Giving Up Unnecessary Items for Lent
Believe it or not, they ARE unnecessary. More important than these things, are real human relationships and the ability to connect with other people. These types of sites and all of the bells-and-whistles mobile devices are sold to us as ways to "stay connected". Of course, these are great technological advances. But for many people, they actually impair our ability to personally and emotionally connect with other people.
Remember emotionally connecting with other people? One of the great gifts we have been given?
What's really necessary is real connection with other people. Real friendships...not just dropping by to give them a one-liner or flipping them a few words in broken English. What, that's all you have time for? Not good, my friend.
I thought about giving up Facebook for lent in early January. Well, that and Starbucks. I'm reading more and more stories about people giving up social networking and other virtual communication for Lent. Turns out....someone in particular agrees with me. Or I agree with him. Either way we agree:
From Fox News:
" Chrch sez stop txtn 4 lent.Read the rest here
Or, put another way, the Italian branch of the Roman Catholic Church wants its followers to forswear text messaging, social-networking Web sites and computer games in the run-up to Easter.
While many Italians traditionally give up fatty foods or, in extremis, alcohol, the appeal to go without some of the trappings of the modern world, including Facebook, iPhones and computer games, on Fridays — and on other days if possible — is unprecedented.
It appears to stem partly from Pope Benedict XVI's recent warning to the young not to substitute "virtual friendship" for real human relationships.
The Pontiff warned on his YouTube site in January that "obsessive" use of mobile phones or computers "may isolate individuals from real social interaction while also disrupting the patterns of rest, silence and reflection that are necessary for healthy human development."
Pope Benedict also has personal experience of the distractions of obsessive texting. President Sarkozy of France, a renowned technophile, came in for withering criticism for checking his mobile phone for text messages during a personal audience with the Pontiff.
One thing I'd like to add to the above. "Human development" never stops. Your brain and your soul can go in different - and opposite - directions at any time.
PS, so far, the great giveup is going just fine.