Could you give up your mobile phone, iPod or Facebook for Lent?

Hello I’m Charlotte Bellis and you’re on Newsy.com.

Catholic bishops across Italy are urging young people to give up texting, social networking and computer games for at least one day a week, until Easter.

But, is this feasible? We’re examining the motives behind this ‘tech fast’ and the reactions to it, from the BBC, the Associated Press, Sky News, and The Los Angeles Times.

According to the BBC, the average Italian sends 50 texts a month - the second highest rate in Europe, behind the UK.

Catholic clergy member Benito Cocchi told the BBC…

“Foregoing these activities would help them [young Catholics] ‘cleanse themselves from the virtual world and get back into touch with themselves.’” (BBC)

Sky News highlights a more political reason for this tech fast, saying most electronic devices are made from Coltan – a mineral primarily found and illegally mined in the war-torn country of the Congo.

Sky news reports one Italian missionary said,

“What we’re asking is a simple gesture. We want people to pause for reflection during Lent and think about this before they send an SMS text message.” (Sky News)

But, reactions to this modern day fast have been mixed.

A headline from the Los Angeles Times reads,

“Give up Twitter? No way, man of God”

The article called the ban “impractical,” saying…

“…maybe Google could defer to the Holy Father and add Paternal controls to its Internet options.” (The Los Angeles Times)

The Associated Press spoke with a Croatian priest, who is also critical of the suggested ban on text messaging…

“This priest from Croatia is not so sure, asking, ‘Why shouldn’t I send a text message? I use them to give advice, to respond to the needs and demands of the faithful.’”

So, do you think this modern sacrifice is feasible? Does your job play a role in whether or not you would fast from technology? We invite you to share your views with us and please check out our sources.

I’m Charlotte Bellis, for Newsy.com...

Giving Up Text for Lent

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Mar 8, 2009

Giving Up Text for Lent

Could you give up your mobile phone, iPod or Facebook for Lent?

Hello I’m Charlotte Bellis and you’re on Newsy.com.

Catholic bishops across Italy are urging young people to give up texting, social networking and computer games for at least one day a week, until Easter.

But, is this feasible? We’re examining the motives behind this ‘tech fast’ and the reactions to it, from the BBC, the Associated Press, Sky News, and The Los Angeles Times.

According to the BBC, the average Italian sends 50 texts a month - the second highest rate in Europe, behind the UK.

Catholic clergy member Benito Cocchi told the BBC…

“Foregoing these activities would help them [young Catholics] ‘cleanse themselves from the virtual world and get back into touch with themselves.’” (BBC)

Sky News highlights a more political reason for this tech fast, saying most electronic devices are made from Coltan – a mineral primarily found and illegally mined in the war-torn country of the Congo.

Sky news reports one Italian missionary said,

“What we’re asking is a simple gesture. We want people to pause for reflection during Lent and think about this before they send an SMS text message.” (Sky News)

But, reactions to this modern day fast have been mixed.

A headline from the Los Angeles Times reads,

“Give up Twitter? No way, man of God”

The article called the ban “impractical,” saying…

“…maybe Google could defer to the Holy Father and add Paternal controls to its Internet options.” (The Los Angeles Times)

The Associated Press spoke with a Croatian priest, who is also critical of the suggested ban on text messaging…

“This priest from Croatia is not so sure, asking, ‘Why shouldn’t I send a text message? I use them to give advice, to respond to the needs and demands of the faithful.’”

So, do you think this modern sacrifice is feasible? Does your job play a role in whether or not you would fast from technology? We invite you to share your views with us and please check out our sources.

I’m Charlotte Bellis, for Newsy.com...

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