Lent proves there is life without Facebook

Meat, candy, sweets and alcohol are traditionally the things Christians give up during Lent. In recent years, Facebook and Twitter have made the list as well. Well, Lent is over, how did the social media fast go?

Devon, Pennsylvania, mom Diane Pealer gave up Facebook for six weeks and didn’t cheat. She says it was a tough, but overall positive experience.

“I missed it very much,” she said. “I missed keeping in touch, but it is kind of liberating, too, to feel like this isn’t something I needed to check on.”

It was the third Facebook-free Lent for Vince Valenzuela from North Wales. He says it’s gotten harder each year. He missed checking in with friends, but enjoyed spending more time with his three children.

Villanova communications professor Gordon Coonfield asks his students to give up social networking for a class assignment. They initially hate it because they feel completely disconnected. But after that, said Coonfield, they realize they have more time.

“They find alternative ways to live their lives without that technology,” he said. “They find that life is a little more relaxing, a little more peaceful.”

Coonfield says giving up Facebook for Lent, or any other reason, is a good experiment as it shows how much people have changed and adapted their lives to social networking technologies. Other media experts recommend brief “media fasts” throughout the year.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.