Giving Up Facebook For Lent

By Scott Sarvay

February 23, 2012 Updated Feb 23, 2012 at 3:26 PM EDT

INTERNET (NBC) - The 40-day season of Lent began on Wednesday for Christians.

Observances often includes giving something up for those 40 days, like a favorite food, watching television or another activity.

Two Florida women are coming face-to-face with their biggest commitment yet: They are dropping Facebook.

Joan O'Connell and Johanna Cataldi both said Facebook plays a big part in their lives.

"Wake up, Facebook. Go to bed, Facebook," said Cataldi.

"I am totally addicted to Facebook," said O'Connell.

Both women said that staying away from Facebook will draw them closer to God.

"Instead of checking Facebook, I could be praying...or I could be having quiet time," said Cataldi.

O'Connell said on any given day she can spend several hours on Facebook updating her status, commenting on photos and chatting with friends.

"Last night I signed off, bye-bye Facebook friends. I'll see you on Easter," O'Connell said.

Critics say Facebook is eroding real, face-to-face interaction.

In 2011, Nielsen reported Americans spent a mind-blowing 53.5 billion minutes on the social network.

"It's just one of things that has taken a big part of my life," said Cataldi.

Both women are erasing phone apps and informing friends of their Facebook fast.

"A lot of my friends said to me, 'You're crazy, I could never give up Facebook for 40 days,'" said Cataldi.

Their commitment is firm, but Lent has just begun.

"Ask me in 30 days and I'll tell you," said Cataldi.




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