“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” — Natalie Goldberg
I feel as if I’ve cut the Gordian Knot with social media. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, not least because I knew it would happen.
To be clear, I still use and engage with a range of platforms and technologies but I no longer see it as my thing.
Quite where that leaves me, I’m not entirely sure; and it’s not better or worse, it just is.
The trouble is, in watching the space — my space I presume — social media has defaulted to nothing more than a sales paradigm. That’s fine on one level — we’re all in sales whether we like it or not — but not when I have such deep misgivings about the notion of growth, economic prosperity at the expense of the planet and a lack of spiritual purpose (i.e. living a higher purpose life with an acknowledgment that we’re all interconnected). As I posited the other day on Soundcloud, ‘Where our focus goes our attention flows’ (see below), namely if all we’re interested in is selling then that’s where all our effort will be directed.
You might think my message contradictory, especially when I spent so long working on my social media brand but I don’t think so. In fact, when I look back on the last few years, I’m convinced that the only reason I was such a social media zealot was because I wanted to abet the genius of everyone which in turn would abet a different, more holistic way of seeing the world, which in turn would abet something much more profound in all of us. To say I’ve failed is probably overstating the position, but I’ve not made the progress I intended if only because so many people still can’t be bothered to:
(a) understand the social dynamic; and
(b) see things in a way that’s more meaningful than selling us stuff (and I include services) that we don’t need.
To be absolutely clear, when I see the same people talk ad nauseum about the same thing — usually their company and its products — and nothing else, I question if they’re expressing their deepest and most profound gifts (I very much doubt it).
In writing this post, I’m not telling you to stop doing what you’re doing or to follow a more rigorous, questioning path, but I would invite you to consider your use of social media. (If I’ve one plea, and it’s one I’ve been making for a long time, it’s to see more people write more original content.)
One last thing. I’ve never quite got my writing and creativity to a point where I’m completely comfortable with my choice of platforms and output, but over the course of the last week or so I’ve revisited my desired blogging platform, where I write my poetry, where I podcast and pretty much everything else. What that’s resulted in is a decision to blog to WordPress (here), write and share some of my poetry to Tumblr, podcast to Soundcloud and continue to experiment with Periscope. I’ve also started to delete a few of my old profiles including Quora and Stumbleupon. This cleanup will I’m sure continue, and in the end I’ll have a lot less to worry about, which will mean that my writing will once again assume centre stage, and I don’t just mean blogging.
In the final analysis though, I know now that I could live without social media if only from the perspective that my true Self doesn’t need the platforms to exist.
What about you?
Where do you see your future with social media?