Social media fast

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As I listened to General Conference with my cute husband we listened as the Prophet of the church challenged all the women of the church to go on a 10-day social media fast. As well as power read the Book of Mormon and start attending the temple more regularly.

{here’s President Nelson’s full talk if you missed it}

What. for real? 10 days?

Ok but like… I don’t know about any of you, but 10 days is a long time not to check Facebook.

See, I have a condition called F.O.M.O. otherwise known as “The Fear of Missing Out.” It’s a disease that is becoming more and more common in today’s society and scientists have recently discovered that it is contagious and is often transferred person to person by means of Social Media.

Side effects include constantly checking my phone to see how many notifications I have. Scrolling through news feeds left and right all while comparing myself to this girl that has this and that girl that did that and what’s-their-bucket who looks oh so cute in their hot dang new profile picture. Constantly exposing myself to the relentless message that I’ll never be tall enough, strong enough, pretty enough, happy enough, kind enough, mean enough, tough enough, rich enough, or boujee enough to make it in this sick twisted world. It means I sit glued to my phone wondering who out there is having fun without me and wondering to myself why I’m not apart of all the fun. It means stressing about imaginary things I could be missing out on while being oblivious to the real parts of life that I am actually missing out on.

It’s a wonder to me why, if simply engaging in social media causes so many negative side effects, we don’t need to see a doctor before using it in the first place.

But here’s the thing.

All that ish is fake as can be.

A little over 10 days ago I found myself snuggled up on the couch with my sweet husband as we watched the woman’s session of General Conference (bless Josh for being a loving enough husband to watch it with me. I love him) When the Prophet of the Church, who I might add is literally a HEART SURGEON AKA MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL, told the women of the church we ought to take a break from drugging ourselves with this toxic practice.

So I did.

And this is what I learned.

I learned that I am so much happier when I don’t let stupid media weigh me down. I started to believe my husband’s compliments more. And I started to talk a little kinder to myself. I started to be more present when I was in social situations. I became a better listener. I also learned that I am more sensitive to the spirit when I’m not so worried about social media.

I learned that social media, for me at least, has an addictive effect on me. For the first couple days, I found myself trying to fill the void. I felt like I was going through withdrawals. I would get on my phone and subconsciously start looking for my social media apps only to realize they weren’t there. I decided that since President Nelson had also challenged us to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year, that each time I got on my phone out of habit to scroll through Facebook I would force myself to open up my gospel library app and read at least a scripture or two. I did this no matter where I was at. Sitting in math class. Sitting at work surrounded by co-workers. Sitting on the toilet. You name it.

I am amazed by how much I got into the scriptures this week. They seemed to come alive. They seemed to relate to my life more because I was making them a part of my life more.

At one point during the week, I was reading from the Book of Mormon about Nephi making his “Account” and why it was so important to God that he did. I laughed as I imagined God commanding Nephi to create “Social Media Accounts” on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. I read as Nephi and his brothers sneak into Laban’s house to get an “Account” of their ancestors and imagined how funny it would have been if that meant Nephi was sneaking into Laban’s computer to hack his Twitter account.

Nephi

I learned that the reason Nephi cared so much about his “accounts” was because he cared about sharing the gospel with his posterity. He just wanted to fulfill God’s commandment to bring the gospel to others.

It made me evaluate my own “accounts”

Do I spend my time on Facebook and Instagram trying to lift others up, or tear myself down? Are the things I post adding to the “record of my people” or are they merely an attempt at self-promotion in order to make myself feel better about not being as cool as so-and-so?

See, I don’t think that Social media is in and of itself evil. But it really just depends on how we use it. I think that the whole point of social media in the first place was so that we could record the things we do with “Our people” I think saving pictures of events and sharing stories makes these accounts rich and worth reading. I think that these “accounts” can promote faith. I think that together we can lift each other up and together we can come closer to the Savior as we make these changes in our lives.

It looks different for everyone, but I feel that as we all follow promptings we can make the social media world a more spirit-filled place to be. I imagine what Tweets and Facebook posts will look like for those who reside in the Celestial Kingdom. I imagine there will be a lot more family pictures and a lot less family gossip. I imagine we’ll share more videos of our children instead of sharing so many pointless videos of people doing makeup. I imagine it will be a lot less about our OOTD (Outfit Of The Day) and a lot more SOTD (Scripture Of The Day). I imagine everyone commenting kind words to each other. I imagine us not basing our self-worth on “Likes” but hitting “Like” more often in order to stand with our brothers and sisters about things that we believe in.

And I believe all of this can start right now.

So here’s to more gospel-centered accounts.

What did you learn from your social media fast?

-WhitneySue

 

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