“The thought of your mother is not your mother,” my meditation teacher often says (quoting her own meditation teacher). In meditation one examines one’s thoughts. And thoughts may involve people in one’s life, past experiences, past conversations. So maybe our mother once said something to us that made us upset. By thinking about it, we upset ourselves again (and again and again).
Not responding to one’s own thoughts is the work of a lifetime. Imagine then if we had ten thousand mothers, or one million mothers.
How would we manage those thoughts? Would we ever be able to relax into the moment?
Enter social media with the one million thoughts of others.
There’s a belief that “social” media is social – social is actually the antithesis of social media. Yes, humans are social and want to know what others are doing. Wanting to know what others are doing is not the same as wanting to know what others are thinking. And looking at a screen is not social, it’s mental.
As humans we may want to know that there’s a threat in the environment. But do we need to know each and every thought of the intruder? Do we need to know that the intruder is having thoughts about his mother?
Social media keeps us in our thoughts and reacting to our thoughts in the endless cycle of the mind.
Neptune in Pisces
Neptune is the ruler of Pisces and has been transiting that sign since 2011 and will until 2025/2026. Neptune and Pisces are the least grounded of the planets/signs and represent the dissolving of self. If done under spiritual guidance, it can lead to freedom from self. If done through media, drugs and alcohol it can lead to delusion and escapism. Or one may simply morph into another through relationship which is a more socially-acceptable loss of self.
Most have had the experience of hearing a song and being so moved that we are transformed. We share that song with others who merely shrug their shoulders; it’s a personal experience of transcendence that can’t be planned or shared. That’s Neptune.
Music is Neptune and Pisces. Music is a magical merging.
Social media rose with the transits of Uranus and Neptune through Capricorn (business) and Aquarius (technology) and then Pisces (merging of self to the spirit). Now Neptune is in Pisces giving license to excessive media, promoting it, and creating more and more of it. Combined with the rise of drug, pharmaceutical and alcohol culture, we are not merging with each other but becoming more emotionally disconnected from each other.
Social Media Breaks
As Neptune is in the last few degrees of Pisces there’s rising awareness of the negative effects of following so many thoughts. Next winter Saturn will enter Pisces so we may see more “social media dieting.”
In the BBC article Tom Holland: Spider-Man actor steps back from ‘overwhelming’ social media Holland and other actors explain how excessive social media is affecting their mental health.
In a video posted online, Holland said: “I find Instagram and Twitter to be overstimulating, to be overwhelming.
“I get caught up and I spiral when I read things about me online and ultimately it’s very detrimental to my mental state.
“So I decided to take a step back and delete the app.”
US Magazine has a story listing several celebrities that have taken breaks from social media.
In January 2022, the musician revealed that after he “unintentionally” took a break from social media, the time allowed him to “just be present” and it “felt great.”
The Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star shared that she’d be taking a hiatus from Twitter until at least 2024.
“Well, I’ll see you in a few years, Twitter – per my therapist,” she tweeted in February 2022. “To my fans, thank you for continuing to love and support someone who wishes they could be a better person for you. I apologize if I ever fell short, in anything I did. You’re in my heart always.”
What’s fascinating is that a break from social media is news! Social media, then, has become a social mandate and is not “social” in the sense of fun. We have to explain why we are not using it. And we’ve probably all had the experience of someone being hurt because we didn’t respond to a post.
Social media is far from the innocuous pleasure that it’s purported to be, although some may be experiencing that. But it’s also become another area of life to manage in a business-like way.
Social Media Meditation
Understanding the effects of thoughts is part of meditation. Social media has inadvertently forced us to examine what happens when we are constantly distracted from our own lives. In this way, social media has provided an unintended service by showing in extreme what happens when we live vicariously (i.e., in the mind) rather than through our own experiences.
Every now and again I harbor the belief that we are all turning into cyborgs but that I’m old enough that I don’t have to see it come to fruition. But seeing articles about folks distancing themselves from social media gives me hope that the younger generations born with Uranus and Neptune in Capricorn/Aquarius and indoctrinated in the emotionless laws of business and technology will rise above being marketing semi-conductors.
Being famous entails supporting some Neptune – aspiration, glamor, yearning, crazy love. But Neptune like all energies has its place; Neptune reminds us that the spiritual elements of life are as important as the material ones to health and happiness.
We can still see our famous friends at the movies.