A few weeks ago, I decided to embark upon an experimental journey: taking a bit of a social media hiatus.
When I started tapping my paper planner, expecting it to burst to life and give me news like my phone does, I knew it was high time for a break…
Now as a person with a small business, stepping away from social media, even for a limited time, can be seen as dangerous. What if I become irrelevant? Lose followers? How will people find me?
And yet the call was there and I knew that I needed to heed it.
I have been posting regularly for years. What I had discovered happening more often in my life was that I found it difficult to simply enjoy and be in an experience. Now that we have smartphones, whenever there is a gorgeous sunset or view, I immediately reach for my camera to capture and document the moment. Even that creates a subtle energetic shift. Rather than living and experiencing the moment, I am now observing and documenting it. It’s as if I am taking a step away from life. (For more on this, I recommend reading On Photography by Susan Sontag.)
But then, social media has added this whole other layer. Now, not only am I documenting the moment, but I am trying to make meaning of it and attempting to package it for the consumption of others, often as it is happening.
When did it cease being enough to allow the moment to be simply for our own ephemeral enjoyment? And what have we lost because of it?
That’s not even mentioning the use of filters and the detrimental effect of girls and women altering their appearance online, or how social media has been designed to be as addictive as possible, or how it rewards and reinforces our Good Girl who cares so deeply about what others think of her by offering a measurable amount of “likes”.
The consumption piece of social media also wasn’t feeling great. I would often find myself mindlessly scrolling, as a way of zoning out or filling the time if I was bored.
I was feeding on the images and stories of others in my feed without noticing how it felt in my body or soul. When I started to slow down and tune in, I realized that more often than not, it didn’t feel like nourishment or sustenance on any deep level.
Because our culture is founded upon the energy of the Tyrant King, our mental body has a tendency to take precedence. And scrolling through my Facebook or Instagram feed was a way to allow my mind to turn off or disengage. But again, at what cost?
So I decided to do an experiment, a bit of a social media fast, if you will. No pressure to post anything publicly (what a relief to not have to find something wise or witty to say all the time…) and also exploring other ways to unwind that might feel more nourishing to my body and my soul, rather than simply zoning out my mind.
I started going for more walks. Drawing and painting. Sitting outside in the backyard and taking photos of the animals that would join me there (and resisting the urge to immediately post those photos…the urge was there, trust me. I couldn’t help but include my favorite one at the top of this email!). Reading poetry and fiction books. Snuggling with Sophie. Playing cards with my husband. Opening windows. Lighting candles. Listening to music.
What I discovered is that I desire to be drawn into the real and tangible world, more and more.
The world of the body and the soil and the sunshine and the spring thunderstorms. The world where the crow and the squirrel quarrel over some buried treasure, and the duck doesn’t take me seriously when I half-heartedly attempt to shoo him out of the pool. The world of warm fur and soft skin and blood red rose petals unfolding. The smell of fresh cut grass and moist earth.
That is the world that I want to live in.
And yet I also notice how part of me is still drawn to this strange digital, screen-led life that has been created as some sort of parallel to the real thing. My phone pulls my finger towards it like some kind of magnet.
I offer this is not from my soapbox, or as a judgment of myself or you or anyone else with regards to how or why we engage (or don’t engage) with social media, but rather as a question for us all.
Are we being nourished, on a mind-body-soul level, by what we consume and what we give our time to? If not, why do we continue to look for soul sustenance in places that rarely provide it? And finally, what holds us back from giving ourselves the nourishment that we truly desire?
If you feel called, I’d love to know how this resonates with you and what your relationship with social media is like. If you do find it nourishing and joyous, I would love to know that as well! You can just hit reply and shoot me a message.
P.S. If you enjoy these letters and ponderings on how we can dismantle the inner cage to free the wise & wild woman within, I would love for you to share my blog with someone that you think might resonate with this work. You can simply share the link to this post with them, or if you direct them to the link below, they will be given the option to sign up for my newsletter (and then they will also receive my Wild Feminine Evocation e-Book!) This is the link to sign up for the newsletter: https://singingbirdcoaching.com/landing/wild-feminine-101/