CNN online has an interesting story on high school and college students who are doing what some might have thought impossible: giving up internet social networking sites for Lent!
"Some of my friends think it's silly, since people usually give up food," said 16-year-old Emily Montgomery, who says she's given up her access to MySpace. "I wanted to give up something that's really hard for me."
Of course, what would make this more meaningful is if students gave up these internet obsessions for reasons other than simply showing willpower or religious devotion. The real point of "giving up something for Lent" is so that it makes room for something else.
It's a form of spiritual awareness that allows you to reconnect with God," said Jocelyn Chiu, an Emory University sophomore and active member of her Presbyterian church. "By giving up something that used up so much of my time, I realized that I had been leaving my spiritual life behind." Chiu gave up Facebook for Lent in 2006 and went one step further this year -- vowing to avoid the Internet altogether. She has only allowed herself to check Emory's internal e-mail for school-related
What a great idea it would be to invite students to set aside time spent on these sites (which can be considerable -- ask any teenager) and instead use the time for prayer, biblical study, service to others, or simply spending time with real flesh-and-blood humans.