Logging Off (sorta)

blackberryblinkingAfter much prayer and reflection, I’ve decided to give up Facebook and e-mail for Lent. Sort of. Okay, I admit I’m too weak to do this completely. And the spirit, let alone the flesh, isn’t even interested in trying. But I will commit to not checking e-mail or FB after 6:00 pm.

I realize I’m facing a potentially harmful (evening only) detox. I get the shakes just thinking about it. I did something similar two years ago when I gave up checking e-mail in the evening. But that was before I joined Facebook. And before I got that extra appendage known in some circles as a BlackBerry. This totally ups the degree of difficulty.

As difficult as it will be to pull off, I think 40 unplugged evenings will be a good thing. It will certainly be good modeling for Ben and Zack — you don’t need to sit at the computer every time you pass through the family room. And perhaps we’ll play a bit more Chinese checkers or Connect Four or whatever game they want to play in that time between dinner and bedtime. It might even help make up for the extra evening meetings I’ll be going to during Lent.

I do realize Jesus didn’t die so that I could check my e-mail less. But giving something up (that you actually like) is a great way to connect with the self-denial of his 40 days spent in the wilderness. In Scripture we read about the devil tempting the famished Jesus by daring him to turn a rock into a dinner roll. For me, the temptation will be that little red flashing light that blinks on my “CrackBerry” whenever I have a new e-mail or FB message.

I will try to be strong. But I also wonder how many times I can check my e-mail between 5:59 and 6:00 pm?


5 Comments on “Logging Off (sorta)”

  1. I had a small taste of being “unplugged” yesterday afternoon — http://janethewriterwrites.blogspot.com/2009/02/sunday-dinner.html — and there’s definitely something to be said for it.

    I very much admire your willingness to give it a shot and wish you luck with the endeavor.

  2. I’m such an extremist that I was thinking of pulling the plug on Twitter and FB totally for 40 days and nights. Thinking about it…

  3. Father Tim says:


    What are you trying to be a desert father or something?

    I did hear about a priest in England who gave up preaching for Lent one year. No word if that meant an early Easter for his congregation…

  4. David says:

    Dude, I totally did this while on my baby sabbatical. It was great. Except I turned it off 24×7.
    Change your Blackberry profile (or create a new one and switch to it at 6:00 pm) where you turn off the notifications, including the blinking light, when you get email or FB msgs or whatever else you don’t want to blink at you. It helps a bunch. Then just switch the profile back in the mornings.

  5. Father Tim says:

    Wow, I’m impressed. 24/7? That’s the equivalent of giving up coffee. Not happening. Thanks for the hints — maybe by the end of Lent I’ll be able to figure out what you’re talking about.

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