No Social Network Day 11: No-Social-Media, and one Lapsing German Catholic

I’m giving up Facebook and Twitter for Lent. Day 11! Image from an article on how this tradition is actually American- traditional Lent observation is giving up meat, abstinence, and actually, “adding one thing,” et al. Image is a search he did on “giving up one thing.”

My co-worker was using #lent as a reason to detox. No coffee, no alcohol. We had a brief chat this morning via IM on the real/religious meaning of Lent. We had talked about it a bit the other day, I had just forgot that she didn’t know what it meant. That’s kind of dangerous- note to self, never participate in a religious holiday I don’t understand, lol. I tried to tell her something like, “Oh lapsing is part of Lent.” I’ve been on Facebook 3x, mostly to transfer my application credentials to my test user (this is work related). I went on Twitter the other day to post a #hackfest message. I had just been at a talk and promised to keep up the hashtag. I sent 2 tweets via friends, which is a bit of a circumnavigation of the rules. Still, keeping strong and not logging in.

Funny how non-practicers of Lent have *a lot of opinions*. Last night, I was told IM, gmail, linkedin, and pinterest were all social media. Well… at least I haven’t included them in my “no-go” list. One of my Twitter friends has actually placed a bet on when I’ll be back, and, when I did post the #hackfests tweet the other day, wrote me back *immediately* that I’d lapsed.

So a couple of friends have been like “I didn’t know you were Catholic,” and it doesn’t make sense, because about 99% of Swedes are Lutheran. turns out, my dad’s Mom was Southern German. She’s also the oldest American relative I have- her grandfather had fought in the Civil War and was trying to get a pension from the government years, as well as being a non-English speaker. My dad is slightly obsessed with his fights with the government.

One interesting thing about those who follow the “old religions”- Judaism and Catholicism- is that they aren’t literal bible-readers. I’m thinking because of that, they’re pretty liberal. The personal responsibility of your actions isn’t on reading and interpreting the text, but on the practice of your congregation. There’s a big rift between what is “taught” and “practiced.” With all the discussions of contraception in the media, in regarding the Republic Primary, it does call into mind religious upbringing. I remember at one point, perhaps my early teens, looking around church and realizing that most of these adults must practice contraception, or else the pews would be *really* full. Growing up in the age of AIDS, educating the young teens in not using contraception was a bad idea. I think our congregation didn’t talk about it. We just didn’t “go there.”

Photo: adorable Catholic parish church of St. Sebastian in winter, Ramsau bei Berchtesgaden