CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - We discovered many people in the Heartland decided to make a common sacrifice for Lent: social media. Most individuals are giving up Facebook.
Why? They tell us they're giving up the online connections to reconnect with a higher power.
Three very different individuals explained how they're holding up so far, and if they think they can hold out another month.
"I just feel like lately it became a source of gossip," said Jessica Estes."Some people post negative things, or I'm embarrassed by some of the things people post and that's not how I wanted to start my day out. It was something I prayed about a lot when I made the decision."
Estes says she's glad she decided to fast from her friends feed to get closer to Christ.
"I did want to do something that would bring me closer to my faith," said Estes. "Others may give up chocolate and that is the things that brings a better spiritual relationship for them but this is good for me."
She announced on her page she'd be logging off.
"It's going great. I haven't been on Facebook at all," said Estes. "I deleted it from my phone and I don't get on the site at all."
She has had to make a few life adjustments.
"I run our social media for Leet Eye Care so I had to give that responsibility to someone else," said Estes.
She says she's replaced her Facebook time with new habits like reading her Lent Companion or scripture.
"Honestly I don't miss it," said Estes.
"I logged out Ash Wednesday and I haven't logged back in since," said Michael Kiellor.
Kiellor says his decision to be Facebook free surprised a lot of people.
"I have kids and I see how they are on the phone all the time and it was just something that I wanted to do. I would recommend it to others because you will learn a lot about how it plays more of a role in your life than you think or maybe some of your 'friends' aren't really your friends. At any rate, none of the affirmation from those online connections could compare with the connection you have with Christ."
Kiellor says he didn't realize he might have become a little Facebook dependent.
"I was on it a lot and I always tried to be positive, but there's also a lot of negative on there," said Kiellor. "It's interesting in some ways because my running group connects through Facebook. If someone doesn't text me I don't know where they're running from," said Kiellor. "It's been interesting."
He says it's given him a lot to think about.
"It's definitely caused me to sacrifice but it pales in comparison to what God sacrificed for me," said Kiellor. "
And then there's Brooke Elfrink.
"it's been rough," Elfrink laughed. "I won't lie. I have a lot more free time now."
She says she feared she would have been tempted so she got rid of her page all together.
"I deactivated my Facebook account," said Elfrink.
Elfrink says she spends more quality time with her husband Chris and always prays during her trip to work every morning between Leopold and Cape Girardeau.
However, she may be forming a new obsession to get her fix ... Pinterest.
"I think there is a definitely a Facebook addiction," said Elfrink. "I think I'm going through Facebook rehab right now."
All three say they will likely log back on after Lent, but plan to make an effort to be more positive, and monitor their activity.
"I'll probably get back on Facebook after Lent is over but I just want to remind myself that everything can used for good or bad," said Estes. "I want to use Facebook as a source to tell people about God instead of bad things."
"If I am going to be on it I hope I can post something that can be a source of hope for people," said Keillor. "But this experience has definitely brought me close to God. I recommend other people try it."
"I will remember this experience," said Elfrink. "It really gives you more time to focus on being present with your family."