I have never been good at social media. There is something artificial about this part of the digital world that prevents me from posting new content regularly. The obsession with likes and follows, so characteristic of our quantity-based modern world, is affecting everyone to some degree, no matter how hard we try to resist it by attempting to focus on quality. Whether it was YouTube a few years ago or Instagram right now, I have rarely felt passionate about social media. Before we get to the heart of the matter, here is some nostalgic music (I promise, I will not talk about the late 1990s in this post):
If you want to be successful on any social media as a content creator, you have to fulfil at least four or five of the following criteria:
- You should post consistently.
- Your content should appeal to a specific audience with particular interests.
- You should also know how to appeal to the algorithm.
- You should keep your eye on likes, follows, and other quantitative statistics.
- Your content should be predictable enough to ensure that people will not unfollow you.
- It is not that important what you say or write, it matters how you present it (aesthetics and design).
- You must perform many networking actions that have nothing to do with your actual content. These can include: socialising with strangers, small talk, sharing, commenting, liking, etc.
I struggle with all these factors. I am not consistent, because my inspiration is not something that can be put into linear and rigid frames. It fluctuates, just like the changing phases of the Moon. I feel like limiting my content to one specific audience does not reflect who I am. I have so many interests and passions. For instance, on one day, I can talk about Vedic metaphysics and mythology. On another day, I want to discuss current socio-political events from the astrological perspective. On the third day, I may very well express my sincere love for Cornish techno, whilst sharing my new haiku poetry inspired by Southern Gothic novels of the American South.
None of these interests are contradicatory, they are just different parts of who I am. My content cannot be predictable or restricted to a few repetitive themes, because I do not want to suppress the fullness of my creative self-expression. Perhaps it works for others, but I find it difficult to separate my “professional content” from my other interests and hobbies. Everything I do is seamlessly integrated into my whole personality. Furthermore, I am a writer, not a visual artist. While I can appreciate pleasant aesthetics or an artistically refined outward representation of something, these are not my main concerns when I decide to express myself creatively through writing.
In tropical astrology, I have both Uranus and Neptune on my ascendant. If I use sidereal calculations, they move forward to the second house of resources and speech. In any case, these two outer planets bring out my rebellious streak, making me very unconventional in my approach to the world. I have always felt like an outsider. I can only feel content when I live my life on my own terms. For these and many other reasons, I have decided to re-kindle my love for blogging. Here I can talk about everything that is close to my heart without feeling like I need to conform to some nonsensical rules and algorithms designed by the Tech Giants. I can discuss Vedic astrology from every possible angle and perspective, which is something I love doing.
Please always remember that there is a whole world beyond the artificial boundaries of social media. As omnipresent and essential to our survival as they might seem at times, platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube are not necessary for us to be happy. Nowadays it is often said that every brand needs to have a strong and consistent social media presence. While this is undoubtedly important for product-based companies, I think that some service-oriented businesses may not necessarily need to be very active on social media. In my own writing and astrological pursuits, I prioritise the work and duties that need to be carried out. Image, advertisement, and “external packaging” are secondary to me, though I try not to neglect these elements. And yet, as I follow my svadharma with attentiveness, discipline, humble detachment, and to the best of my abilities, I attract the right audience almost effortlessly. As Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita:
It is far better to perform one’s natural prescribed duty, though tinged with faults, than to perform another’s prescribed duty, though perfectly. In fact, it is preferable to die in the discharge of one’s duty, than to follow the path of another, which is fraught with danger.Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 3, Verse 35
At the end of the Gita, Krishna provides us with further guidance on how to perform one’s duties dilegently, despite “the smoke of defectiveness”, which reminds me of Rahu and its smoky, illusory nature:
One should not abandon duties born of one’s nature, even if one sees defects in them, O son of Kunti. Indeed, all endeavors are veiled by some evil, as fire is by smoke.Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 18, Verse 48
Even though conditioned life is contaminated by the material modes of nature and the illusory smoke of Maya or Rahu (the Internet is often said to be ruled by this shadow planet), we should still try to perform our tasks and duties with diligence. Sometimes social media can feel confusing and stressful to navigate. Yet, as long as we live in this material world, we need to learn how to relate to its less ideal aspects. May the profound wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita guide us in this regard.