’s a blessing.
  • Don’t forget to turn off your Twitter forwards. Use Twitter (or some sort of microblogging service) to update your Facebook status? Even if you don’t visit Facebook.com, updating through a third party during Lent would be cheating.

Steve Johnson, Internet critic for the Chicago Tribune, adds a list of 10 ways to give up Facebook for Lent:

  1. Give a real gift to someone you really want to give it to. Much better than “virtual coffee” or any of the other FB tchotchkes.
  2. Consider playing real Scrabble— the version with the tactile game board and wooden tiles.
  3. Poke people. Actually poke them. Then walk away without saying why you poked them.
  4. Write down the last five things you did. Wait 10 minutes. Read the list. Ask yourself if you give a &%$#.
  5. Join an actual group—the Shriners, for example. Resign 40 days later.
  6. Watch “Tron.” Consider the fate that awaits those who stare too long at a computer.
  7. Develop a real-world OCD problem—wash your hands a lot, wash your hands a lot, wash your hands a lot …
  8. Instead of posting pictures, organize the ones you’ve already taken.
  9. In the grander scheme of things, do you really need to know “My favorite color is blue” is one of 25 random things about Julie, your middle school algebra classmate?
  10. Join Twitter. It’s like Facebook for people with short attention … ooh! Shiny object!

Good luck, and let us know how you’re keeping up!

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Giving up Facebook for Lent: 15 tips to succeed Posted by on March 10, 2009 at 5:18 PM. Use this trackback if you're linking this story.

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