“My first invitation to you today is to disengage from a constant reliance on social media by holding a seven-day fast from social media,” said President Nelson.
On June 3, 2018, President Russell M. Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, invited every single youth in the Church to “enlist in the youth battalion of the Lord to help gather Israel.”
To help you prepare for this final gathering, the prophet then asked you to do five things that would help change you and change the world.
- Hold a seven-day fast from social media. Take a break from the fake!
- For three weeks, make a weekly sacrifice of time to the Lord.
- Keep on the covenant path. If you have wandered off, immediately get on the road of repentance.
- Daily pray that the doors of all nations will be opened for the preaching of the gospel.
- Be a light. Set the standard. Give away one copy of For the Strength of Youth.
So about that social media fast …
President Nelson shared the story of a young man who had to give up his smartphone for a bit. At first, he panicked. (Can you relate?) But then, he was grateful. He felt “free for the first time in a long time” and loved being “free from the fake life that social media creates” and had much more time and energy to be outside, serve others, listen in church, and prepare for his mission. And he was so much happier.
Social media can certainly be a wonderful tool to connect with others and share goodness, but if you’re paying more attention to your Instagram feed or favorite YouTube videos than to the Spirit, it’s a problem.
“[The] downside of social media is that it creates a false reality,” President Nelson said. “Everyone posts their most fun, adventurous, and exciting pictures, which create the erroneous impression that everyone except you is leading a fun, adventurous, and exciting life. Much of what appears in your various social media feeds is distorted, if not fake.” (Watch “Things as They Really Are.”)
So what should you do?
Give yourself a seven-day break from the fake!
“My first invitation to you today is to disengage from a constant reliance on social media by holding a seven-day fast from social media,” our prophet said.
You can hold your social media fast by yourself or with a group. The important thing is to pick seven consecutive days and don’t post or look at any social media. Sign out and see what happens!
During those seven days, pay attention to how you feel, what you think, and even how you think. What differences do you notice? When you’re done, think about the things you want to stop doing and the things you want to start doing.
“This social media fast can be just between you and the Lord,” said President Nelson. “It will be your sign to Him that you are willing to step away from the world in order to enlist in His youth battalion.”
I’m doing the seven-day fast from social media right now and to help me do that I just deleted all of my social media apps so that I can't even get notifications because I would be tempted to go on it if I did. —Brayden H., 15, on the LDS Youth Website
Share Your Experience
If you choose to do a social media fast, tell us about it! What was hard? What surprised you? What did you feel and learn? What tips do you have for others who might do the social media fast?