So as someone who produces dance events and has a flourishing business that was born from the powerful influence of Facebook, deactivating my FB account felt like both a risk and a betrayal. I was one of the lucky ones that built a business immediately before the algorithms changed. Without paying a single advertising dollar, by the very virtue of what I was offering and the value that others gave me by posting and sharing my writing, my private practice exploded into existence. Facebook served me beautifully until one day, it simply didn’t. Something changed. Well, we both changed.
They call this the age of algorithms and I am becoming rapidly aware of both the emotional and spiritual risks we face. Over the past few years the intention/algorithms of Facebook have become clearly monetary and social manipulation has entered the picture. What was once a fun idea for social exchange has become a power onto it’s own. As a child of the 80’s, we were taught by Calvin and Hobbes and many brilliant others to be wary of the television sucking us into mental slavery. However, now we and our children face even a greater risk in what is a personalized attack on our consciousness. We have given the Facebook App on our phones permission to watch and record us to better manipulate us and use us as it sees fit. Have you noticed? You will be talking about something with a friend and then magically a related advertisement will pop up in your feed, conveniently urging you to purchase things you likely will never need. This is the most mild of the risks. The models and methods of thought control utilized go much deeper and unfortunately writings about them will not pop up in the top of your feed. As dollars now direct the content of your Facebook feed, imagine the usual suspects of the wealthiest and most powerful who are sourcing what you are seeing and you unwittingly servicing their nasty greedy motives with each click or scroll. Guh, yuck.
As I am working daily to bring forward a greater sense of embodiment and mindfulness, Facebook started to make less sense. As I watched myself scroll mindlessly, habitually, I carefully jotted mental notes that this was likely not a healthy part of my life. I noticed the “relationships” and how empty they felt and yet I continued to post my heart, my love and my vulnerability which others “loved”. Unfortunately, Facebook valued this as well. What I was posting was the perfect fodder as Facebook “click and stay fuel”. The soulless algorithms, were using my energy to capture folks reading my words with an advertising/cultural prerogative that was absolutely not in alignment with my own.
Ironically, a Netflix show, featuring chef and monk Jeong Kwan, proved to be the last push in my movement toward freedom. My husband had been bugging me to watch her episode of Chef’s Table (season 3, episode 1) on Netflix. In my usual resistance to shows, I was slow to do this. But finally, I did. And, in beholding her and deeply listening to her message, I woke up and landed a bit more in myself. I wanted what she’s living and I can tell you, I doubt Facebook is any part of her daily routine. In that moment of clarity, my marriage to Facebook was cleanly over. I immediately deactivated my account with zero regrets. It simply made no sense to continue. Beautifully, I was able to keep Messenger as a form of direct and true communication with those I care about.
I am still able to directly network with those I am in alignment with via text and Messenger. I still have a growing practice and beautifully have more energy than I know what to do with. I never realized what a drain Facebook had been on me spiritually. I am able to write with more honesty and clarity, knowing it will be read by those who already support me rather than some crazy random out there who feels passionately about their version of the truth. Emotionally, being off Facebook means being willing to feel things like loneliness sometimes. I can tell you, it’s a worthwhile feeling. The digital world numbness has worn off and I feel more alive than I have in a long, long time. And, yes, sometimes I feel utterly alone. But again, I think that discomfort is absolutely worth it.
I am not anti-Facebook by any means. I haven’t even deleted my account. But I am snug and comfy in a deactivated state. For me, at this time, “the feed” does not feed me. And, my time is too precious and my soul’s mission is immediate and in direct relationship with those who feel ready to form real community and relationships.
I have a lit a beacon in my heart. Those who resonate, will find me again and again. I am urging myself to have real conversations with real human beings about embodiment especially when folks ask what I do. Pediatrician was always the safest answer and they always looked at me knowing there was more I wasn’t telling them. My embodiment work and my mindfulness practice show up and make me shiny in a both an esoteric and a truly physical way. It makes folks curious. I am nervous and excited to begin to share my love of this moving meditation practice with others. For it is really, the biggest how behind who I am, in this now.