Commentary: People are giving up Facebook for Lent

Posted by David Gomez

People of a religious persuasion like to give up things that are "bad" for Lent. That means that in 2011, people are giving up Facebook to make god happy.

But these people are doing it for their spiritual god, not their social media god.
    
That’s right, Mark Zuckerberg is not god, the media may portray him as god-like (they do) but no. He has a god-like amount of information at his fingertips, but he himself is not a deity. You could make the argument that he has been portrayed as a vain, egocentric control freak, but despite Zuckerberg’s similarities to the man upstairs, Time Magazine’s "Man of the Year" is not god.
    
According to a McClatchy Newspapers article in The Detroit News, people in California are giving up Facebook for Lent because to them it makes perfect sense.
    
"In the past, it might have been giving up the extras, like chocolate or TV, but Facebook has become such a big part of people's daily lives they're contemplating giving it up, praying about it and discussing it," said Lisa Hendey, webmaster at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Fresno, Calif.'s largest Roman Catholic congregation.
    
Hendly has a web presence that is geared towards Catholic moms, she says she’s given thought to quitting social media but she can’t ready herself to follow through with it.
    
"It's a large part of the way I do my work," she says. "I likely will not give it up, but I will cut back on my use of it, especially Sundays, during the season of Lent."
    
For the ungodly heathens out there who have no idea what I’m talking about (I honestly hope that there are a lot of you out there), here is a small explanation.
    
Lent is the time period of 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday to Easter, observed by some Christian churches with fasting, penitence, prayer and self-denial. The goal is for church goers to make sacrifices as they spiritually prepare themselves for Easter, moving closer to the almighty. This year, Ash Wednesday is March 9. And Easter is April 24.
    
Dan Hues, associate pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church in northwest Fresno, thinks that lots of people are questioning how much time they spend on Facebook.
    
"Facebook is huge," he says. "It's blown up to be almost ubiquitous. It's almost compulsive; that's why it makes sense to give it up for Lent."
    
"The whole point of Lent is a time at getting closer to God. The point is to leave selfish behavior 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."
    
It appears that being “addicted” to Facebook is a sin now; it’s so much of a sin that we have religious nuts weighing in on it in California.
    
Look, people should give up Facebook because it has become a stupid waste of time. People care more about sharing the hour by hour events of their trivial lives on Facebook than anything serious. We live in a police state; endless government spending is ruing the economy, The US Department of Homeland Security won’t stop spying on us, and yet all people care about en masse is posting "pics" from last night’s trip to the bar.
    
Guess what people? Facebook is not even addiction worthy; it sure as hell doesn’t get anybody high. Facebook jumped the shark a LONG time ago when they started letting third party advertising douchebags have access to you and your friends personal information.
    
In actuality religious nuts should view Facebook as an incarnation of Satan! I’m not kidding.

I see good things about social media, but I feel like Facebook has become on giant distraction for people. To me it’s like a massive hypnotism experiment. It’s geared towards getting you to focus on the trivial. It is after all, big media.   
    
Big corporations and government are using Facebook to track your every move online and what political interests you might have. It is a tool of Big Brother and to me there nothing more evil than a tool that is used to track the lives of everyone who uses it.
    
Sure people try and play it off like the tracking of people’s lives on Facebook is just harmless fun, but it’s not.
    
At one point social media was quirky, good natured fun. But now it has become inescapable, sure maybe Facebook brings people together in some ways, but that is just a side effect of its ultimate purpose, to create a hive mind where nobody can hide their thoughts from others.
    
Sure the evil of Facebook is merely conceptual and philosophical at this point, but when you start talking about Facebook being worth upwards of $50 billion, and toying around with their own currency, that’s when things get creepy.
    
You should ditch Facebook because it’s not motivated by its ability to connect people, it’s motivated by money. And when you have access to information like Facebook, that’s when the national security state comes a calling.

Unless you are using for work, I can’t any other reason to spend time on it. You may think that it is bringing people together, but it is making our daily lives more and more abstract.
    
Let’s create a form of social media where we don’t have to turn ourselves over to advertising whores, corporations and CIA databases. That stuff is the real satan in this world, and I don’t even believe in god.