What is your relationship with social media? I am curious. I notice some people post and share a lot. Others seem to comment a lot, or seem to be completely absent.
I find myself in the category of people consuming a lot. It would be fair to say that it is an addiction. A distraction to reach for at any "empty" moment. That doesn't sound very mindful right? What is a yoga teacher doing, distracting herself on instragram any chance she gets? Well, first of all teaching yoga doesn't mean we are perfect, rather we strongly need the practice to support us in daily life. And I often reflect on my consumption of distraction from that little screen.
The ironic part is, I feel an obligation to stay connected on instagram because I am a yoga teacher. Because a lot of people connect and learn about classes and various topics around yoga through that medium.
Unfortunately this situation results in many hours consuming, and not much production/sharing to justify my reasoning. There is this strange relationship between what to share, and what not to share. Is what I'm doing interesting enough, photogenic enough? Can I and do I want to take the time to take a nice picture of whatever I am seeing or doing so it can be presentable on the gram? But why? Don't we all have our own lives? Aren't we better off living fully each moment for what it is, instead of worrying about how to turn it into an instagram content?
I honestly feel at a loss about this. I am of the honest opinion that we shall just live our moments without having to take a picture. And if we want to take a picture to remember, then not worry about how well frame, lighted and presented it is. Unless you're a professional photographer, the photo is mainly just a way to look back on something, and recall the events, the laughs, the struggles, the relationships, the flavours and the feelings. How perfect the picture is won't add to the recalling of all those details held with our memories.
Although that's how I feel, I also feel like so much of "life" happens on this little app - that's how I get to follow on a lot of things happening back in Montreal, how I get a lot of information about Canadian and US news, get information about social movements. So it feels like we all need to be a part of this bubble of information, of movements etc. But then, real life happens OUTSIDE. With the things we do, in the classes I teach, in the conversations I have, with the people I meet, with the food I actually cook and eat instead of photograph.... I am strongly feeling the need to delete this app everyday, yet I don't.
It sure is an interesting dilemma... which doesn't seem to make much sense. So I guess qualifying it as an addiction has some sense to it. An addiction to stimulating images and information to appease my now short attention span, and addiction to some sort of "FOMO", knowing what is going on, and addiction to simply staring at a screen.
So the strong combination between social media and yoga is an ironic one. Social media and the way it's designed is far from being mindful, meditative, and conducive to being in the present moment. Yet most teachers I know are there, some posting asanas, some sharing a lot of social justice information. Some creating and building amazing things that are mostly possible thanks to the connection with people through this medium. So as with most aspects of our yoga practice, this is one other thing where we need to stay mindful, keeping it in a balanced state, and noticing our tendencies and our presence with it.
What I am doing to help:
- Thinking of what I may want to share on social media (although maybe not so often). This way the use of the app can be not only consumption but also creation and sharing.
- Placing a time limit on my phone
- Removing people I follow who do not add value to my experience
What more can be done:
- Deleting the app on the weekends
- Keeping my phone away during wake up and breakfast time, choosing instead a book, or simply quiet.
- Any more ideas? Let me know :)
p.s.: How many sunset photos must there be on social media? 😅