Savannah Hopkinson: Is President Nelson's social media challenge such a terrible thing?

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  • Ptpili Provo, UT
    Dec. 12, 2018 10:33 a.m.

    Great thought! Great research! I used to live on social media. Since the fast, I am not so judgmental of others. Everyday I would get these posts and feeds and comments that would create negativity and ill feelings towards others because it was in my face 24/7
    I love spending more time doing other things.
    Btw to all those who thought that social media was a scheme so close to elections to keep us misinformed. Um think for yourselves! We women are bright and intelligent to research on our own. Ie go to a LIVE debate. We see the reality around us. We know who will benefit us and who will not. We don’t need social media bossing us around or the propaganda to influence us either! ;) Happy messed up day! And it’s ok! I’m not perfect and I’m ok with that!

  • NB Cedar City, UT
    Oct. 19, 2018 6:02 a.m.

    When it comes to politics, I have to admit I've stopped trusting social media. I purposely don't get information on politics from social media because how grossly skewed a large number of posts are. I read the news and go to the politicians websites. Really I think a social media fast would help us make even better political choices if we are truly still seeking out information. We aren't better prepared to make political choices by knowing what every Jo Show "thinks" is going on.

  • relinda GAINESVILLE, GA
    Oct. 18, 2018 9:51 p.m.

    Personally, I think a fast from Social Media is a good thing!! Mostly I use it only to inform my family overseas of news in my local family - such as a Mission call, or Birthday wishes- because the Mail ( post office is to slow). They do likewise! Or we use email! And Facebook has at times also been disgusting and getting things on it from people that I do not know! A fast from it was really a good thing !!

  • Carl G Chicago, IL
    Oct. 18, 2018 10:08 a.m.

    Read page 86 in Clayton M Christensen's "The Power of Everyday Missionaries"!!

  • FanOf"ChuckARama" Vernal, UT
    Oct. 18, 2018 2:49 a.m.

    The RebelTVPrank guys on the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) sure have a lot of fun pulling chairs from unattentive peers and smashing pies into their faces because of tunnel vision Smart or I-Phone face glued to the screen attention. LOL!

  • Dode Northern Utah, UT
    Oct. 17, 2018 10:41 p.m.

    Which programs are actually social media? Do they include email?

  • Caddis Terry, MT
    Oct. 17, 2018 10:14 p.m.

    I believe it was an invitation. The hope is that folks will see the blessings of less time on line and more time doing other worthwhile activities. Nobody should be offended by such an invitation. I believe there are noticeable blessings that will accompany accepting the invite. Folks can choose otherwise.

  • Seagull Suz Sandy, UT
    Oct. 17, 2018 9:14 p.m.


    ...youth have had their fast, women now...I'm guessing will will also receive an invitation...

    Given the nature of social media as a way to stay connected with friends and family, church sites, news would not be feasible to ask the whole church membership to participate in a fast at the same time...

  • Serenityrosee Gresham, OR
    Oct. 17, 2018 8:45 p.m.

    This is an easy one for me, because my 10 day fast ends tomorrow.
    It was quiet, peaceful, and somewhat indescribable. I read out loud to myself.

    But since I could not partake of all four of our prophets suggestions, I substituted a ten-day breakfast/lunch fast for full participation in relief society (I teach primary.)

    I plan to heartily enjoy breakfast, lunch, facebook, yelp, radio, and television starting tomorrow. :-)

  • Seagull Suz Sandy, UT
    Oct. 17, 2018 8:30 p.m.

    I found the invitation from President Nelson to fast briefly from social media platforms of my be quite refreshing.
    I use a couple platforms 'for good' outlined by Elder Bednar:

    Four guidelines for social media messages:
    Elder Bednar invited members to “sweep the earth with messages filled with righteousness and truth” following these four guidelines:

    Be authentic and consistent.
    Seek to edify and uplift rather than to argue, debate, condemn, or belittle.
    Respect the intellectual property of other people and organizations.
    Be wise and vigilant in protecting yourself and those you love. (Remember, the world will have access to your messages and photos for all time).
    I have no intention of eliminating social media from daily use...the Spirit has borne witness to me relative to my personal usage...I feel good about how and how often I am online given my personal circumstances. Much of my ministering takes place via social media and is most effective...thank you Pres. Nelson for the suggested pause.

    Today is the 17th...10 days for many who began their fast on Conference Sunday...amazing how many sisters are back on their platforms today!

  • Sutton Cedar City, UT
    Oct. 17, 2018 7:33 a.m.

    Why wasn't this council given to men? or to the whole church.... Why just women???

  • DarlaG Spring, TX
    Oct. 16, 2018 8:32 p.m.

    I was shocked that such a simple request garnered such ugly reactions- even from some in the church! Upon reading several articles re: the fast, particularly in regards to political issues, I though, "So, your activism is more important than following the prophet? Activism over obedience." To see the prophet's request tossed aside as if if didn't apply to "them," was astounding. One woman quoted in a Guardian piece, said (paraphrasing)' Well, we believe in personal revelation in the church. We can decide for ourselves which counsel applies and what doesn't.' Wow.

    It's sad that we've reached that point. The counsel we receive can be difficult or uncomfortable for everyone, regardless of one's politics or issues, but it isn't on the leadership to change to make us happy, it's for us to change, to understand the refining process we are here to undergo. To become like Him who was obedient.

    We were never told our numbers would be large, and in fact we can expect them to be quite small, and getting smaller. If something as simple as a media fast can garner so much angst, imagine if we were asked to do something like cross the plains in handcarts!

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 16, 2018 1:06 p.m.

    RE: "Is President Nelson's social media challenge such a terrible thing?"...
    Who said it's a "terrible" thing?

    I doubt the prophet would ask us to do something terrible.

    Oh wait... is commenting on the DesNews considered "social media"... Dough!

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 16, 2018 6:45 a.m.

    It is the responsibility of all people to balance and manage their own lives within their own boundaries and lines. Some people are obsessive compulsive with social media. Many are not, and use it to their benefit. Some are obsessive compulsive in their religious beliefs too. Keeping in touch with groups of friends, likeminded issues, support groups, and even sharing political and other issues is one way to keep informed.

    I think it is important to take whatever council is given with a grain of salt and then apply it whatever way works for the individual.

    There are posers here who say it is the "word of the Lord". Well frankly we have heard that many times before, and like everything, issues must be studied in context and with an open mind. Blind following is not what we are supposed to do.

    Social Media can be important A lifeline to real social issues. The election and it's outcome will change America either for the worse, or better. Women's access to information helps them make a decisions that will affect their family. Cutting off women only seems very odd and discriminatory, and frankly a little condescending to women. Why not men?

  • taking a stand for truth Lehi, UT
    Oct. 15, 2018 3:20 p.m.

    Its all a matter of who you want to follow. The world? Or the Lord?

    Everyone should ask: "Do I spend more time with social media? Or in studying, pondering and living the gospel?"

  • HSTucker Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 15, 2018 2:11 p.m.

    Well done, Savannah. Keep up the good work. Remember the organizations, philosophies, and people who criticize the prophets and remain vigilant so you don't get caught in their web. It's going to be difficult if you remain in journalism, but it can be done.

    "May we maintain the courage to defy the consensus. May we ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong."
    -- President Thomas S. Monson

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Oct. 15, 2018 12:42 p.m.

    I'm retired but I'm very busy so I spend very little time on social media. It's mind rot. Why in the world would anyone with any respect for their brains read it?

  • CallMeBonnie Mayer, AZ
    Oct. 15, 2018 12:04 p.m.

    Is Deseret News considered "social media"?

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    Oct. 15, 2018 11:18 a.m.

    Critics are critics. That is why they are called critics. Also, in this day and age of Twitter and social media, why do we think anything would have 100% approval? We could find a cure for cancer and there would be "critics". There have always been and always will be critics of everything, but because "10" twitter followers click on dislike, we have to make a story about it. I took President Nelson's social media fast a few months ago when he announced it to the Young Men and Young Women and went 21 days and could have gone longer. I check Facebook once a week and every time it reminds me of the garbage that is there and that it is a waste of time. Stop listening to critics. They will always be there and like the Primary song says," Follow the Prophet".

  • Yorkshire Logan, UT
    Oct. 15, 2018 11:11 a.m.

    Oh man, how the heck can a social media fast be construed as an attempt to "silence women's voices for the upcoming US election"??

    That might be the most ridiculous thing I've read for awhile!

    If you aren't going to inform yourself and go vote just because you haven't been on social media for 10 days (Which 10 days ends THREE WEEKS before the election) then your problem isn't with a social media fast.

    And if you are going to believe these totally ridiculous accusations, your problem is also not with missing a few days of social media.....

  • GingerMarshall Brooklyn, OH
    Oct. 15, 2018 10:38 a.m.

    Social Media.

    I run a Facebook group for people in recovery from addiction. It offers contact for those locally who can’t make meetings because of work or other obligations. It offers support for those outside the area who don’t have anything locally.

    I am on several addiction recovery support groups as a member. We share experience, strength, and hope and support each other. Some are across the country, others are in Cleveland.

    I am on Facebook as part of several organizations - we use it to communicate and organize.

    I am on Facebook to follow several people who give news analysis or who report on events - I am kept informed in a way the media doesn’t provide.

    I am on Facebook as part of organizing efforts to respond to problems in society.

    I am on Facebook to keep up with friends - some I have not seen in years, some I have never met, some I see several times a week.

    Social Media is what you make of it.

  • Traveller Farmington, UT
    Oct. 15, 2018 10:04 a.m.

    If missing 10 days of updates in social media is going to change how you vote, then with respect I think you aren't educating yourself thoroughly enough on the issues.

  • Justiciaparatodos Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 15, 2018 9:09 a.m.

    Orson shared this wise and true observation: "LGBT and feminist activists, both in and out of the church, being led and informed by the philosophies of the world, will especially criticize. One activist group (in the media) called Pres. Oak's teachings "rhetoric." Prophetic pronouncements and eternal truths are not "rhetoric."

    As more and more people use as their guide the "philosophies of the world", the world will continue to decline in morality, prosperity and enlightenment. What we will see is more war, fear, consternation and ultimately anarchy.

  • Sydsta Draper, UT
    Oct. 15, 2018 8:51 a.m.

    Although the social media challenge has been quite literally a challenge for me, there's so much more to Pres. Nelson's challenge. It's not just a social media fast, but a fast from any media that brings negative or impure thoughts (but he never described what that could be, so it's very personalized and up the the individual to decide what that could be). There were also 3 other parts to his challenge: read the Book of Mormon, attend the temple regularly, and participate fully in Relief Society.
    My fast from social media has given me time to do the rest of the challenges. This challenge was not to silence women, but to help us realize there is so much more we could be doing! As the mouthpiece of our Father in Heaven, he gave us a challenge that will help us leave distractions and put more effort into building the Kingdom.

    If we truly believe that the prophet is the mouthpiece of the Lord, why are we having a hard time with this? What if the Lord himself asked us to do a social media fast? Would we hesitate?? I sure hope I wouldn't.

  • Thomas Paine South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 15, 2018 8:35 a.m.

    Most of the 16 million members do not live in the US, and President Nelson's words weren't only for the US but for the world. It's naive and myopic to assume this challenge was to silence women's voices for the upcoming US election.

  • All American Herriman, UT
    Oct. 15, 2018 8:35 a.m.

    What are we here (on earth) for? We're here to better ourselves. We can take control of our own lives. If something you are doing, thinking, reading, participating in, doesn't further your life - give it up. Easier said than done, you say? No one said it would be easy - only that it can be done. YOU are the master of your life.

    Tune out the negative, the meanness, the protesters. All of that comes from people who want YOU to do what THEY want. Be your own master.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Oct. 15, 2018 6:42 a.m.

    I sat with my wife to watch the women's meeting and also took up the social media fast challenge. I've used the time to read some books I've wanted to read. I haven't missed the social media.

    I find the negative reaction symptomatic of the core problem - people are triggered by angsty messaging which they've built a neurochemical need for - the same thing that happens to people who need to check in daily with Breitbart or Fox News.

    After the Kavanaugh episode, our family took a complete break from media for a week. We have enjoyed talking about other topics and getting less frustrated.

    I feel sorry for people that can't take a simple invitation and find something to gain or learn from it, rather than taking offense. She/he who hath ears to hear, let him/her hear...

  • SorryNotSorry Draper, UT
    Oct. 15, 2018 5:25 a.m.

    I’m a guy. I watched Women’s Conference with as much interest as the other sessions.

    I’m currently on my own social media fast and almost done with 1 Nephi as part of the BofM challenge.

    I’m loving it! It’s 100% wonderful!

    I see no ulterior motive other than to help us be less connected electronically and more connected spiritually.

  • Mom of 8 Machiasport, ME
    Oct. 15, 2018 4:58 a.m.

    Because of family and job, I didn't leave social media entirely but altered my "fast"--I snoozed about 95% of my contacts on Facebook for a month, and kept up only my family and work and church. (Since I find twitter and instagram boring, it was easy to leave those.) It's been wonderful to not have to peek into so many lives every day, to not see their vitriol and angst about politics, to narrow my focus to only that which encourages and uplifts.

    I'm going to make this a permanent change, and I think that was the spirit of what Pres. Nelson wanted us to get: what can you let go to shift your focus to where it needs to be?

  • CallMeBonnie Mayer, AZ
    Oct. 14, 2018 7:17 p.m.

    Did the author of this article take the challenge?

  • Orson Woods Cross, UT
    Oct. 14, 2018 3:23 p.m.

    Anything a prophet counsels is going to be criticized.

    As Elder Oaks noted in his message, "Our positions . . . frequently provoke opposition to the Church. We consider that inevitable."

    As it becomes more and more singular in its standards, and in teaching its members to keep the commandments, the church will be more and more singled out by the world for criticism--"inevitable"--though not enjoyable.

    LGBT and feminist activists, both in and out of the church, being led and informed by the philosophies of the world, will especially criticize. One activist group (in the media) called Pres. Oak's teachings "rhetoric." Prophetic pronouncements and eternal truths are not "rhetoric."

    So we have a choice; safely follow the prophet, or, follow the voices of social media. Usually we can't do both without getting spiritually ripped apart. That is why so many activists eventually exit the church--they are supporting the wrong cause.

  • Occidental Observer Orem, UT
    Oct. 14, 2018 1:27 p.m.

    (Written Sunday the 14th of October)

    Well, the women who took President Nelson up on his challenge and started their media fast the next day will have gone through their ten days and be finished the day after tomorrow. Perhaps they will have benefitted from their electronic respite, and perhaps not. They will likely be Facebook-ing about their experiences as the naysayers are still complaining, probably interminably.