After doing several digital detox weeks this year I'm searching for a way to bring the algorithm of social media in tune with my natural rhythm. Is that even possible or do these two rule each other out?
For some time now a fight has been going on inside of me, which outcome is yet unknown to me. One day it pulls me in one direction, although I'm longing for the other side. I know who I want to see as the winner, but the other side is brutally strong. Sometimes I zoom out in my mind and observe the behavior of us people, my behavior. It's very bizarre actually how I live. A small square thing rules over my day. I don't leave the house without my phone. And on this phone there is an app that wants to be checked several times a day. Social media has a hold on me and its algorithm dictates my work.
For a long time I resisted the trend to join instagram. Intuitively I must have felt that there's no turning back once I have joined the club. And so I was only present on the platform as a silent observer in the beginning. A world expected me that was way more beautiful than I imagined. I only followed people that inspired me and accounts I could learn something from. Then I became self-employed and when you're building your own business there's almost no way that doesn't lead to instagram. I had to get active, to share pictures and words and that's when my imprisonment started. It may sound dramatic but is it not true? Doesn't it pull us again and again into the arms of social media even though we know, even though there's studies that show that spending too much time on the app isn't healthy?
Writing about my experiences and thoughts I don't want to become a dooms-monger as there still are days when I enjoy being on instagram. Sharing beautiful photos, composing my nature inspirations, practicing my writing and showing snippets of my word, is something I really like doing. Exactly how I find it inspiring to follow others on their paths. I was able to learn a lot on this platform and especially while building my business I found great inspiration and like-minded people.
But it increasingly bothers me that I don't post from a place of joy anymore, but because I know that the algorithm will ignore me if I don't do it regularly. It bothers me that I don't post when I feel like it, but instead I follow the beat of the algorithm's drum. It bothers me that I don't post anymore because I had a nice thought and wanted to keep it, but to generate more likes so that the algorithm sees that I'm worth being recommended to others. My behavior on instagram is now externally controlled by a rhythm, but not the one that I would like to see as a winner in my internal combat.
This year already started with a certain tiredness, that wove its way through every month. I recognized that my self-care is of utter importance in moments I feel burnt out and that I need a lot of time for myself. My main topic is the rhythm of nature and again and again I'm learning to integrate it into my life. This rhythm comes from a place within, it is how I am. The algorithm comes from outside and it wants to eliminate the other one. That's why I made digital detox several times this year. It always takes a while until my hands understand that they can't grasp for the phone in a moment of boredom, but that a book does the trick, too. But after a while you are welcomed by the quiet and it is glorious. Every time it was a great challenge to come back to the digital world, especially to social media. And every time it didn't take long until I was swimming in the current of the algorithm.
I don't even want to disembark completely, because I also like instagram as I said, but I'm craving a balance and the lightness I felt in the beginning that didn't care about likes and reach and reposts. And that's why I decided to be less present for the time being, to only post when I truly feel it, to prioritize nature's rhythms and to hope that the algorithm will forgive me my partial absence. (Spoiler alert: it doesn't. My content isn't really shown anymore... But here, too, I invite lightness.)
The fight between algorithm and nature's rhythm isn't finished yet. I, the referee, simply ordered a temporary truce in favor of nature. My path moving forward isn't clear to me yet, but I truly hope that the algo doesn't only find nature in its rhythm, but also in its harmony. (Haha, see what I did there with the wordplay? =) ) I hope that I find my own rhythm again and that I'm able to integrate being joyful on this app into my own rhythm. That it doesn't become a must again, but a "I get to" and that I don't forget why I do the work I'm doing: to inspire others, to strike a chord and to show the utter beauty and wisdom of nature.