DRAPER, Utah (News4Utah) – Some of the teens who participated in a week-long “fast” from social media said the digital diet made them feel happier.
News4Utah interviewed several young people who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, many of whom participated in a “social media fast” that lasted seven days. The fast came as part of a challenge from LDS Church President Russell M. Nelson, who urged youth to escape social media’s “worldly influence” by going on a short break. The goal was to allow youth to reconnect with their friends, family and their spirituality by taking a break from constant checking of social media accounts.
“I started noticing that social media was sucking a lot out of my life,” said 17-year-old Sara Jane Hale. “I realized that my self-esteem was lowering,” she said. Many teens report feeling inadequate due to social media overuse, constantly seeing the fun things their friends and followers are doing.
Psychologists believe social media overuse contributes to mental illness in teenagers.
“It’s associated with kids who are depressed,” said Dr. Kurt Cundick, a psychologist with Intermountain Healthcare. “There’s some thought that it may be contributing to the suicide rate,” he added.
Many of the teens who spoke with News4Utah said they felt Nelson’s call to action was “inspired by God.”