During the October 2018 General Conference, President Russell M. Nelson invited the women of the Church to participate in a 10-day social media fast.
“I invite you to participate in a 10-day fast from social media and from any other media that bring negative and impure thoughts to your mind. Pray to know which influences to remove during your fast. The effect of your 10-day fast may surprise you. What do you notice after taking a break from perspectives of the world that have been wounding your spirit? Is there a change in where you now want to spend your time and energy? Have any of your priorities shifted—even just a little? I urge you to record and follow through with each impression.”
President Russell M. Nelson (October 2018 General Conference, General women’s session)
Following the prophet’s inspired invitation has resulted in many wonderful blessings in the lives of the sisters in Australia. A few of them shared their experiences:
Adeline Akaiti – Happier
During this time, I was happier. Breaking the habit of checking my phone so often became easier and I was able to feel the Spirit more. I had more time to attend to my callings and went about my day feeling more at peace.
I’ve been thinking about doing another 10 days, maybe 10 weeks, maybe longer . . .
Dale Rogers – A Sense of Freedom
This is the second time I’ve completed such a fast. I joined the youth fast earlier in the year; I was hoping to inspire my daughter to do the same. I think it’s a great thing to fast from social media. It can be a bit addictive—constantly checking to see if anything exciting is happening on Facebook. I’ve enjoyed the freedom of not thinking about what’s on my phone and I’ve been using my time more wisely.
I finally managed to finish reading a wonderful book that I purchased recently from Deseret books. I’ve had more time to spend with my daughters and granddaughter. I have had more time to get outdoors and exercise. I even ended up applying for university and have been accepted for next year. You can’t predict where you’ll be led when you give the Lord the time and space to guide you.
I am not back on Facebook yet as I have enjoyed this fast so much. The prophet is truly inspired and if we listen when he speaks, I know that we cannot go astray.
Lara Gilbert – A Sense of Accomplishment
By the end of the 10-day fast, I was able to see very clearly how much time I had been wasting.
Instead of checking my phone, I read the scriptures, or did tasks around the house, or squeezed in a quick nap. So many important things had been neglected because of my impulse to go on social media. I felt more peace and a sense of accomplishment and our family was happier.
Belinda Chan Oates – Productive
I found that during the 10-day fast I was more productive. I used my time to get chores done and get organised for Christmas. I make a family calendar every year and because I got on to it early, I only paid half price for materials. Blessings!
I did not miss the negativity that detracts from the Spirit; there is a lot of meanness out there. I have four adult children living at home and I am having more conversations with them. I am studying instead of just reading the Book of Mormon, which brings me so much peace.
There were some things that I missed. I missed the sharing of ideas. I missed the sharing of special moments like babies being born, birthdays, anniversaries and the convenience of having information from Church sites on my newsfeed.
However, doing this fast showed me how much time I waste on social media. I now use an app to keep track of that and have set timers to limit my use. I’ve also shifted in the way I use social media. While it is nice to share fun photos, I want to use my social media time more to share my testimony and beliefs.
Amy Congerton – In the Moment
At first, I found the 10-day fast a little difficult. I’m so used to scrolling through my social media feeds mindlessly, just out of habit.
After a couple of days of fasting, I forgot about time. I soon become used to not going on social media and now I can’t remember what day I started.
I quickly noticed I had more time and was more productive with that time. I felt that I enjoyed things more because I was more in the moment. The huge effect this social media fast has had on me inspired me to keep it going. I don’t know what day I’m on currently but it’s well over 20 days!
I feel so much gratitude for the prophet’s inspired invitation as I enjoy this new sense of freedom in my daily life.
Nora Costigan – No Longer Comparing
When the prophet challenged us to a 10-day social media fast, I knew it was counsel from the Lord for me. My husband and I deleted our social media apps from our phones that night and committed to living President Nelson’s challenge.
During the fast, the biggest difference I noticed was that there was significantly less competition in my life. Removing the comparison that naturally comes from social media brought happiness and gratitude for all the little successes we had.
I didn’t feel like I was lacking or lagging behind in any way and was free to be myself. My son was free to grow and develop at his own pace as there was no pressure to perform according to what other babies his age were, or were not, doing.
My husband felt the same. We could focus on our own relationship in our own unique way instead of copying or besting what other couples and parents were doing.
Moving forward I have determined to stay off social media every weekend so that I can concentrate on my family. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf said that life is not a race, it’s a journey so enjoy the moment. That is how I want to live.