PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - We might see less Facebook and Twitter feeds from some of our Christian friends participating in Lent. Each year millions participate in Lent by fasting or giving up certain things for 40 days.
A study shows that one in three Christians is giving up technology rather than food or smoking.
Ash Wednesday marked the first day of Lent. Christians prepare for Easter for 40 days by fasting, repenting, and learning more about God.
While giving up chocolate and food were still popular choices people for Lent, a new study from Barna Group showed that giving up technology were also popular this year. Father Tom Weise with Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Phenix City, Ala. said this is good news.
"I think it's a wonderful thing to give up for Lent," Father Weise said. "Nothing bothers me more than a kid in middle of Mass on Sunday morning playing with devices that I don't understand."
Father Weise said he is happy to see more members pay attention during service nowadays, since many gave up on technology. Younger members are now bringing hard copies of their bibles and paying attention to sermons.
Dr. Kevin Weis, a child psychologist in Columbus, Georgia said giving up technology and social networking services will be beneficial for many kids. He said this will motivate kids and adults to spend more time with their families and even exercise.
"I think kids giving up technology for lent are remarkable," Dr. Weis said. "I think our society has become more dependent on social media and electronic devices. It's how we keep up with what's happening with the world, but kids are now using it as their means of expression. It can be harmful."
According to Barna Group study, about 31 percent of people participating in Lent are fasting from technology, while 88 percent are fasting from food. Out of that 31 percent, 37 percent of millennials and 39 percent of the Baby Boomers are fasting from technology and social media.
Father Weise said giving up on technology for 40 days could help many people turn back to God. They can pay attention to sermons and services without distractions. Young people can also stay away from inappropriate sites.
"I think we have a tendency to slack off and lose touch with God," Father Weise said. "Sacrifice has always been part of church life since men were created. We need to remember Jesus Christ and reflect on his suffering, life and resurrection."