At this point in the year (February, the second month), it’s worth assuming almost everyone has given up their New Year’s Resolution. Luckily, Lent, aka a “second chance at a better year,” is just around the corner, starting February 17. The 40-day long tradition of giving something up or making a promise to do something good has been around for centuries. Of course, the practice of Lent dates back to the triple digit years.
In Christian history, Lent is the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter. The time period is meant to represent the resistance of temptation. The term “Lent” is short for lengthen, as the days start to stretch into summer and the sun stays out later. At the end of Lent, Easter is a celebration and a chance to indulge on what you’ve given up.
For the last decade, Twitter has tracked what their users have given up for Lent and sent the data in to be processed and studied through OpenBible. Here’s our list of the top Lenten sacrifices:
- Internet. According to this data, most Americans who tweet about what they are giving up for Lent, ironically, plan on giving up social networking of all kinds. This includes your typical social apps like Facebook and Snapchat, but also communicating via text, using the internet for any reason or watching the news. It’s hard to believe this is the top Lenten sacrifice; though we’d be curious to find a study indicating how many folks keep it up longer than three days (or three hours).
- Alcohol. Ranking second on the most common Lenten goals is abstaining from alcohol, which certainly isn’t a bad thing. Alcohol has existed even long before Lent did, and a break from unhealthy habits like drinking too much is just the kind of sacrifice Lent is good for.
- Twitter. Even more ironically than giving up vague social networking & internet use is that many people, according to Twitter, give up…Twitter. The social media app keeps people updated on personal colleagues, as well as world-wide news and celebrity gossip. The overuse of a site with such exposure can be mentally draining and giving it up for 40 days can make a positive difference. Of course, announcing on Twitter that you are giving it up means you really have to stay off of it, or your followers will know you cracked.
- Chocolate. You knew this was coming, right? While this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to us, we understand the idea behind it. Candy isn’t good for you, it’s true, and giving up processed sweets with corn syrup and too many carbs to count to can really improve your health. However, finding just the right brand with no GMOs, gluten or unnatural flavoring like Barkeater is a huge step up, in our humble opinion. With our grains, nuts, fruits and other healthy add-ons, maybe instead of giving chocolate up for Lent, one can make a vow to only eat Barkeater Chocolates.
- Lent. And in one last twist of irony, the fifth thing given up most for Lent … is Lent itself. It’s no secret the long-standing tradition is not as practiced as it once was. Still, it is interesting that so many on Twitter announce that they are celebrating Lent by forgetting about Lent.
Whatever you choose to do or not do for this Lent, remember to be safe and not judge others for their choices. And whether or not you celebrate Easter, remember that Barkeater Chocolates has amazing Easter specials and limited time chocolates! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more information (unless, of course, you gave up social networking for Lent), in which case, just place your order and enjoy.