The Illusion of a “Spiritual Instagram”
Spiritual Instagram. Sound like two words that shouldn't go together?
I used to think that Instagram had a place for those on a spiritual path.
There really is so much interesting spiritual content there, and it seems like a good opportunity to connect with others interested in spirituality, but after engaging with the platform for years, I've changed my mind.
Instagram is Toxic.
Yep, I said it… Now let's talk about why.
Instagram is a hotbed for spirituality and inspiration, and depending on who you follow your IG feed can become a sort of modern age spiritual magazine.
Within the Instagram platform you can find beautiful articles, amazing crystals, inspiring quotes, oracle card readings, and interesting people sharing the magic, mystical and spiritual aspects of life.
This all sounds great and honestly it's quite alluring, but does this flash and glamour of Instagram Spirituality actually serve your spiritual path at all?
I used to think it could…
But now, here in 2021 I'm updating this post because I've changed my mind.
I'm actually writing this article over an old post of mine from back in 2017, where I shared some of my favorite “Spiritual Instagram” accounts with you.
I want you to know – That if you're into Instagram – I've been entranced by this platform too. I've met some incredible people through connecting Instagram, and I really find there to be a wonderful amount of beautiful and inspiring content there.
But that's part of the problem.
There is fun, beautiful, and inspiring spiritual themed content on Instagram and it sucks you in. The overall vibe of being on the platform however, is draining energetically, and I believe is overall detrimental for consciousness.
Engaging with the Instagram super astral energies (the mental/ energetic field of the platform) presents a slippery slope that for serious students of life and spirituality should not be taken lightly.
Just to clarify: I'm not saying you can't “be spiritual” and be on Instagram.
What I am saying is that after a long time of interacting, publishing, and scrolling through Instagram I now strongly feel that the app as a whole is detrimental for just about everyone.
In this sense, I consider Instagram to be a detrimental influence when it comes to spiritual growth.
Instagram is detrimental to spiritual growth.
Instagram is energetically draining!
I've been observing this phenomenon for some time now in myself, as well as deeply discussing it with friends (several of whom have large Instagram followings).
Here's our conclusion:
The more time you spend on Instagram, the more likely you are to get pulled out of presence, and out of high vibrational states like love, peace, joy and acceptance.
Instagram as a platform has a way of pulling you down on the Vibrational Scale.
It also pulls you out of the state of Presence that allows your awareness of Truth and your deep inner connection with the Divine within you and reflected through the Earth and All Around.
The Power of Presence
Its really quite simple, Presence is essential for spiritual development, and Instagram pulls you out of it.
Therefore Instagram has a detrimental influence on spiritual development.
I'm not saying that you can't be developing spiritually and spending time on Instagram. I'm still on Instagram for goodness sake, but I will share more with you shortly about how I'm redefining my IG presence.
I am saying that its important to start observing your mental and energetic well-being before, after, and during any interactions you have on Instagram.
It's important to know you're engaging with something that is potentially detrimental to your consciousness and mental health.
If you scroll through your Instagram feed for a few minutes – check in with your energy levels, and then do something to energetically recharge as needed!
I'm certainly not the first person to talk about this.
The Link Between Instagram and Mental Health Issues
The illusion is that Instagram helps you to connect and feel connected to others, but the opposite is actually true.
“What we found overall is that if you use less social media, you are actually less depressed and less lonely, meaning that the decreased social media use is what causes that qualitative shift in your well-being,” Jordyn Young
Additionally, have you ever noticed how many Instagram users regularly post scantily clad images?
There is documentation that the Instagram Algorithm heavily prioritizes photos of under clothed women and men. This algorithm level bias alters the behavior of creators by essentially strong-arming them into showing more skin!
Study results also reveal a positive correlation between body dissatisfaction and selfies taken.
This is not the only area where the IG Algorithm influences the behavior of what people post!
As a “spiritual influencer” on Instagram I certainly noticed the pull and influence of the algorithm to guide what I posted. Typically posts that are in integrity, genuine and straight from the heart do not perform as well or get as much visibility as drama and fear based, or overly sensationalized posts.
The Rise of Mental Health Issues
Did you know that Instagram was recently rated the worst social media platform for mental health?
Instagram knows about the problem of the rising rate of mental illness among its users.
It hasn't been proven that the tendency of Instagram users to experience depression and social-anxiety is caused by the platform. But there certainly is a concerning correlation, which is why Instagram has added features like the ability for users to anonymously flag a post when they think someone is struggling with mental health. This is also why Instagram removed the exact like count on posts, and added a way to monitor and track how much time you spend on the app.
Unfortunately… It's not enough!
By the way… Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat are close behind when it comes to being voted the most detrimental, with YouTube ranking the least detrimental of the networks examined.
Clarity Around My Instagram Use
I mentioned earlier that for a long while I've been observing my relationship with Instagram. I've gone through phases of spending more time than I wanted to on the platform, catching it, and deleting the app and logging out for weeks.
I've gone back and forth between wanting to quit Instagram completely, and then convincing myself that the platform is a “necessary evil” to engage with in order to reach my audience and be of service.
As of now, I've permanently deleted the Instagram app from my phone and intend to never reinstall it.
Yes, I've deleted the Instagram app many times before. I've actually had a pattern of purposefully deleting the app after every use and re-installing it when I wanted to engage or post a reel or story. This odd behavior with the app is worth considering for the privacy concerns alone.
But just the other day I had an idea for a story, and so I installed Instagram on my phone.
Up until that point I'd been having the most blissful day. I woke up in a great mood, did a blissful morning meditation practice, joyfully wrote for my email list and blog, had some breakfast, and went for a walk in nature, all feeling wonderful.
It was after walking around in nature that it happened. I got pulled out of presence, and into the Instagram-sphere.
I installed the app on my phone and posted something.
I then “stuck around for a few minutes” to engage with the people who engaged with my new post on the platform.
That led to a quick scroll through my feed.
Harmless? Not exactly.
Because I've been so conscious of observing my energy when I interact on Instagram, I caught it.
I totally slipped!
After just a few minutes of scrolling Instagram, seeing and reading a couple of things that seemed benign… I noticed my energy level and state of consciousness totally dropped.
Honestly, I started feeling sort of moody, and annoyed… But I caught it quick!
I deleted the app, and went outside to reconnect with Mother Earth, with my I Am Presence, and with higher light.
Once I felt reconnected, I set the intention to keep the Instagram App off of my phone forever.
As of now, I'm not deleting my account. I still have a presence on Instagram, but I am actively redefining what that means for me.
I'm going to be focusing on creating inspiring content here on my blog, and for my email list first!
I plan to never share something on Instagram that's not found elsewhere. I'm going to start sharing more images (which I love creating) here on my blog and via email. Twitter feels less detrimental to me at this point, so little thoughts and inspirations in the moment will go there. YouTube was rated the least detrimental in studies, so posting on the community tab there will be a priority of mine before Instagram/ facebook.
I may run ads on Instagram… With calls to action to guide people off the site and towards meditations and longer form content.
Any interactions I have on Instagram will be through my computer, which for some reason for me is not as detrimental as via phone.
I do want to clarify… I've taken years to get to this point.
If this idea of Instagram being detrimental to consciousness and mental health is new to you, start by taking a step!
Observe your energy levels and state of consciousness before, during and after you interact on the Platform.
Awareness is an essential first step!
2 Tips For Navigating
Here are a couple more tips for navigating the strange super astral field that is Instagram:
1. Stay Out of Judgement!
Remember that everyone on Instagram is posting a highly edited and curated version of their lives. Many Instagram influencers post highly edited photos, and even hire professional photographers to capture their “effortless selfies“.
Additionally, keep in mind that even the biggest and most spiritual Instagrammers are still facing their own challenges and dealing with their own stuff and challenges in day-to-day life, even if they're not posting about it and sharing that aspect of their life with you.
Don't allow the content of Instagram influencers and users to trigger you to judge yourself and compare your unique light and magic with theirs.
Your path and life is beautifully unique and where you are right here and now is bringing you the perfect opportunities for soul growth and spiritual development that are meant for you.
If you don't feel like you're in sync with who you really are and what you truly desire… Get clear about that, and come up with an action plan for how you can start taking steps and making changes.
2.Limit The Time You Spend On the Platform
Instagram can be a bit of a rabbit hole and is absolutely a time suck. Its designed to keep you going back there, and yet, if you spend too much time there it will be energetically draining for you.
If you're going to keep Instagram on your phone, start consciously monitoring how much time you're spending there, and to set up alerts when you've reached your limit.
Under your settings, find the “Your Activity” … Here you can see your daily average of time spent on Instagram.
You can also set a daily reminder once you've spent a certain amount of time in a day, say 25 minutes on the platform.
Be mindful and aware of how much time you're spending on Instagram, and make it a priority to then spend even more time OFF the platform.
Create, read, spend time in nature, consciously breathe, observe your surroundings, meditate, talk to a friend, and do the things that are recharging, empowering and uplifting for you.
Delete Instagram and read on Kindle Instead?
Still not sure about this? Check out the Social Dilemma on Netflix.
With love and gratitude,
P.S. I love hearing from you! Comment below and let me know if you resonate with any of this or have any additional insights to share.