LDS teens react to challenge to take week break from social media
Jun 4, 2018, 11:36 PM | Updated: Jun 5, 2018, 6:44 am
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Following an LDS devotional, where the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asked the church’s youth to fast from social media for seven days, many young church members say they are accepting the challenge.
President Russell M. Nelson asked LDS youth to set five goals in Sunday night’s devotional, which was broadcast to church members around the world.
But the one on the top of the list, taking a seven-day break from social media, is creating a lot of buzz.
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. So, give yourself a seven-day break from fake!”
President Nelson went on to say that social media often portrays false reality and can be a factor in loneliness and depression.
Monday was day one of a seven-day fast, for many LDS teens who accepted.
“I deleted all of my stuff right as soon as we walked out of the Conference Center,” said 16-year-old Lizzy Driggs, of Cedar Hills. She believes it will help her summer to be more productive.
“I kind of wanted to do it for a long time, this was the final thing, OK, I am really going to do it now,” she added.
“I did it awhile ago for Lent, for one of our classes they had us participate in Lent and I fasted from social media,” said Ellie Pollard, who was also in the Conference Center for the devotional.
She says after 40 days without social media in the spring, she didn’t want it back.
“When I first did it, I didn’t know if I could do it for that long, and I thought it would be hard, but after a couple of days, it was really nice not to be on your phone so much, because it really opens up your ability to do more and do things are you are more interested in,” Pollard added.
Still, these soon to be juniors in high school, believe not every LDS youth will want or be able to give up social media, even for a week.
“They were kind of groaning about it, and I was like thinking it is not that big of a deal and if it is that important that President Nelson wants us to do it, you might as well just do it, because it is not the most important thing in your life and never will be, so you might as well get rid of it,” Driggs said.
And while the challenge was issued to the youth of the church, many parents say they are joining in as well, and plan to stay off social media for the next week.