Fasting from Modernity

For the past ten days, many of us have enjoyed a “fast” from social media “and from any other media that bring negative and impure thoughts to [the] mind.” 1

We often think of fasting as depriving ourselves. But when we talk of negative media, we were actually freeing ourselves to focus on the better things rather than the distractions provided by negative or frivolous media. Instead of filling the cornucopia of our life’s hours with negative and harmful distractions, we were able to focus on quieter and often more fulfilling things.

In the first hours/days, I would grab my cell phone, then realizing that I’d uninstalled the app(s) that previously absorbed far too many minutes (hours) of my life. After checking e-mail and finding little of interest, I’d often open the Gospel Library app and start reading the Book of Mormon. On impulse I filled a Saturday with commuting to the temple I hadn’t visited since my local temple closed for renovations. Rather than turning on the radio, I “turned on” the narration for the Book of Mormon.

I feel like a person who has left an evening city of noise and lights to enjoy the quiet nature songs in a field bathed in starlight.

I’ve had a chance to get around to things I’ve been wanting to do. Somehow my distracted self never had the time.

Feel free to share which thing you’ve done or appreciated or enjoyed that your distracted self would likely have missed had you not participated in President Nelson’s suggested media fast.


  1. Russell M. Nelson, Sisters’ Participation in the Gather of Israel, October 6, 2018.
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About Meg Stout

Meg Stout has been an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ (of Latter-day Saints) for decades. She lives in the DC area with her husband, Bryan, and several daughters. She is an engineer by vocation and a writer by avocation. Meg is the author of Reluctant Polygamist, laying out the possibility that Joseph taught the acceptability of plural marriage but may have privately defied the commandment for love of his wife, Emma.

4 thoughts on “Fasting from Modernity

  1. I also enjoyed my fast. I really have less desire to be on social media, especially FB. So I’ve decided to only go on it a couple times per week. It feels freeing.

    I’m also taking the challenge to read the BoM by year’s end, about 3 chapters per day.

    These two things have reenergized me spiritually.

  2. I have two sisters in Panama City, Florida. They both heard President Nelson’s counsel. They are helped in their fast by the hurricane, which took away their phone service and their electricity.

  3. I don’t have social media accounts, so I didn’t fast from social media. Instead, I tried to think carefully about the other media I consume, especially news.
    I’ve found that the less time and mental space I give to such things, the more I become aware of the things I can do immediately to help and serve others, rather than worrying about things I can’t change on a national and international level.
    I think it’s interesting that in the BoM, the Nephites occasionally fast in gratitude for their blessings, and I’ve decided to do the same this November. I need to think more on WHY they did that, and why we don’t, as a rule.

  4. I just used all my spare time doing genealogy, so far I found 385 new names to take to the temple.

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