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Facebook becoming popular sacrifice for Lent

The Local · 8 Mar 2011, 10:58

Published: 08 Mar 2011 10:58 GMT+01:00

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A number of groups have mobilized on the site to recruit members and highlight their virtuous intentions – to avoid friending, poking, and posting messages on each others’ walls for the next seven weeks beginning on Ash Wednesday.

The motto of one group, Facebook fasten, or “Facebook fasting,” is simple: “We waste so much time on Facebook and other social networks that we could invest much better elsewhere – in our relationship with God!”

Instead of spending hours clicking around the addictive site, the 40 days of sacrifice and preparation for the celebration of Easter should be spent on spirituality, members say.

The most popular social networking platform in Germany, experts estimate that users are on the site on average three hours per month.

Germany’s Protestant church stands behind the Facebook fasting campaign.

“The idea of fasting applies to all areas of life,” pastor Jan von Campenhausen of the Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD) told news agency DAPD.

The decision as to just what object or activity to abstain from is personal, he said. An important aspect of the decision is gaining freedom from a vice – and for some, the 15-million member site has become just that, said the theologian.

Meanwhile, 28 percent of Germans said they planned to give up computers and the internet altogether during Lent, according to a recent poll conducted by research group Forsa for public health insurer DAK.

More women than men were willing to give up their digital addiction, but such a sacrifice was out of the question for young people, who said they’d rather give up certain foods instead.

The most popular item for fasting was alcohol (78 percent), followed by sweets (69 percent), smoking (53 percent), meat (48 percent), and television (42 percent).

Story continues below…

Forsa conducted the poll with 1,002 people between February 19 and 22.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:47 March 8, 2011 by moistvelvet
"we could invest much better elsewhere ­ in our relationship with God!"

Isn't it about time God signed up for a Facebook and Twitter account!

Strange though that despite Lent lasting for 40 days these "believers" suggest that people should spend the "average of 3 hours" that they use on Facebook by talking to God. Really 3 hours over a month isn't that much to get concerned about I don't think... I probably waste more time on The Local :-p
13:09 March 8, 2011 by idiot
Time to die christs. Every religion has face the facts of the physic and the end (omega in christ words)
14:08 March 8, 2011 by pacali
just search "God" on facebook. Apparently lots of gods have signed up and made a page...
16:18 March 8, 2011 by roboni
Actually why wait to give up facebook during fasting. Just give it up completely. Other than that its nice to see that other people in Germany are fasting like myself. Now I have to leave the internet. Be back in 40 days. Okay- I may check in from time to time.
19:12 March 8, 2011 by Gretl
Three hours A MONTH? How about three hours A DAY?

Of course, Americans move a lot and have family and friends everywhere. We can't just meet them all at the pub.
22:19 March 8, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
why not just give up god... now that would really save you wasted time...
09:27 March 9, 2011 by moistvelvet
@iseedaftpeople, I like the cut of your jib!
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