I’ve been quiet here for a social media for the last six weeks to two months. Social media is great in many ways, but as with most things, there’s a downside. Like the noise that comes with it. I decided to turn off the noise, lean into silence and stopped posting or deactivated most of my social media accounts. It was liberating to press some buttons and delete accounts. Twitter? Gone! Pinterest and Facebook, poof!
Yet for some reason, I struggled with Instagram. The urge to see what others were posting and share what I felt would be a gem was great, but I resisted the urge. Now the time has come. Today, I’m saying goodbye to the gram and telling you about what I gained by giving up social media.
I remember when social media used to be fun, and people were truly engaging with others. It seems like those days are behind us. Bots, advertisers, and algorithms have taken over. Data security issues keep coming to the fold – like the current Cambridge Analytica scandal. Girls are showing their tits and asses for likes, people are throwing shade, and it’s starting to feel like high school all over again. Catty, petty.
In the last couple of years, I’ve noticed that I have to trawl through a lot of soul-deadening content for a few nuggets. I have found some great people via social media, some have become friends in real life, but I’ve concluded that the trawling and the work to find meaningful connections are not worth it anymore, and I could do so much more with my time, like writing, running, spending time with myself or going out for drinks and meals with my friends.
And it was not just canceling some social accounts and letting others go cold. I unsubscribed from tons of newsletters, too. With the extra 30 minutes or so I got back in my day, I read, prayed, tried to meditate (gosh, it’s SOO hard for me), and I just sat with myself to see what came up.
When I first started distancing myself from social media it was for headspace and to drown out the noise. Then it became an experiment of sorts, to see how I would change, to see if I really needed social media as I had been programmed to believe. The results were immediate. No incessant pinging and notifications, no constant distractions, no need to check in as the apps were no longer on my phone or the account was deactivated. It was a big mental relief. From there, I sat with myself and called on the Divine for direction. I would so need directions. After all, didn’t all business owners and creatives need social media to find customers and promote their work?
One of the things that came through when I focused my energy leaning in and listening for what my Inner Guide had to say was the need to develop a spiritual life. I was, as many of us are, busy chasing goals, people, doing more, and ticking stuff off our to-do list, we drown out the Inner Guide. I decided I needed to address this and started making strides in developing my spiritual life. So I began calling on the Divine, journaling, praying, sitting with myself, and the various ways I express my spirituality. In doing so something quite beautiful happened. The sweetest assurance came to me –
the outer world begins to take care of itself when I am leading a Spirit-directed life.
That knowledge was a relief. In a time and space where hyper-connectivity is encouraged to build our businesses, brands, and show ourselves as thought leaders, from my time of quiet and leaning inward, Spirit was showing me something different.
Spirit always knows the way. I’m going to trust Spirit, follow my intuition and believe that the right doors will open to assist me in fulfilling my life’s purpose and furthering my work. I am not going to jade myself and believe this will be easy. Inner work never is. Spiritual growth comes with some shifting and stirring that can be uncomfortable.
But trusting Spirit is always worth it. I’m learning that when we are connected with our spiritual core, the best and most advantageous paths will always unfold before us.
As I depart from the social media space that gave me a lot of enjoyment at one time, I’d like to encourage you to practice the art of silence, being still, and listening to Spirit, the Inner Voice. During my time away from social media to lean inward and hone my spiritual attentiveness, I’ve found that a daily practice of silence and reflection brought me gifts such as a heightened sensitivity, deeper inner peace, discernment, and a feeling of connectedness to the Divine, the Source of all good things.
But these revelations only came when I got silent. Can you try turning off the noise for a while? Maybe indefinitely? You may just find the silence nourishing and rewarding once you dare to embrace, sit with it, and address what comes up.
If you still want to be connected, know that I’m not dropping off the web, just the social media space. I’ll still be around and you can connect with me on the blog and monthly newsletter. We can always connect in the flesh, too. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to make it happen.
Wishing you love, light and loads of grace. Be kind and true to yourself.
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2018.