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I'm Giving Up Facebook for Lent

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A stay-at-home mom is giving up Facebook for Lent. Here's why.

the barto family

Genny Barto -- a stay-at-home mom of two from Oklahoma -- is giving up Facebook for Lent. She talked to momlogic about her decision.

ML: How often are you on Facebook?

Genny: I've been on Facebook about a year-and-a-half. I would say I log on 15-20 times a day for short amounts of time. If I added it all up, it would probably add up to 2-3 hours a day. (I wish there was a way to go on and see how long you spend on there.)

ML: What was the appeal of Facebook for you?

Genny: At first, the appeal was catching up with old friends, and seeing what everyone was up to. But as time has passed, it has changed. Being a SAHM can be isolating. I'm out of the house to volunteer at the kid's schools, run errands, or maybe an occasional breakfast with friends, but it can feel like you're losing touch with the outside world. It can be lonely at times. Facebook makes you feel connected to the outside world. It also gives me an outlet to say something and feel like it's been heard by more than just my 7-year-old and 4-year-old.

ML: What made you decide to give it up for 40 days?

Genny: I've been doing a reflection of sorts that goes beyond Lent. I want to be more accountable. I want to be more aware of what I'm doing, and whether or not I'm making a positive impact. I don't want to sound cliche, but the tragedy in Haiti flipped a switch in me in regards to service to others. I'm hoping that the Lenton season will be a springboard for this new mindset. I chose to give up Facebook because it feeds my "me" mentality a little. When I'm getting on quickly to see if anyone "liked" what I had to say or had a comment ... well, it's a little self-involved. Then to realize that doing this 15-20 times a day, adding up to as much as three hours of my day (or more) ... that's a lot of wasted time.

ML: Did your kids factor into your decision?

Genny: I guess indirectly. I'm hoping that by not spending that time on FB, I'll be more productive in other areas that will, in turn, be positive for them.

ML: Do you anticipate this will be a challenge for you? Why or why not?

Genny: I think it will be challenging. It's become a habit. But I've given up soda countless times. I'm giving that up this year as well. In the past, I've also given up cussing, speeding (which was very hard), and candy.

ML: What are some things you would like to accomplish in the next 40 days utilizing the time you would have otherwise been checking Facebook?

Genny: I'm certain that I'll be much more productive around the house. I'll have more time to spend with my family. Most importantly, I want to open up my Bible more.

ML: Have you friends/family/husband been supportive about you going off Facebook?

Genny: Yes, lots of "good luck with that." I don't know, is that support or sarcasm? I guess it depends on how you read it.

ML: is anybody MAD that you are going off Facebook?

Genny: Not that I know of. I know my family will be disappointed, especially my mom. She loves reading the updates, especially when I have kid stories. I did have a friend remind me that Sundays are "off" days -- a day of celebration, so I could go on and update. Not sure if I will or not. It seems to defeat the purpose.

We wish Genny the best of luck and will update you on how she fared once Lent is over.

Could YOU give up Facebook for 40 days?

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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Mamma M February 19, 2010, 7:26 AM

I totally understand the haabit, but at the same time sometimes am even too tired from motherhood to open up the laptop and log on and blah blah blah. I know. I sound ridiculous, but I commend her for the lent decision. My husband hates hates hates Facebook. He’s a very private person, and hates that stuff about him and his kids gets on there via me. I try to be kinda discrete because of that. For lent, I myself am trying to stop drinking Coke!

Pam February 19, 2010, 9:43 AM

Oh my gosh!!!!! I am a stay at home mom also and I had to close my Facebook b/c I was on it multiple times throughout my day. Now I am finding out that I have wasted so much time by being on Facebook. So addicting!!!!!

Jenn February 19, 2010, 6:55 PM

I gave up Facebook last year for lent. It was very hard but I did it. I ended up emailing those who really wanted to be in touch with me. Before giving it up I found myself also wasting a lot of time what I like to call “stalking” friends. Good Luck Genny!!

Alma February 21, 2010, 4:45 PM

This isn’t news anymore, I think. My old bosses gave up Facebook for Lent and it was a great social experiment but I think that this article should’ve run ages ago, not now.

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