Hi! If you’re like me then sometimes you get philosophical and existential and ask yourself lots of questions, like, “Why am I doing this?” I do this a lot and sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s painstakingly oppressive and punishing because scrutinizing yourself, your thoughts and your behavior can be daunting. However, good can come out of it when you remind yourself that you are asking these questions to increase your knowledge of self, and that’s a terrific thing because that helps you become enlightened. And when you’re enlightened you function on a deeper level and are equipped to be a better version of yourself, and hence, a better citizen of planet earth. (Not saying I’m Queen of Enlightenment here. I hear gossip, I make shitty jokes to get my friends to laugh, I’m a brat sometimes :/ etc, but I’m in process and that goes a long way!)
Last year I was looking at/super examining my social media behavior and I spent a lot of time thinking about why I post what I do? I felt so many weird things. I felt really vain, I felt dumb, and I felt like I was giving up a sense of control. I realized that the response I got from a picture had a big impact on my thoughts and feelings, and I grew less and less comfortable with this. Social media could make me feel good or bad and this made me feel like I was forfeiting myself. What I’m trying to say is the idea that a phenomenon like social media could shape my emotions was something that freaked me out. I felt like I was in a trance and got upset because I was the one knowingly and agreeably participating in it. So, in an effort to understand why I was feeling what I was, and to regain the sense of control I felt like I was giving away, I did a self-experiment and stopped posting pics on my personal IG for about a year. I kept a private one and I accepted no followers (no one really knew I had it!). I did this to reconnect to why I post pics in the first place, reason being because I wanted to. The only response I was getting was from me, and what I found was that I still felt happy and excited to post my pics knowing they would not be seen by another person for a year (or maybe ever). Success! I loved my private little IG. I was stoked to post pics to it and I did it for myself. Even though I have spectacular friends and family (so grateful for this), near and far, from here to Australia, the UK, Netherlands, Serbia, and all across North America, posting for myself was really cool.
Now I have made my private little IG public for a bit and posted the pics from my last year +. Not because I am super awesome and interesting, I’m not, but because it was something I set out to do. And because my super friends and family might be interested to see what I’ve been up to in the last year or so. Feels like a little photo album I’m handing to you (115 pics to see!).
Highlight of other reasons I took a break from my personal IG are: 1.) I started to feel guilt, responsibility and pressure to “like” all the pics I saw. This is because I love the people I follow and didn’t want someone to think I saw their pic and didn’t “like” it. My friendships are not based on freaking “likes”?! but I still felt bad not looking through so many pics to make sure I double tapped every one. And that was seriously time consuming. 2.) I would be sad if I didn’t get a specific reaction or like from certain people (ties into the previous point). Like, “Homey likes X’s pics all the time and not mine, I see how it is.” Weird way to be influenced but I couldn’t help speculate! So I took myself out of that mind-game, realigned my ideas, and reassessed some connections. 3.) I felt bad for adding to what I sometimes felt was visual pollution to your feeds. As in, to the people who follow me. I thought, “Hey man, you don’t need yet another thing to stimulate you. To waste your time. I should keep this pic to myself.” 4.) Vanity. I felt so self-centered. 5.) I wanted to reconnect to buds in other ways. And I did. I made more of an effort to make plans with friends, and success again! I made a bunch of lunch and dinner dates with some of my fave humans, and I heard things from their physical mouths, rather than hearing about it via IG.
In summary, whether you can or can’t relate to me, I think it’s important to at least ask yourself why you do what you do. Technology and IG are so cool in a lot of ways. They can connect people and do real good, but they can also have a drastic influence on you, your thoughts and behavior if you let them. Spend some time assessing how much you let outside factors influence your inner thoughts and feelings. And if you’re like me and feel like you’ve forfeited control, figure out what you need to do to get it back- in a safe, healthy and reasonable way of course. Peace out for now! Thanks for reading. I’m going to keep my blog going and the next post will be on how taking a spider outside can help save humanity. Not kidding!
Last, my IG account that this whole post was about is @zlatuttle. If you want to see what I was up to for the last year, head that way. Going to switch it back to private in a few days but you can peep it before then. Thanks again for reading!