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Following the Formula - A Not-So-Spiritual Social Media Outburst

And Breathe neon sign on forest floor

“Urghhhh” is really all I have to say on the matter of social media!

{insert visual here: Me wandering around kitchen, driving husband nuts, repetitively ranting as if each time it's a new revelation. The poor, poor man.}

More and more, I find myself sitting in a world where when I look outside of my mind, beyond my little plot on Earth, I wonder “What the fuck went wrong?”

When did we become so formulated? Hypnotically so. Hooked.

My dear friend, who I know will read this and my love for her almost has me not wanting to continue, was actually the final straw in a bubbling – almost to boiling point – explosion of my sanity these past months. Don’t get me wrong, she’s cute doing her thang and I know in my heart, she would be super happy for the creative process. I don’t wish to take any of that away from her… this is bigger than that.

So, what’s got my goat?

Social Media Marketing & Masquerading

I’m loathed to admit I’ve watched as many ‘how to’ webinars on social media marketing as the next Joe and could have a separate inbox for all the ‘buy this, try this, download this’ emails set to solve

socialitis; a feeling of weariness, sadness, apathy and general distress that many individuals feel when creating their online presence.

The endless tricks and tips to erect your social media empire and claim your patch amongst a gazillion others in the land of devices. The be authentic, build your tribe, filter this and filter that phenomena that bombards us as business owners and willing participants in the sea of selling the self.

I’m not a complete ogre and I can see the fun in some of it. Being a little silly, a bit cheeky, even kinda kooky. I get there is a level of inherent entertainment value. But when it becomes the only offering and it’s duplicated across every second person, in the same format, with same font, makeup, hairstyle, background, filter, (you get my point), I can’t help to feel a guttural urge to shout “WE ARE NOT LIVING! WAKE UP PEOPLE! WHERE HAVE WE GONE?”

Not Just a Pretty Face

The kick off of my current social dilemma (and for those who have not watched this doco, “Geez Louise, what are you waiting for?”), actually happened when I made one subtle change on my social media pages for Forest for the Trees.

When I launched on socials, I did so with an icon as a profile picture, green background overlaid with oak leaf on top. The oak leaf symbolises divinity, wisdom, strength and honour; a fitting frequency for the business I was in. So, I thought.

A few months later, having watched ANOTHER webinar about winning online, I decided that I needed to add a more personal touch. With my dread of doing video content holding me firmly seated, the least I could do was show there was a real person behind the brand.

The day I changed over my profile picture to my face, my Instagram followers increased more in that one day than they had in a month. On a quick calculation, the follows were predominantly male. Instantly I was put out. I wanted so much to believe that people would feel the energy of my words and gravitate for that reason alone, not because of what I look like. I had taken the bait – 101 in the formula for followers - and now I was part of the superficial soup.

False Eyelashes for Real {Followers}

For illustrative purposes, let’s run a lens over @iamladyscorpio, one of so many I could have chosen. She has a tonne of followers, a cool 60K. She’s ticked all the trick boxes, she’s notably attractive AND she has something quite engaging to say in her post on the topic of expression and transparency (ironic!).