Recently the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held it’s semi-annual General Conference. This is a 2 day event where leaders, including our prophet, give advice and counsel to the members to help us lead better lives and get closer to Jesus Christ. In the Women’s Session (there is a male session in April, women’s session in October) the prophet Russell M Nelson gave a 4 part challenge to the women of the church and this included a 10 day social media fast.
Almost immediately I saw many friends post the beginning of their fasts on Instagram and twitter; explaining to their followers they would be offline for 10 days. My immediate response was less obedient. I thought ‘that is not happening…’
The truth is I work in social media every day. I am literally a ‘digital marketing coordinator’. That’s my job. Taking 10 days off of work would get me fired so that is an impossibility.
Also for Hallmarkies I’ve made commitments with people to post interviews, podcasts and other work we’ve done together. For example last Saturday I posted an interview with Jen Lilley to promote her new album. If I was off social media than I wouldn’t be fulfilling my commitment to her and it would make the podcast look terrible. The podcast posts 3 times a week, and I have to promote those entries or what’s the point? We are building up to the Countdown to Christmas in a few weeks (yes it is starting soon!) and this is a crucial time to keeping momentum in the hopes of getting sponsors someday and making it more successful each day.
Here’s my thoughts on the issue. President Nelson did not say when I had to start the 10 day fast. It also is a challenge but he gave 3 other challenges that are definitely more abstract like starting regular temple attendance. I think it is more than living the spirit of the law to work on the other 3 that don’t impact my job and podcast endeavors and then perhaps in January when things calm down I can do some kind of fast.
Clearly obedience to the commandments isn’t always cut and dry. For instance, we are commanded to keep the sabbath day holy but then doctors, police officers, workers at church facilities all work on Sunday. A hospital needs nurses on Sunday overseeing patients; therefore, they do their best to live the spirit of the law. This is the same way with my situation.
So, no I will not be doing a 10 day social media fast but if you are that’s great! When you get off the fast and read this post you will see I think you are terrific. I hope it was a wonderful experience.