I woke up this morning after a series of all-nighters* and started doing the usual: breakfast, replying to Instagram messages - people liked the music I’ve shared and thoughts with a film quote attached to it; replied to emails and just as I was going to workout, I received a strange notification on the phone.
At first I thought it’s a mistake and maybe I was hacked, but then I looked closer to that Instagram notification with instructions that followed. It said that my social media account has been disabled and within 30 days I can restore it, then asked to proceed through Captcha and provide a phone number for the platform to inform me when I was able to come back, all branded and with a genuine logo from the platform. I started laughing thinking: Can you even claim you are alive when you haven’t got a ban from there once? :) :P
At that first moment of shock I didn’t think much about it and went straight to text a few friends about what happened, so they will be contacting me elsewhere and won’t be waiting for a reply on social media too long. I’m such a doer that I go straight to the solutions mode. When I eventually got to the usual meditation/yoga/workout routine on a mat I have to say you’ve occupied my thoughts.
I was wondering about your motivation and my attitude to this whole incident. Because it made me laugh a lot and inspired me to create photos and videos expressing my feelings about it, I was thinking if I should be grateful to you for this action? If I should actually thank you for the flood of still and moving images that filled my head and the words to write this letter as well. :)
Then I thought I can't be grateful for the anger and resentment that I interpret are behind your actions. It would be to approve the existence of toxic emotions that can seriously affect others, perhaps not as strong as me, perhaps reliable on social media presence for many reasons. I won’t say that the ban won’t affect me at all, as it is where I talk to people and display the latest works for the portfolio. It could be potentially interpreted by my followers that I don’t care or could mean a lost income if someone chooses to message me there asking for creating visuals for them. We live in an era in which these platforms created for people to be social are demanding constant feeding and attention, otherwise the algorithms there send you to the depths of the unseen.
I thought I pity you and feel for you that you act this way. The emotions behind it in the end harm you the strongest. There must be some pain to work on and some strong feelings that need you to examine your thoughts and actions. If there was something on the account you felt strongly about there are different avenues to deal with, such as having a discussion. You create your own happiness and in the long term, even if you had a dopamine rush pressing these buttons online, you face your thoughts and reality you live in. Aiming at harming other people won’t bring you happiness and there’s nothing better than feeling free and happy. The ban won’t break me because my strength comes from internal sources and a body of work created through struggle, learning and constantly pushing myself for more. My confidence is through the roof these days and not in the slightest relies on social media presence or likes. Yes, they’re nice, but have you squatted in a badly lit, sweaty venue to portray a band giving their all on stage? Have you tried carrying a rucksack with cameras, lenses and filters to the mountains to do a one good landscape shot? Or maybe went on your knees into the muddy grass and thorny bushes commissioned to do a portrait in the garden?
I cared about people on and off set creating memories for them, that even if I was banned from all channels, of all internet, even if we had no electricity I would STILL CREATE (pinhole cameras, ha!) with a big smile on my face and happiness in heart.
Wrong target, mate.
Now, if you excuse me, I’ve got projects to work on and finalise. You sort your life out too.
PS1. A screenshot of an Instagram story that included a quote with some uncensored words that are common use anyway. I wanted to congratulate myself for a progress with video projects. I took the screenshot last night prior to this morning ban - good idea, you’re less reliant the internet.
PS 2. A picture of a good book I read last night with a moving title - I recommend you read it. Eric Idle went through some hard times as an half orphan child and built from these experiences, looking in retrospect at how the tough moments gave him ideas for Monty Python sketches.
PS 3. A good song, written by an author above, also recommend it, you won’t stop humming it. It puts you in a good mood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJUhlRoBL8M&t=4s
*an all nighter - noun; describes a situation when you work all night long, skipping the sleep, usually filled with large doses of adrenaline and eventually, pass out early morning hours.