free the three: the aftermath

So what happened when a linkedinstafacetwit (I'm totally going to trademark that…) decided to experiment and give up social media for 3 days?   Well, prepare yourself: it's dark.  

Here's what a fellow experimenter, Grace Edison of Journey to Mee-dom had to say: 

This was a profound experience. Lots of self inquiry, some of which I am not ready to even ask let alone answer or accept the answer to. I wonder what my need is to share so much, what am I looking for in displaying my thoughts, beliefs and life to others? Am I stealing from my own joy in the moments I post and wait for likes? Am I only demonstrating my moments of happiness, leaving out the crusty crevices and dark places I sometimes retreat to? Is that because I fear people knowing the truth? Or I fear the truth myself? or is it because I want to focus on the positive? Does it benefit me? Or anyone else? Does it need to? How much time do I waste on here...how many things have I missed in my kids lives because while we waited in line instead of talking to them I scanned my stupid smart phone.

 

I, like Grace, am now re-examining why I did the experiment in the first place.  Was it to spend more time with family and friends?  Yes.  To practice living in the moment more authentically?  Yes, of course.  To prove to myself that I am important enough that people will miss me if I leave the social media world?  Yes.  And there lies my deep-rooted vulnerability.  I have an ego.  Shit.  Bad yogi.  And my friends on Facebook?  Well they didn't even miss me.

   LOOK AT ME!!  LOOK AT ME!!  HOW MANY LIKES CAN I GET?  AND THIS IS HOW I LOOK EVERY DAY!  REALLY!  THERE WAS NO PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP ARTIST OR PHOTOGRAPHER OR ANYTHING...

 LOOK AT ME!!  LOOK AT ME!!  HOW MANY LIKES CAN I GET?  AND THIS IS HOW I LOOK EVERY DAY!  REALLY!  THERE WAS NO PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP ARTIST OR PHOTOGRAPHER OR ANYTHING...

THE CONFESSION 

As much as I like to think I am a seasoned yogi and therefore free from the shackles of materialistic narcissism, I am wrong.  I know that the pictures I post of myself on Facebook and Instagram always get more "likes" than any of my other posts/photos and this challenges my ability to control my ego.  I also recognize that I am not alone and narcissism in the western world is on the rise partially because of this.   I feel frustrated that my ego is still so prevalent even after all the work I've done to keep it in check.  Thus, it is challenging for me to understand that I was genuinely upset that the social media world did not miss me when I left it. 

A friend of mine posted this a little while ago:

Selfie-Syndrome.png

THE CONCLUSION

 I believe that us yogis have both the power and responsibility to end the perpetuation of this cycle.  May our modern day practices of mindfulness allow us the awareness to post only what truly brings betterment to our struggling society.  

I think it is time for us to lead the way in tactful and sophisticated online interaction so that we can use social media to honestly serve our communities.  Here are some of the questions I am now asking myself whenever I post something (PS this is hard.  I am having a really difficult time getting back on linkedinstafacetwitter because of it) :

  1. What is the value in this post for my readers/followers and is it clear?

  2. Am I clearly promoting health, compassion, acceptance, and love in this post?

  3. Am I providing my reader/follower with information that will genuinely and obviously make their life better?

And finally, if you are a business, ensure that only 30% of your posts are selling something.  If every post you display is a cash-grab, your readers will think that all you want from them is their money!

So there you have it.  It is time for us yogis to do what we do best, adapt and let go.  Be compassionate and fearless.  Forget about what everyone else is doing and do what feels right to you.  Good luck and don't let all those selfies go to your head!!

P.S. If you are a yoga instructor who wants more help with media and marketing check out my new company, Top of the Mat.

rock on,

l.e. martini