I’ve been off social media for a bit over a month now. I did consider writing a weighty letter explaining why I made that decision and the realisations that came from it.
But the biggest realisation of the experience was how much the ‘platform’ is an illusion. To me it became a conveyor belt of unrealistic images that fed the ego. This ego we then project onto our phones and in the minds of acquaintances and strangers. Activism became endless amounts of traumatic content which bled into my psyche, making me fearful, angry and compromised.
This examination brought up a lot of questions. Do we believe our voices are helping combat the ‘enemy’? Who is the enemy? What energy are we carrying that will see our message seed meaningful change? Who are we talking to? Who is the
#cantwaitforsummer photo for? What are we actively doing in our lives to change/ oppose these systems of oppression?.
I acknowledge I can only speak from my experience. So if you disagree with anything that has been said, try unplugging and observe how your perception changes.
These were my findings. As I began to delve deeper into life and away from my own image, I started using Instagram as a way to share and reflect that journey. I was outwardly analysing my inward shift. How I perceive myself, how others perceive me, and how I perceive how others perceive me, and the journey to release attachment to all of that. The intention behind sharing that journey was to encourage others to question the expectations society holds over us. These silent agreements that were made before we entered this world, that we have no say in, yet are forced to adhere too. Ironically, this journey of detachment became a persona of its own. In my world, the voyage of liberation was real, lived and breathed. Transformation was happening. But the more I shared, the more I felt the expectation I was working to emancipate from, push me to transpose my real lived and breathed experience, into a palatable aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed.
What a mind fuck. So I deleted it. I archived (I’m a bit sentimental) all my phones. Unfollowed a bunch of people (it’s nothing personal). I checked my dm’s every now and then for work related stuff and I scrolled once or twice, which gave no satisfaction.
It’s been a fruitful time that has pushed me to look at myself more deeply. Who am I? And what is my expression worth, if it is not made to be seen by others?
And now here we are. A month and whole weighty-ass letter later explaining exactly what I said I wasn’t going to explain. Moments from sharing my first post, which will introduce ‘Encyclopedia of Aurora’ and provide a link to this entry.
Once again I enter into the matrix. But this time it feels different. The attachment has been broken. I don’t need the validation, likes or views, and I’ve realised I don’t need to be constantly confronted with, or comment on issues happening in the world, or in my community. Unless of course, I believe I can positively and effectively contribute to the conversation. The real work for me now, happens within and in the spaces I move through physically.
I don’t feel the need for my online ‘presence’ to be anything other than an expression of self, for myself. Took me a while. And ya know, that might change. I might get swept up in the clout game. In which case I’ll probably go MIA again, get back to country, put my feet in the dirt, and start with the things I can control, and that’s how I feel about myself.