Instagram and The Mindfulness Industry

I’ve been practicing and teaching quite a bit lately, and as I’m out there more and more, I’m noticing that the mindfulness industry and the dharma world, including hundreds of practitioners and esteemed teachers (as well as organizations/publications) are really “going for it” on social media. Many of them are posting 4 or more times per week. Especially on Instagram, and I’ve lately become somewhat troubled by it. I realize it’s necessary to promote ourselves, share our work and what inspires us, and connect with our followers, but it seems to me that it’s time for a course correct. There’s so much talk and emphasis in the mindfulness and dharma community around spending less time on our devices, and being present in our physical environments, yet so many individuals and organizations don’t seem to be able to strike a balance. Where is the mindfulness?!

Is it truly benefitting anyone to post 4 or more times per week and upload multiple stories each day?  I’m not sure this is a good thing for either the poster, or the viewer. I think it’s time we ask ourselves, “who is this for”…? It’s competitive out there, yes. Certainly we must stay relevant, and show our followers what we’re up to, and what’s compelling us at the moment, but given that each of us follow easily over 200 people, how can we truly interact in any meaningful way with our ever growing feeds? 

I believe it’s time for our industry to take a good look at what our intentions are, focus on quality posts, and keep it somewhere around 2-3 posts at most per week. I myself am committed to this, and I’m not suggesting my way is the only way, but I do know that less is certainly more in the mindfulness and dharma worlds as it applies to our use of social media, where we focus on being awake and mindful of our surroundings, vs being hypnotized by the device we’re already spending a disproportionate amount of time on.  

If you’re wondering about your amount of activity, use the Instagram Stories feature and take a poll. Or post about it and ask if your followers for honest feedback. Ask them if they’d like to see more, less, or the same amount of activity. I guarantee this will be a useful exercise.