The Italian Catholics have started the campaign to refrain from texting and engaging in computer-based social networking and games during Lent. They appreciate the values of ‘virtual connectedness’ but the obsessive desire thereof tends to dissuade them from ‘rest, silence and reflection’ needed for healthy human development. And that is essence of the Lent. Thus, the campaign against social networking during Lent.
Brace for yourselves, fellow Catholics in the homefront. Our church leaders are out to follow in the footsteps of the Italian counterparts. On CBCP’s online site, Fr. Oscar Alunday of CBCP’s Commission on Biblical Apostolate was quoted as describing text messaging and Facebook as ‘addicting and time-consuming’, thus, making the faithful ‘out of balance’ and their lives ‘diminished’. Instead of spending time and money for text loads and use of internet cafes, Fr. Alunday suggests to spend them to helping others through charities. He also urges everyone to spend time with the family instead.
I don’t disagree with the CBCP official. But I think that texting and social networking can even be used to promote the Lenten spirit. As we use it to send greetings to our beloved ones during Christmas, a cellphone can be a great tool to send messages of Lent. The same with social networking sites.
What we can do is to regulate or minimize texting and social networking and instead use them for spreading the spirit of Lent. Of course, we should make do without games for the entire Lent.
How about you. Can you do a penance of quitting social networking for 40 days, or to be exact, 34 days starting now? And can telcos support this campaign of the church?