Back in the early 2000s, before social media was an industry, I knew a woman named Carol who maintained a huge social network. And much like today’s social media, it involved constantly relaying her sexy vacations and all the fun she was having in her life.
I was in a group with Carol and one evening she let her guard down and admitted that it required a tremendous amount of her energy to consistently seek and cultivate so much applause.
At the time, she was dying of cancer. But Carol kept up the extensive social facade until the day she died.
I sometimes wonder whether she would have had more resources for her own healing if she had redirected her energy toward herself rather than others.
I have a client who has 2 million followers on Instagram. Her underlying energy pattern is of being “stuck”—she is stuck needing to maintain these people’s opinions of her. There is no downtime. No time to pause and understand what REALLY is going on with her.
Of course, not all social media is bad. I absolutely love how it connects us. I love that it keeps me in touch with people I haven’t seen for 20 years and allows me to meet new people. I love the creativity. And I love strangers’ inspirational posts, especially during these times of such worldwide crisis.
But if our personal resources and attention are being spent solely toward maintaining large social media followings, that’s an enormous amount of energy.
Living and expressing our true creative gifts requires turning our attention to our own deep knowing. It requires a focus on one’s inner life. Sometimes we need to look within. And when we do that, other people’s opinions don’t matter so much.
I’m in this business group and the big thing is how many Instagram followers one has. That’s our culture too. The more outrageous you can be, the more attention you can attract, the better. It doesn’t matter at all if you’re sharing anything of any substance or value. If all you care about is followers, you probably aren’t.
In the meantime, there’s a whole other inner world that wants to express itself through you.