Social Media, Lent, and Biotechnology

While many of us give up social media for Lent, social media kind of exploded with Lenten fervor last week for those of us who haven’t given it up. encouraged its followers to spread Lenten devotion around the web with the ashtag hashtag, and it took off. You can see their original post below, along with some other thoughts on social media and Ash Wednesday from First Things.

We’ve also got an article from Christ and Pop Culture on loving your neighbor’s Facebook feed and one from The New Atlantis on St. Francis and biotechnology.

If you missed it last week, we started a series of Lenten reflections on spirituality and technology this past Wednesday. Stay tuned for a new reflection this Wednesday.

Take an Ash Wednesday Selfie and Use #Ashtag – Church Mojo

Want to spread the word about the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday? There are plenty of ways for your church to do so. And here’s an easy way for you and your friends to do so.

selfies on ash wednesday

Giving Up the Bible for Lent – First Things

On this, the first day of Lent, I was dismayed to find this message from a Christian ministry in my Twitter feed:

“What are you doing for Lent? Take a photo and hashtag it #VivaLent to enter to win prizes weekly”

This tweet is emblematic of the Lenten takeover of social media and the corresponding social media takeover of Lent. It starts with people letting their friends and followers know they will be fasting from Facebook and Instagram and ends with the smart aleck who tweets that he will be giving up virginity for Lent.

Anti #Ashtag – First Things

When the famous Ellen DeGeneres Oscar selfie appeared on my Facebook wall on Mardi Gras, modified with ash crosses, I laughed. But on Ash Wednesday, I began to worry.

Loving Your Neighbor’s Facebook Feed – Christ and Pop Culture

You can follow me on Twitter (please). You can be my friend on Facebook (please, please). You can (please, please, please) read my articles. You can learn who I am (hi). You can become familiar with my preferences, opinions, foibles, and gifts. You can choose to love me or reject me (love me). And all of this, you can do without ever even knowing me.

Dante For Lent: The Reality Of Sin – The American Conservative

Read along with Rod Dreher as he works through Dante’s Purgatory for Lent.

St. Francis, Christian Love, and the Biotechnological Future – The New Atlantis

But now, armed with the powers of biotechnology, medicine has found a new paradigm, one of liberation: technological transformation in the quest for happiness and human perfection. Slowly but steadily the role of medicine has been extended, driven by our appetites and ambitions, to encompass dimensions of life not previously considered matters of health, with the effect of altering and revising the very frame of nature. Increasingly, we expect from medicine not just freedom from disease but freedom from all that is unattractive, imperfect, or just inconvenient. More recent proposals, of a still more ambitious scope, include projects for the conquest of aging, neurological fusion of humans and machines, and fundamental genetic revision and guided evolution — for transhumans, posthumans, and technosapiens.

Other articles

Support Second Nature

Second Nature depends on the generous donations of readers like you.

Second Nature is published by the International Institute for the Study of Technology and Christianity (IISTC), a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to studying technology in light of the Christian tradition.

Your generous contributions make this work possible. Please consider donating today to help us continue this important work.

About the Contributor

Benjamin Robertson

Benjamin Robertson
Benjamin Robertson is a founding editor at Second Nature. He has worked in advertising for the Chicago Tribune and Gannett, and now is a web developer at Mediacurrent. He studied Communications and Media Studies under Dr. Read Schuchardt at Wheaton College in Illinois. He has presented papers on Marshall McLuhan, media ecology, and Christianity at the Media Ecology Association, National Communication Association, and the McLuhan's Philosophy of Media Centennial Conference in Brussels. He lives with his wife, Ruth, in Greenville, SC. His personal website is

Speak Your Mind


Support Second Nature

If you find value in the work we do at Second Nature, please consider making a modest donation. Every donation, no matter how small, is a huge encouragement to us in our work.