I drive up to Mt Nebo a couple of times a week. It’s a 30 minute drive-give or take-and I love it, but for one thing…
Imagine me driving up the narrow, winding mountain road, enjoying the views, inhaling the crisp mountain air, and listening to the whips and whistles of forest birds, when a car appears out of nowhere and tailgates me. Within seconds agitation replaces my sense of calm, because I can sense their negative, angry, impatient energy building behind me like a storm cloud. So I wait until there’s room to pull over and let them pass.
Driving to the mountain this morning, I thought about how social media (specifically Instagram and Facebook) has become similar to that waxing storm cloud in the rearview mirror while I’m trying to enjoy the scenic drive through life.
Which, after 5 years of social media, and dozens of breaks in between, begs the question:
Is it enough to keep pulling over, or is that negative energy trying to send me a message?
Well, being an intuitive person who is open to signs and omens, I just happened to open the page of a book that I’ve been reading on and off for a year and read this pertinent passage:
A woman [must] cleanse her life of as much negativity as she can. Sometimes it is necessary to limit or thin out certain relationships, for if a woman is outwardly surrounded by persons who are antagonistic to or careless about her deep life, her interior predator is fed by this and develops extra muscle within her psyche and more aggression toward her.
~ Women Who Run With The Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes (p 67)
When I read that passage it struck me as an answer to my particular problem, because it aptly describes where I’m at with Instagram; inside a matrix of antagonistic energy vampires. And no matter how hard I try to ignore, justify, or neutralise said energy by continually pulling over, the fact is that it has become a permanent tailgater in my rearview mirror.
Last month I wrote about personal cycles and how our fear prolongs a cycle when it should be ending. And so it is with this social media cycle. Last year I deleted my personal Facebook account (still no regrets), but I kept the Author Page because I’m an Author (and because I have this old fear that I’ll miss out on being found if I don’t have one). But, with Facebook blocking 90% of my posts, in an attempt to get me to pay, I have to admit that it is a pointless exercise and waste of energy on my part. And it is only Fear that has kept me in that cycle. So it’s goodbye to the Author page.
And Instagram is much the same. It began as a creative outlet for my poetry, and then the lobby4love messages, but the truth is that it is just a superficial, numbers game that I’m tired of playing. I don’t care about numbers-especially if they’re fake. But if you want organic numbers then you are obliged to reciprocate likes and follows in order to maintain your like and follower count. Which is both a time suck and highly superficial. Two things I avoid in my non-virtual life. And then you have the secret algorithms that monitor your behaviour and manipulate your feed accordingly. It’s mindfuckery at its worst, and I’ve had enough.
It’s time to confront my original fear and fallacy; that a writer is only as good as their social media presence. It’s nonsense. And it’s time to surrender to Love, which, in this case, is about honouring my instincts, believing in myself, trusting that my writing will find an agent and publishing home as long as I keep writing and submitting, and regain a chunk of inner peace by releasing these two platforms which have only ever served to heighten my mental dis-ease.
From here on out I will be going old school by offering regular blog and vlog posts. I am also retaining my Twitter account, because it is far less intrusive and gives me what I want-a platform that links to my blog posts, but comes with zero expectations or obligations.
I’ll be deleting my Instagram and FB Author Accounts by the end of the week, so if you want to stay in touch with Lobby4love and/or me thereafter, you can Subscribe/Bookmark/Contact via lobby4love.org and/or biancabowers.com , or follow me on Twitter @lobby4love.
Knowledge is power
Applying knowledge is empowerment
Sharing knowledge empowers others