Social media

Church urges 6-week break from social media: Could you handle it?

March 15, 2013 at 4:30 PM ET

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Rosa Golijan / NBC News

With that annual period of self-denial leading up to Easter, many try to decide what to surrender. The Russian Orthodox Church — which observes Easter about a month after Catholic and Protestant churches do this year — has a suggestion: Give up Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and all the social networks which offer a barrage of information each and every second.

"I don't mean just people who use depraved, entertaining, stupid and empty information," church spokesman Vsevolod Chaplin explained to the Guardian. "Even useful information, that relates to our work and well-meaning interests, clogs the brain and soul too much."

Instead of using social media, Chaplin explains, you should give yourself "several hours or 15 minutes of time during Lent to not read curses on social networks, but serious texts, serious art, prayer, unhurried conversation with close ones."

"This is a unique chance to change your life," Chaplin adds.

This isn't the only opportunity we've been given for a spiritual reboot of our tech-obsessed lives of late. In early March, some celebrated the fourth annual National Day of Unplugging, a holiday dreamed up by the artists behind Sabbath Manifesto, a creative project revolving around the search for "a modern way to observe a weekly day of rest."

The holiday lasted from sundown on the first Friday in March until sundown on the following day. It came with a list of principles borrowing from the biblical Sabbath tradition to encourage folks to recharge their metaphorical batteries.

Considering that there are studies suggesting that Facebook can leave us feeling miserable and that various other uses of technology can increase stress — constantly looking at your email might be making you antsy — it's no surprise that there are so many movements are urging us to take a break from social media and tech in general.

The only problem is that some of us are far too attached to our gadgets.

"I can't remember the last time I turned my phone off in a situation not involving a software update or a flight," I mused in a Google+ post on Friday afternoon.

"These things have an 'off' switch?" someone replied.

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