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What People Gave Up for Lent, According to Twitter

Social network sites and chocolate topped the list again.
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Editor's note: For the past three years, Stephen Smith has used Twitter's API to take a snapshot of what people say they are giving up for Lent. Each year, the list is a mix of the sincere and the sarcastic, the earnest and the anti-religious. But each year, it results in a fascinating look at American spirituality–especially with the recurrent themes of people tweeting how they plan to give up social networking for the 40 day season of fasting.

Congratulations, I guess, go this year to Charlie Sheen, who came in at both #23 and, with "tiger blood," at #90. Justin Bieber is up several spots this year, so he hasn't quite crested yet. The next-highest celebrity, who didn't make the top 100, is British boy band One Direction.

"Trophies," at #69, refers to the English soccer club Arsenal's recent defeat, or something.

The later start to Lent this year means that "snow" doesn't appear on the list–last year, it was #48. Myspace hangs on at #99, dropping 48 places.

This list draws from 85,000 tweets from March 7-10, 2011, and excludes retweets.

RankWordCountChange from last year's rank
1. Twitter 4,297 0
2. Facebook 4,060 0
3. Chocolate 3,185 0
4. Swearing 2,527 +1
5. Alcohol 2,347 -1
6. Sex 2,093 +3
7. Soda 1,959 -1
8. Lent 1,493 -1
9. Meat 1,352 -1
10. Fast food 1,303 0
11. Sweets 1,252 0
12. Giving up things 778 +7
13. School 768 +27
14. Religion 745 +1
15. Coffee 707 -3
16. You 675 +6
17. Social networking 665 +15
18. Chips 664 +3
19. Junk food 594 -1
20. Bread 571 +6
21. Smoking 555 -4
22. Candy 541 -8
23. Charlie Sheen 511  
24. Work 482 +4
25. Stuff 467 -2
26. Catholicism 436 -10
27. Food 395 +3
28. Shopping 363 +1
29. Marijuana 358 +31
30. Beer 346 -10
31. Fried food 307 -7
32. Homework 306 +27
33. Cheese 297 +4
34. Cookies 293 +11
35. Red meat 285 -10
36. Masturbation 285 +8
37. Virginity 253 +26
38. Pancakes 252 +20
39. Rice 236 -5
40. Booze 235 +2
41. Coke 234 -3
42. Boys 229 +24
43. Sugar 229 -16
44. Sobriety 226 +10
45. Procrastination 226 -10
46. Nothing 219 +21
47. Winning 219  
48. Ice cream 211 -7
49. Caffeine 203 -16
50. McDonald's 195 +27
51. Church 188 +28
52. Wine 188 -3
53. TV 184 -7
54. Starbucks 183 -15
55. Texting 182 -12
56. Liquor 181 -1
57. Negativity 180 +26
58. Carbs 179 +10
59. Christianity 177 -12
60. Justin Bieber 176 +9
61. Pizza 175 -11
62. French fries 159 +2
63. Me 157 +9
64. Losing 155  
65. Men 152 -13
66. Fizzy drinks 151  
67. Porn 147 +4
68. Lint 147 -11
69. Trophies 144  
70. Tumblr 144  
71. Desserts 142 -15
72. Chicken 140 +15
73. Pork 139 -3
74. Cake 132 +8
75. Tea 127 +19
76. Sarcasm 127 +14
77. Diet Coke 119 -16
78. Laziness 118 -13
79. Sleep 117 -6
80. Jesus 115 -4
81. College 111  
82. Internet 110 -46
83. Complaining 108 -9
84. Breathing 103  
85. Takeout 98  
86. Beef 98 -8
87. People 96 +11
88. New Year's resolutions 96 +1
89. Him 94 -5
90. Tiger blood 92  
91. Makeup 91  
92. Juice 90 -7
93. Clothes 89  
94. My phone 88  
95. God 87 -15
96. Abstinence 85 -15
97. Stress 84  
98. Chipotle 82  
99. Myspace 81 -48
100. Eating out 81 -25

This article first appeared at Stephen Smith's OpenBible.info. Used with permission.

December
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