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Lenten faster: Giving up social media site

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
March 14, 2014 at midnight
Updated March 13, 2014 at 10:14 p.m.

Wendy Mican has chosen to give up Facebook for Lent. "It does feel a little freeing," she said of not being on the social media site, that she usually accesses through her phone. "But I feel so disconnected."

More than a week after Ash Wednesday, the official start of the Lenten season, Christians are holding fast to their fasts for the next 40 days.

While many opt to give up dietary staples during the season - bread, sweets, soda, caffeine - others choose to eliminate other sources of distraction and addiction.

Such is the case for the Advocate's third Lenten faster, Wendy Mican.She has been fasting from Facebook.

• Name: Wendy Mican

• City: Victoria

• Age: 35

• Occupation: Premier Properties

• Religion: Catholic

• Fast: Facebook

Have you always observed Lent?

Yes. Every year since I was young, I've given up something. I've fasted from chocolate and soda in the past, but I've started eating clean, so I didn't want to fast from something I wasn't eating much of.

Why did you decide to give up Facebook?

I'm on Facebook every day, and I figured it would be a challenge, and I would experience the sacrifice. When I think about when I want to be on Facebook, I remember that it's Lent and that I'm sacrificing something at this time.

How did you go about preparing to get off Facebook?

I changed my profile picture to a picture that said "I'm giving up Facebook for Lent," and I made an announcement saying "I just want to let you know I'll be off Facebook for Lent, so text or call me if you need to get ahold of me."

Were you addicted to Facebook?

I wouldn't say I was addicted. I would get on Facebook right before I went to work and in the evenings after work. And I would get emails throughout the day notifying me that someone commented on my status. I have it on my phone and laptop. But I deleted it from my phone so I wouldn't be tempted.

So if you're not on Facebook that often, will this really be a sacrifice for you?

It's really more when I'm out and want to post a picture on Facebook. Like we're going to the Houston Livestock Show, and I know I'm going to want to post pictures to Facebook. It's not hard physically, but it's mentally hard because I'm going to want to go on there and check it. As much as I want to be on there every day, it's going to be reasonably hard.

Why do you think it's important to observe Lent?

It's important. I was brought up doing it. Jesus sacrificed for us, and this is a way for us to sacrifice for him.



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