Latter-day Saint Life

The good, the funny, and the downsides of general conference Twitter

Over the years, I've worked with many wonderful people in covering general conference online.
Courtesy of Morgan Jones Pearson

For over five years, I was responsible for coordinating general conference web coverage for Deseret News' faith section and then for LDS Living. Our desire was to increase engagement and draw more attention to the tremendous two days of talks that we enjoy as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and it was exciting to be a part of such a work. I loved getting to see people from all over the world interact with the content we were producing and to see friends share the image quotes our team had worked to create.

In the last year or two, my job responsibilities have shifted and this weekend, I was able to avoid general conference Twitter entirely. That is, until I was asked this morning to compile an article of “Twitter reactions.” I found myself logging in with some trepidation of what I would find and was soon flooded by the same type of content I’ve found on general conference Twitter for years.

Let me be clear, tweets about general conference can be very funny and insightful. For example, someone zoomed in on Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s tie to discover that it has airplanes on it.

► You may also like: 3 of our favorite airplane analogies from Elder Uchtdorf

Or, how about this one regarding the number of immaculate mustaches in the Tabernacle Choir?

Some people couldn’t stop talking about The Princess Bride while Elder Hugo Montoya spoke.

And, this year, Tom Christofferson, brother of Elder D. Todd Christofferson, even got in on the action after his brother was referred to as “R. Todd Christofferson” from the pulpit.

There is no mistaking, Twitter can provide some inspiring content, like these tweets about the history that was made when Sister Tracy Browning stepped up to the pulpit.

For the record, I agree that her glasses are a 10/10.

► You may also like: Meet Sister Tracy Y. Browning—the first Black woman to serve in a general presidency

General conference Twitter can also put things in perspective.

► You may also like: President Nelson explains why he used a chair while speaking in conference

It can also remind us of the joy that comes into our lives as we live and help others walk along the covenant path.

I think people are drawn to Twitter during general conference not only because of how funny and clever some people are (and this is undoubtedly true) but also because they desire to understand a perspective different than their own—they want to be empathetic to the thoughts and concerns of others. However, it is my concern that being plugged into Twitter during general conference comes at the cost of the personal revelation we would’ve otherwise received. I'm not saying that it isn't possible to receive revelation while on Twitter but I worry that by being so concerned about what others online are saying, we might be missing out on what the Spirit would otherwise teach us.

So, I will close this very untraditional post-conference Twitter reactions article with the tweet I posted this morning.

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