Ash Wednesday, which means Lent, is officially here. For those of you who don’t know, Lent is a Christian observance that lasts for 40 days (or six weeks) leading up to Easter. During this time, many people (even those who aren't Christians) choose to give up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence.
While some of the “luxuries” people choose to forego are questionable to say the least (okay, who are the 631 smarty-pants people who Tweeted they were giving up breathing for this list?), many fall into a few main categories – food, daily habits/additions and technology being the frontrunners.
Check out these things people are most likely to abstain from (or at least try).
According to this list, which uses Twitter’s API to take a snapshot of what people say they’re giving up for Lent, Twitter (ironically) topped the list, with Facebook coming close behind at #6. Social networking as a whole came in at #23, while texting, phones and TV also made the list. Giving up social media might seem like an easy choice, but if you’re one of those people obsessed with checking your friends’ statuses every few minutes, it can be a struggle.
Another popular item is chocolate and other sweets/junk food. Chocolate came in a close second to Twitter with several other indulgent foods like soda, fast food, sweets, junk food, chips, candy and McDonald’s all in the top 30. Lots of people also aim to stay away from alcohol for the six weeks (it came it at #4 on the list, and also reappeared as “beer” at #26 and “liquor” and “booze” as #61 and #62).
Many people look at Lent as a way to better themselves, which means bad habits are popular things that people try to nix during the 40 days. Whether your vice is swearing, smoking, too much coffee, junk food/alcohol (see above) or biting your nails, trying to quit during this time is popular. There are major health benefits to cutting out some of your worst habits, and doing so during Lent might give you the motivation you need. As an added bonus, cutting out those things can save you big bucks.
Remember the aptly-titled movie "40 Days and 40 Nights"? It starred hunky Josh Hartnett as Matt, a ladies man who, after some bad experiences, decides to abstain from sex for Lent. Well, apparently he’s not the only one. Sex came in at #8, with masturbation and porn also making the top 100.
No matter what you’re giving up, it can be a difficult journey. Luckily, there’s an app for that. A new iPhone app “40 Days – Lent Observance Tracker” helps you keep track of your progress and features “inspirational” quotes and photos.
Are you giving up anything for Lent? Let us know in the comments below.
Watch the video below to see gadgets aimed to help you break bad habits.