Living Fully, Posting Less
The last time I’ve posted regularly to the Dija Ouija Instagram was nearly two years ago. My Official Facebook Page gathers cobwebs as I type. I’ve recently re-opened the commission slots on my website after a closed period of over two years (Check out my commission page here), and have temporarily abandoned my Tumblr. Although I frequent Pinterest to get fashion inspiration, I’ve secreted my active boards and allowed my monthly viewers to plummet. Besides potentially worsening my mental health by scrolling through my endless TikTok feed- The best thing that came out of 2020 IMO-I’ve significantly reduced the amount I’ve been posting to social media altogether.
Since intentionally taking a step back, I’ve gained a simple truth: life doesn’t end when we stop posting. This statement shouldn’t be shocking, but the urgency of maintaining an online presence feels monumental while we’re engaged in it. It feels like once we leave we can never return, that our supporters will abandon us, or we will miss out on valuable content, platform updates, and current events. This isn’t always necessarily the case.
The consequences of my online inactivity are definitely there- I’ve lost a few followers and feel completely out of the loop regarding art trends-however, I still have clients requesting projects, still have moments of intimacy with those I love, I’ve regained a new audience in place of those who understandably chose to move on, and still continue to grow my business, my interests and experiences-sans consistent posting or compulsive checking of my feeds and timelines.
I’ve gained more than I’ve lost during my extended social media tolerance break. My body was near a breaking point that would have been catastrophic if ignored for any longer. My recess gave me time to nurture the areas in my life that I had neglected: my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health.
I’ve been alcohol-free for several months-woohoo!-and have completely stopped my smoking habit and have instead opted for occasional meditation and mindfulness instead. I have limited my carb, dairy and sugar intake. Instead of avoiding physical activities, I’ve challenged my anxiety and accepted the opportunity to be present in my body and visit the gym, utilize HIT workout apps, and stretch weekly for improved mobility. Monitoring my online use and compulsive phone checking was only the first step-altering my diet, my exercise diet, and cutting other damaging habits (including a long term substance intake issue) have all occurred after I discontinued distracting myself from myself.
My father recommended I read “Becoming Supernatural” By Dr. Joe Dispenza. The most poignant point I’ve resonated with so far is how repeated behaviors become habits that correlate directly with brain activity. Breaking these habits and forming new ones promote new neurological pathways and brain health, strengthening not only our minds but our bodies too. Being in online echo chambers is similar to being stuck in a rut- thinking and reading the same things over and over again, confirming negative thought patterns, and falling into the trap of comparison to images and lifestyles that are often fabricated and unrealistic. Pulling myself out of that sphere was tough, but it allowed me to attune to what was valuable to me emotionally and spiritually without the chatter. Slowing down forced me to reckon with my unhealthy need to keep myself busy to avoid a nasty truth-that I don’t like my life, or myself all that much. Quitting posting showed me that I didn’t need the constant validation of others to survive, and that self care and love is ultimate. I feel spiritually and emotionally clarified.
Our culture demands quickness: Fast food, fast trends, fast shipping, fast money. Doing the opposite can seem counter-intuitive to how the very fabric of our capitalistic consumerist society runs. But nature can humble us (especially in the case of COVID-19) and remind us that we have to stop and reflect.
Despite my respite from almost every social media platform, I’m still gaining an online and IRL audience. Word of mouth is still a valid form of advertisement and my work often speaks for itself. I’ve given myself more space to pursue my neglected interests like music production, songwriting, and studying occultism. I’ve matured as a person and can look behind the veil of online fakery. I’ve avoided trouble by staying private and out of the public spotlight. If you’ve read this far, I urge you to try logging off, if only for a day. It may provide more insights than you expect.
Until next time (and I have no idea when that will be), stay safe and be merry. ✌🏾❤
*The featured cover illustration is a commissioned film poster for a short film directed by writer, filmmaker, lyricist, and wellness advocate Malon Murphy titled "Verisimilitude" that follows a social media influencer who struggles to align her real life with her online presence. To learn more, click here