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Firstly, thank you so much for subscribing to these Daily Letters. I’m feeling extra grateful to have you here, to share ideas and Letters, and what we are creating at The Broad Place with. The Broad Place Instagram has been hacked for the second time in a few months. I’ve no way at the moment of letting our 42000 followers know what is happened, and instead, we have just virtually disappeared. I wanted today to pen you a slightly longer than normal Letter, filled with thoughts and questions for you to journal over and ponder based on this interesting experience. Whether you use social media or not, I hope to pose these in such a way that it’s relevant to some area of your life regardless.
Instagram has me thinking very deeply about the platform, my engagement with it and the promises and pitfalls of all social media. Some interesting questions have arisen and with it answers that require more understanding before being answered with more consideration. For me they are still sketches on a page, to be inked soon. I hope I have more to say on this, but I thought I might share some of this line of thought with you, in case it is helpful in stimulating questions and thoughts for you also.
I have been looking at my intention. We started The Broad Place Instagram 8 years ago, well ahead of the main stream use, and it felt new and exciting, a digital creative utopia. The truth is it also hadn’t felt like that for some time for me. My intention as a teacher and philosopher and writer is to share with people the equivalent of a delicious nourishing meal, and then teach them how to cook it for themselves. Instagram is the equivalent of throwing a jelly bean every day at people. So I want to ask you now this;
What is your intention with your work in the world? What are you really aligned to and filled with purpose about? Do your actions back up that intention on every level? Has something evolved for you over time that perhaps now doesn’t serve that intention, or the engagement you have with it anymore?
My initial response to being hacked was actually frustration, knowing from the last experience that there is no one to talk to when something goes wrong, the need to know someone that works with Facebook and Instagram to help you is quite literally the only path. It reminds me of my old nightclubbing days, where you had to know someone on the door to get your way in. Whilst I can see translate into the digital realms, I have very mixed feelings about it. Additionally a business based transaction (you pay with a business account) with no customer support, perhaps shouldn’t feel like edging your way into a nightclub.
This led me to really question, is this really the cause of my frustration? In truth, it’s too obvious to be angry about, and I was actually frustrated about the fact that 8 years of creative output, writing, photography and story telling was now potentially lost forever. Again, I had to sit with this. I’m the one who decided this was the best archival medium for creative work, when clearly, it is absolutely not! I also conveniently ignored the legals around Facebook owning anything I posted on the medium too. This led me to transparently look at how many hours a week I was putting into Instagram, and on a base level, that is interaction on the platform, it was 1 hour a day. But the writing and photography often sat outside of that, so in truth it’s hard to pinpoint. But I might be looking at 1-2 working days if I added it all up. A WEEK. So my questions to you are;
Where are you currently using your creative powers, expressing your ideas and documenting your thoughts, and your life, and are you 100% confident this is the best use of your time? How much life force are you dedicating to what, exactly? Is it truly yours, if something goes wrong?
One of the amazing things about social media is the inspiration and human connection. I have made some truly magnificent friendships there that have extended deeply into my life. But on the whole, when I look at the inspiration and connection element, it comes at a cost too. So I ask of you as I currently also ask myself;
What do you truly value as inspiration and connection in your life? Are you seeking out the very best in inspiration and connection or are you settling for? How might you move the needle, shake it up and evolve it? Or even just experiment for three months as a learning adventure?
I have picked up on a LOT of fear mongering, and thought that a business simply cannot survive without Instagram, and this I truly challenge. I ask you;
Where are you believing the whole, or opting to buy into fear in your life? How might you find examples where the very opposite is true? What might you pioneer?
I’m unsure if I will retrieve our Instagram page, but I certainly am so grateful for the opportunity to sit and realign myself, The Broad Place and learn new ways of being of more creative service.
I would truly value any thoughts or experiences you have had, as I find this so juicy, and exciting as I do the ground work on what next!