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TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of 28!
The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of '28!
By Georgie London, Staff Writer
Published May 13, 2024
Advice from your fellow Frogs, explore Fort Worth, pizza reviews and more. 

Students nationwide sacrifice Facebook for Lent

Facebook addicts, rejoice! There may be a new way to get you to peel your eyes from that hypnotizing blue and white screen: God. College students nationwide are sacrificing their participation on one of the Internet’s most popular social networking sites in the name of Lent, and TCU students haven’t been left out of the trend.

Lent, a Christian holiday that lasts from Ash Wednesday, Feb. 21, to Easter Sunday, is a 40-day period that mimics the time Jesus spent in the wilderness resisting temptation.

The Rev. Charlie Calabrese, a Roman Catholic minister and leader of the TCU Catholic Community, said Lent is a time to devote oneself to God.

“God calls us to a transformation that goes to the core of who we are,” Calabrese said. “During Lent we pray and reflect on what we need to give up – or what we need to do – that will enable us to give God our hearts.”

For freshman pre-major Whitley Leiss, giving God her heart meant giving up what gets in the way of spending time with him: Facebook.

“For Lent you’re supposed to give something up that distracts you from God and that takes up a lot of time,” Leiss said. “Facebook was something that I was always on and that I spent more time doing than I did in the word or praying or even studying.”

Other students empathized with Leiss’ Facebook habit and noticed how giving the Web site up has changed their social lives.

“It’s funny because I feel like I am more out of the loop now,” said Stefanie Grows, a freshman nutrition major who gave Facebook up for Lent. “It has kind of put a damper on my social life because I’ve noticed that a lot of the conversations I have with people are about Facebook, which is really pathetic if you think about it.”

Laura Bliss, a junior real estate finance and accounting major, said sacrificing Facebook didn’t put a damper on her social life as much as it changed its dynamic.

“I replaced my time on Facebook by having actual conversations with people,” Bliss said. “I have spent a lot more time on the phone and just hanging out in person.”

But the crux of students’ problems with Facebook infatuation may be more than just that – an infatuation. As Grows put it, the issue goes much deeper.

“I think we all need a Facebook patch,” she said. “They’re probably going to start offering support classes for people who are trying to give it up. It is definitely an addiction.”

Dianne Lynch, an expert on media technology and dean of Ithaca College’s Park School of Communications, said while it may not be addiction, there is something to American college students’ obsession with the online social network.

“American adolescents and young adults have grown up in a wired, connected world,” Lynch said. “They are to a certain extent uncomfortable with solitude … But that’s not addiction. That’s a compulsion to participate, to stay connected, to be in the virtual loop.'”

Addiction or not, all three of these Facebookers said, though they may not return to the frequency of their old habits on the Web site, they will definitely be back on it come Easter Sunday.

“I’m not going to lie,” Grows said, “I’m excited for Sunday. I know I need to tone it down and maybe limit my Facebook checking to once a day, but I am excited for Sunday. I know that I have a ton of stuff to look at.

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