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What to Give Up for Lent 2017? Consider Twitter’s Top Ideas

(UPDATED) Trump ranks between Facebook and hope in analysis of 73,000 tweets.
What to Give Up for Lent 2017? Consider Twitter’s Top Ideas Image: Stephen Smith / OpenBible.info
Twitter's top 100 ideas of 2017.

Update (Mar. 6): After analyzing 73,334 tweets that specifically mentioned giving up something for Lent this year, Stephen Smith has crowned a new winner.

“This year, alcohol topped the list for the first time,” noted the OpenBible.info blogger. “It’s been hovering in the top five for the past few years, last year landing at a then-record No. 3.”

Overall, food items were three times as popular to claim abstention from as technology items or personal habits.

Smith also noted the impact of the recent US presidential election.

“Donald Trump is a big winner this year, landing at No. 22, just behind Facebook but ahead of hope,” he wrote. “The presidency comes in at No. 52. In all, there are 1,002 tweets mentioning Trump, President, and POTUS, which is good enough for No. 10 on the list if we were to combine them all into a single line.”

Meanwhile, Netflix, Chipotle, Diet Coke, and “my phone” dropped the most from last year.

Smith’s final tally of Twitter’s 100 favorite things to give up for Lent 2017, as well as links to charts of how each idea has trended since 2009, are included below.

Fast food
Image: OpenBible.info

Fast food

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Once again, you can follow in real time what Twitter users say they are giving up for Lent, which this year begins Wednesday, March 1.

But new this year is a LifeWay Research study on what Americans who observe Lent say they actually give up. It offers a chance to compare Twitter’s serious vs. sarcastic sharers.

“Perennial favorites social networking, alcohol, and chocolate lead the list,” wrote OpenBible.info’s Stephen Smith, creator of the Twitter Lent Tracker, based on the first 1,600 tweets. “My main question, given the current US political climate, is how high Donald Trump will rank?

“He’s currently vying with smoking and sugar for No. 24. Last year, as a presidential candidate, he finished at No. 82.”

LifeWay found that nearly 3 in 10 evangelical believers (28%) now observe the Lenten season before Easter, while Catholics remain most likely to do so (61%).

In its analysis of who gives up what, Facts & Trends noted:

Giving up a favorite food or beverage is more common out West (62%) than in the Northeast (42%). Young Americans—those 18 to 24—who observe Lent are more likely to choose this option (86%) than those over 65 (43%). Catholics (64%) are more likely give up a food or drink than Protestants (43%).

Overall, Twitter’s top five Lenten choices have proven consistently popular since Smith began tracking Lent in 2009.

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

For comparison, here are the top 100 ideas of 2016, the top 100 ideas of 2015, and the top 100 ideas of 2014, as well as charts on trends over time.

Here is Smith’s final tally of the top 100 most-mentioned Lenten sacrifices (both serious and cynical) in 2017. (The list covers tweets from February 27 to March 4 that mention giving up something for Lent and, except as noted, excludes retweets.) Links lead to charts of how each item has trended since 2009.

Rank Word Count Change from last year’s rank
1. Alcohol 2,396 +2
2. Social networking 2,148 0
3. Chocolate 2,143 -2
4. Twitter 2,064 0
5. Chips 1,416 +15
6. Swearing 1,395 0
7. School 1,189 -2
8. Soda 1,186 -1
9. Fast food 1,092 +1
10. Sweets 990 -2
11. Coffee 969 -2
12. Meat 909 -1
13. Lent 906 0
14. College 894 +5
15. Beer 888 +8
16. Bread 691 0
17. Sugar 660 -5
18. Life 645 +11
19. Sex 612 -1
20. You 609 -5
21. Facebook 594 -7
22. Donald Trump 520 +62
23. Hope 456 +31
24. Work 442 +3
25. Boys 433 -1
26. Religion 406 +4
27. Junk food 401 -6
28. Homework 393 -6
29. Pizza 373 -12
30. Smoking 296 +5
31. Candy 288 -5
32. Cheese 284 +4
33. Marijuana 267 +6
34. Starbucks 265 -6
35. Catholicism 259 +12
36. Ice cream 249 -5
37. Cookies 227 +1
38. F***boys 220 -13
39. Wine 219 -2
40. Being petty 212 +21
41. Instagram 210 -8
41. Breathing 210 +22
42. Rice 209 0
43. Carbs 202 +5
43. Fried food 202 +6
44. Makeup 201 +2
45. Shopping 190 +3
46. People 189 +4
47. Virginity 185 +12
48. Red meat 184 +3
49. Stuff 180 -5
50. Snapchat 168 -16
51. French fries 166 -6
52. The presidency 164 +82
53. Procrastination 159 +3
54. Men 158 +18
55. Sobriety 156 +5
56. Liquor 155 +6
57. My will to live 154 +77
58. Food 150 -15
58. Negativity 150 -3
59. Takeout 148 +7
60. Dairy 144 +6
61. McDonald’s 143 -8
62. Booze 141 -4
63. Masturbation 138 -8
64. Netflix 136 -32
64. Hot Cheetos 136 -1
65. Eating out 133 +6
66. The dirtiest thing 132 +28
67. Complaining 130 -10
68. Desserts 126 -16
69. Caffeine 125 -19
70. Coke 124 -9
71. Lying 123 +15
72. Sleep 115 -2
73. Him 114 +3
74. Feelings 108 -22
75. Fizzy drinks 103 -12
76. My job 99 +15
76. Juice 99 +1
76. Chick Fil A 99 -8
77. Pasta 95 -12
78. Pancakes 94 -7
79. Nothing 91 +14
80. Online shopping 89 -17
81. Naps 88 +9
82. Church 87 -1
83. Living 86 +43
84. Memes 83 +27
85. Cake 82 -15
86. My phone 79 -33
87. Stress 78 -14
88. Eating live mice 77
88. My attitude 77 -10
88. Caring 77 -24
88. Her favourite treat 77
89. Abbreviations 75 +41
90. Politics 74 +3
90. Sweet tea 74 -2
91. Potatoes 72 0
91. Classes 72 +10
92. Boba 70 +10
93. Christianity 69 -13
94. TV 65 -11
94. Sarcasm 65 -20
95. Taco Bell 63 -20
95. Donuts 63 +6
96. Oxygen 62 +18
96. Porn 62 -24
97. Studying 60 -9
97. My boyfriend 60 +3
97. The gym 60 +8
97. Diet coke 60 -30
98. Everything 59 -11
98. Anxiety 59 +13
99. New Year’s resolutions 58 -20
100. Chipotle 57 -31
100. Pork 57 -16

Top categories of 2017:

Rank Category Number of Tweets
1. food 17,017
2. technology 5,659
3. habits 4,962
4. smoking/drugs/alcohol 4,880
5. irony 3,495
6. school/work 3,470
7. relationship 2,541
8. sex 1,179
9. religion 1,055
10. politics 911
11. generic 679
12. entertainment 447
13. shopping 407
14. health/hygiene 328
15. money 279
16. sports 152
17. possessions 103
18. clothes 64
19. weather 28
20. celebrity 20

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Related Topics:Lent; Twitter
Posted:February 27, 2017 at 12:16PM
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What to Give Up for Lent 2017? Consider Twitter’s Top Ideas