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What to Give Up for Lent 2018? Consider Twitter’s Top 100 Ideas

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Last year, Trump ranked between Facebook and hope.

Once again, you can follow in real time what Twitter users say they are giving up for Lent, which this year begins Wednesday, February 14.

Last year, food items were three times as popular to abstain from as technology items or personal habits. At least, according to 73,334 tweets analyzed by’s Stephen Smith during the week of Ash Wednesday 2017. Alcohol ranked No. 1 for the first time since his project began in 2009.

The creator of the Twitter Lent Tracker was most curious how high Donald Trump would rank last year among perennial favorites such as social networking, alcohol, and chocolate. The President ended up finishing No. 22 in 2017, up from No. 82 in 2016.

Meanwhile, LifeWay Research offered a chance to compare Twitter’s serious vs. sarcastic sharers last year via its study on what Americans who observe the Lenten season before Easter say they actually give up.

Of note: 3 in 10 Americans with evangelical beliefs (28%) observe Lent; of these, 42 percent typically fast from a food or beverage while 71 percent typically attend church services.

Overall, 1 in 4 Americans observes Lent, and Catholics remain most likely to do so (61%), according to LifeWay.

Overall, Twitter’s top five Lenten choices have proven consistently popular since Smith began tracking Lent in 2009. Here is how the top 5 ideas of 2017 have trended:

Smith charts different trends over time, such as this attempt to track the “seven deadly sins”:

For comparison, here are the top 100 ideas of 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014. Below is a word cloud of last year’s top ideas:

Below is Smith’s running tally of the top 100 most-mentioned Lenten sacrifices (both serious and cynical) in 2018. (This list will eventually …

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Source: Christianity Today Magazine

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