It’s Lent. Now what? The choices for Lenten penance are as many as there are sins. Except for beer. I can’t give up Märzen and Doppelbock as a good Catholic, especially since St. Patrick is such an important saint also for us Bavarians. (At least it seems the Irish are related to the BaI-risch.)
So I gave up Facebook. Nothing is easier than dropping something of little use? I don’t do Facebook much. So I barely felt a sting by giving it up for Lent. Done deal.
If I can do it, so can you, Catholic or not. Abstinence from Facebook is a good exercise for self-control and curbing your needless curiosity. You might learn to master your budding (or raging) addiction. Who needs to know everything about everybody all the time?
No Facebook? Just grab your phone and call your friends. Drop them a postcard. Stop by on your way home from work. Watch a movie, get creative. But don’t get sucked in.
Soon you will realize that a Facebook fast makes you free. Free from the burden of needless worry. Free from anxiety about so many scary health problems distant relatives of your friends are struggling with. Free from being hacked into, or being mobbed by obtrusive advertising, or from being overwhelmed by the constant flow of forgettable news and movie clips.
A Facebook fast will make you healthier. You will get more exercise, protect your gall bladder from envy about lavish vacation trips to Waikiki or the French Alps, and make your bond stronger with your pets (or children; what about the old board/bored games?).
Wouldn’t it be nice, if we could have a day, just a day, of “All quiet on the cyber front”?
Even if we all do the Facebook fast together today, yesterday’s news will still be there tomorrow. (Don’t fall back on Twitter or Instagram or Linked In.)
Yeah, watch out! Facebook is the largest marketing machine on the planet. It’s an ultra, super, mega, giga, tera data warehouse. Think again . . . you did? . . . thank you!
Yeah, one aspect you should give up forever: don’t vent your medical complaints to the Facebook phishing engines. People, wake up, medical information is confidential! Only the doctor may know! Why would you trust the Internet with your ailments?
At best you might be bombarded with drug ads, at worst receive a tombstone in the mail. Or you might be declared dysfunctional, insane, or delusional. Or unemployable. Beware. Your host or hacker or back-upper is always listening, not only your friends.
Like many, I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook, but I can easily do without it for a while.
Fazit: Live better, give up Facebook! Like you would scorn junk food. A Facebook fast can be educational and cleansing.
Dear Mark Zuckerberg, you should try it too. Can you do without Facebook for a day?