A report that Roman Catholic bishops in Italy are urging Italian Catholics to give up texting for lent sends a very interesting message. This suggestion is more than a no-meat Fridays, to stop communicating with texts for 5 weeks. However there’s more at play than it seems. Most Millennials communicate by text rather than phone or email, so one might wonder if this message was directed at trying to get Millennials more involved with their religion.

Political & Social Issue

All cell phone and many other chips rely on Coltan, short for columbite tantalite, and 80% comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo. So the political side of the no texting for lent is to highlight the years of conflict in the Congo where apparently farmers and children have been enslaved to dig for Coltan and the monies have been used against the citizens.  As well many of the wildlife preserves are being destroyed. There is even a “No blood on my cell phone” campaign as part of a requested embargo against the use of Coltan.

Web 2.0 Issue

Without question the Web 2.0 world has changed the way in which we communicate, and hundreds of millions of individuals regularly spend time texting, sending emails, and posting information on FaceBook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and/or Twitter. So giving up texting for lent does not seem like a very pragmatic proposal since such a proposal is not much different than giving up talking to for lent. Actually FaceBook just announced that it was expanding the amount of information about each friend and instead of a 5,000 friend limit, there will be no limit. So clearly Web 2.0 will only expand and giving up any Web 2.0 for lent seems impractical.

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