Joseph Walker">

What Twitter users are giving up for Lent

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 29 2012 1:23 p.m. MST

Every year, millions of people around the world give up a vice or a luxury as a form of penitence during the 40-day period of Lent that culminates on Easter Sunday. For many of them, this observance is a profound and meaningful part of practicing their Christian faith. For others, it is just another tradition, a rite of spring that gives them something to laugh and joke and talk about. For the past four years, Stephen Smith of has used a Twitter application programming interface (API) to see what people said they are giving up for Lent. As you might expect, there is a mix of the divine (swearing off being mean is No. 93, forsaking negativity is No. 96) and the diabolical (surrendering religion at No. 24, abandoning Christianity at No. 77) in Smith's data. Still, it provides an interesting look at what Twitterites are saying they are giving up for Lent.
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