Social Networking: The Good and the Bad

This post of Ms. Rachel Brathen (@yoga_girl) resonates with me and reminds me not to be caught up in the frenzy of social media, particularly in the potential unhealthy desire to generate many “likes” or followers.  Rachel recently lost her best friend and has been openly expressing her grief on her instagram account.  She probably got several negative comments (mostly positive words of encouragement, though), which she responded with this beautiful and inspiring post:
“I realize this is not your regular platform for intense grief and that the way I’m expressing myself right now might not sit well with all of the 676,000 people that are following me here. If you do not want the realness of this love and this pain, please; unfollow. Do it now. I created this community in a very different way than your regular following. I don’t do challenges to get other big accounts to tag me repeatedly day after day so I can get more followers, I don’t do endorsements and I don’t use any of the social media tools that are out there to make big accounts grow huge. I also don’t post what I believe will attract followers but I post pieces of my life, authentic parts of my day and the wisdom I’ve acquired throughout my life. Still, this community has grown so vast, so large, I can hardly believe it. Because that’s what we are. This is a community. Not a following. I always told Dennis, I’d rather have 100 people following this account that resonate with who I am at my core than 100,000 people that follow because they like my yoga pants or because I was on the popular page or because I’m “fit” or whatever the superficial reasons for following someone are. This is why I write and I pour my heart into the captions on my posts. I want you to go deeper than your ego and I want you to feel something. And right now I’m realizing what the point of this all has been. I’ve spent two years giving love to the world so that right now you can help me and give it all back. You are helping me so much right now, I can’t even describe it. You are keeping me afloat. I lost a piece of my heart, a piece of my soul and I could pretend this wasn’t happening or just stay quiet but I’m not. I am sharing all of my pain and writing what I feel because it helps me. And the response I’ve gotten is absolutely incredible. At night when I can’t sleep because of the heaviness I read all of your emails, all of your comments. So thank you. Thank you for being here. Thank you for staying by my side during these terrible times. Thank you all for being so incredibly wise. I love you.”
Not to say that rockstar yoginis that pose challenges and do endorsements are bad.  I love them.  But this post reminds me that each one of has her own journey, and we can use social media to help us achieve our specific purpose.  Teachers like Rachel and Esther, however, inspire me in such a deeper level.  And I need to constantly remind myself about the pitfalls of the glitter and glamor of commercial yoga.
Thank you @heavenly_dreams10 for introducing me to Rachel @yoga_girl.

One thought on “Social Networking: The Good and the Bad

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