Thoughts and Opinions

Instagram, It’s you, NOT me

There’s something to be said about the convenience of social media. It is a source for news and updates, a place to make and sustain friendships and communities, a world where you can learn or buy anything! On the flip side of that same coin, social media is an obsession if not an addiction in many; something that creeps into your life slowly so you think you have control, then one day you wake up and realize you’ve done nothing but mindlessly scroll between the same three or four apps.

My Journey

In December, I became deeply unsettled not only with my usage of social media, but how people used it to interact with me. I became aware of the drain it took to my personal energy, and the time it took away from my actual spiritual practice (re: it was a LOT). Additionally, I can’t control who has access to my energy which became startlingly clear as I began to navigate the muddy waters that was twitter. All in all, I was feeling burned out.

I think that my unease really started around the time I wrote about the algorithm and ways to work with it. Why was I fighting so hard for a platform that didn’t want me and doesn’t pay me? What benefit was I personally getting from being on social media? The answer, surprisingly, was none. Social media has been awesome, and has allowed me to connect with people I would have never had the opportunity to meet. However, it has caused tension within my personal life, and has caused stress as I fight the need to constantly check, update, and play the game.

As February began, things changed in a big way. I made a number of posts that got more interaction in comments than usual. Maybe it was a combination of creating spicy posts and the algorithm. Maybe it was the amount of times those posts were shared. Maybe people are so used to being a comfortable bubble when they are on social media that a stranger posting an opposing opinion causes a violent reaction. Either way, what I know is that this change became noticeable and draining. 

What’s Next?

The more kickback I got, the more I wondered if I should censor my thoughts. I wondered if things were necessary or worth posting? This might seem like someone complaining from the top, but I promise that this actually stressed me out. I started my page to find a community, then it became a community, and I felt a constant need to produce more, often at a detriment to myself. The journey no longer felt genuine and organic but forced and produced.

The more I meditated on this and began to center myself, the clearer the writing on the wall became. Mercury retrograde gave me the perfect push in the direction of change that I needed to take, so I took it and ran. I decided to actively spend less time worrying about my social media, less time forcing posts. Instead, I now spend more time planning my writing, and will be focusing on starting a whole new section of learning information. I’m intentionally planning my content to be genuine with my journey, regardless of engagement or follower numbers. This genuinely feels right to me, and I can’t wait to see where this path takes me!

Temperance Alden is an Occultist, Folk Witch, and Author of Year of the Witch (2020). She is based out of South Florida.

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