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The Shadow of Social Media

Last week my cat went missing so I wanted to make a post to share in the local lost pets group. I was upset and not focused. I must have clicked on something malicious because suddenly I was logged out of my main social media account. When I tried to log back in I was told that my account had been disabled permanently. I immediately began to panic and frantically searching for answers, but I've never experienced anything like this before so I didn't know what to do. I spent hours researching tech support through the social media platform's channels, but it only took seconds for scammers to take over my account. I tried every route I could find to prove my identity, appeal the decision, report that my account was hacked - none of it has gotten me anywhere. It's very strange, but suddenly I'm being treated like a terrorist with no rights. I am being denied any information about why my account was permanently deleted. Every link just leads back to a general list of "community guidelines" so I have no idea what the alleged offense was. I am told that for my own security, I can not receive any information about why my account was disabled.

I was not able to create a replacement account with my current phone number, and I've learned that my social media account was used as a portal for installing spyware onto my phone. I had to create the replacement account to reach you all through a dummy phone number because I wasn't able to create a new account with my current phone number.

In an alarming situation such as this, I had always assumed that I would be treated fairly and receive support as needed. I naively assumed that The Social Media Company had the utmost concern and commitment to protecting my security and I have learned that I was wildly mistaken and mislead. Instead, I am being treated like a criminal. There is no customer service phone number to call. There is no live chat feature. There are only lists of articles and links that lead back to the same articles. In two weeks, I have not received one response to any of the reports I filed about my account being hacked. I found a link where I could upload a Government Issued ID to prove my identity, but was not able to do so because that feature is only for people who can log in.

You may be asking why I am even bothering at this point and I get it. If you have never stepped into the digital space as an entrepreneur, then you wouldn't know that this personal social media account was the only portal for me to access the business pages I spent 15 years building. If the portal to the personal account closes, so do the pathways to operating the business pages. I have gone through every channel I can to find another way into the business pages I spent years cultivating, but so far there is no way back in. However, these pages are still floating in visibility appearing to be live, even though they publicly appear to have no admin. Without an admin, these are basically zombie pages. Viewers and potential customers can message through the messaging features but this information will never reach the intended source and whomever took over my personal account could use these business store fronts for malicious purpose. These pages continue to appear visible and are deceiving users into interacting with them but at this point they have no human admin and it's anyone's guess what they will be used for.

I've spent the past couple weeks reflecting and integrating this experience into my new business model. While it has been tragic in both my personal and professional life, I do believe it was important for me to see the shadow side of social media. I'm excited to share what I've been able to build WITH this perspective instead of IN SPITE OF it.

I have always said that the most powerful alchemy is making medicine from our pain. This experience challenged me to take Inspired by the Wild as a call to action. I see now that I cannot cultivate my wild exciting life on social media platforms that are dehumanizing. The spaces I want to create to share my work with creativity, healing and intuition are not meant to happen online- this is about creating space in our bodies, our gardens, our communities. So I have come to a place of acceptance and gratitude for what happened because it has inspired me to create more authentic connection in my work. I crave more human connection, and less dehumanizing experiences online. If this resonates with you, here are some of the new spaces I'll be sharing my work going forward:

  1. I will be using Patreon as an intimate, intentional way to stay connected and share physical products as well as more rich content. I'll also be creating space there for my seaweed enthusiasts who want to help the Aquaculture movement. I've organized the tiers by subject area so readers can find more of the content that interests them. Paid tiers ensure that members are there intentionally, and the membership dues support me in devoting myself to these causes. Check it out here: patreon.com/InspiredbytheWild

  2. I'll be sharing a newsletter here through my website. You'll receive 1 monthly email about sales, special events, classes, freebies, new products and all the things. Join the mailing list through the link on the homepage.

  3. I will be using social media in a much more limited capacity for networking purposes, inviting my audience out of the digital world and back into our bodies, into the outdoors. I plan on spending much less time sitting at a computer, creating virtual experiences which I believe are limiting to the senses, and limiting our human experience.

  4. I'll be planning much more real-time events. These will be posted on the calendar here on my website, and I'm available for event-planning as well. Email your inquiries to inspiredbythewild@gmail.com



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