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In honor of this week's Blood Moon on November 8th, I thought I'd look back at the previous Blood Moon and share a story of a major change that swept my life at that time.
Around the 16th of May, 2022, when my partner was in the hospital, I posted a picture of her in her hospital bed to my Facebook page.
The next morning, Meta alerted me that my personal Facebook account had been disabled for violating community guidelines.
Anyone who has gone through this knows that unless you know someone on the inside (anyone? anyone?) this pretty often means death for your account. I still don’t know what my violation was, although I do believe I was hacked because I received several alerts that someone was trying to access my account.
My Dark Days Tarot business Facebook page is still up, but no longer accessible because I was the only admin, and even after providing extensive documentation confirming my identity and ownership of the business, I was not able to add my spouse Schquay as an admin to the page.
After a lot of effort dealing with Meta’s supposed customer service team, I gave up and after 30 days, my account became permanently disabled. This very much impacted my business. Not only did I lose access to all of Facebook’s business tools, I also lost those tools in Instagram.
They disabled my private personal Instagram account that was linked to my personal Facebook page, but somehow left my little business account alone. It was very sad to lose the ability to contact people through Facebook and reference photos on the platform, look back at memories and what not. Luckily I did download all of my data a while back so I saved most of my pictures and correspondence. It’s not the same, though.
My art-dedicated Instagram account can now only be a personal account. Analytics and other tools are no longer available to me. But, you know what, I’m happy they didn’t take it down and I have access to it! I still use the app, despite my gripes and deeper concerns.
Even though I know I’m not bad and have an alright following I still have to fight “fraudy feelings” when I’m on Instagram because the algorithm has decided that as an artist I should see a huge amount of art in my feed.
I am constantly comparing myself to the work, following, and engagement I see on other artists’ feeds, and while healthy competition is great in moderation, and artists need to see lots of art, I don’t need to see that much art. It gets to the point where I’m uninspired because I’ve been firehosed with art on my endless Instagram feed, and mostly through ads.
Now that Facebook can’t(won’t) track me on the internet, they only send me ads from accounts very much like mine, which is the firehose of art that I mentioned. I miss targeted advertising, y’all. If I’m going to see ads in my feed, they may as well be predicting what I want to buy for the holidays already! (Probably for the best, come to think.)
I love seeing the work of other amazing artists, but not in a stack of advertisements in an endless scroll. Art is meant to be experienced differently.
I try to stay relevant on Instagram, because all of my friends are still there, but for the most part I don’t get much out of it anymore. It sucks because Instagram used to be my jam. My relationship with the app took a downhill turn when the algorithm was introduced, as was the case for a lot of people.
Well I actually struggled with social media before the algorithm. It’s no trail ride. I have at times felt cornered into behaving a certain way on Instagram. So much drama each and every day—in the land of infinite eyes and ears—heightens the senses and puts one on high alert with every small word posted.
Lowered performance on my account made me feel like I was doing something wrong. I was gaining 75+ followers a week before the algorythm, then suddenly half that, then less and less. I’ve convinced myself that it’s because I haven’t “niched down” tightly enough, that I’m not posting enough, that I need to post on Stories more, and on and on. But it’s not me. It’s Instagram.
I’d survived large social media losses before. I found myself free of Instagram after deleting my 6K+ page during a manic episode in 2018. I noticed that social media can trigger hyperactivity, which can spiral into hypomania or mania for me. Not good.
I felt alright without social media. It was definitely nice to be off Instagram, but I missed my friendships on there, and my career wasn’t helped by my having no social internet presence. Plus, I wanted to share my art to as many people as I could in an active way, and there was no online community space quite like IG in my book, so I started a new account in 2019 and built a new account up a little bit.
Things seemed to be going alright. And then Facebook deleted me.
Honestly, the experience of losing my Facebook page was traumatizing. It felt less about the loss of the 14-year-old account and more about the loss of participation in something as large and inclusive as Facebook. Many big moments in my life were announced on Facebook. We make fun of it, but it was special to me for a while.
I was also sad I couldn’t use my business page to run ads anymore, and ads were feeling more and more necessary as the algorithm slowly chokes off any and all organic content in our feeds. I’d put a lot of money and energy into learning how to create ads on Facebook.
So, I took some time off. I stopped posting as much, and now only post when I’ve had a lot of coffee and can’t help it. Or if I really want to share something and just don’t care—about the bad vibes that is. Because all in all, I’ve realized that Meta is bad vibes. Instagram was a gem and still is, but it’s infected with a really bad case of Meta, and has been for years.
These days, I’m trying my hand at YouTube. I’ve had this account for years, and hadn’t really taken it seriously because I was having too much fun on Instagram. But in hindsight, I’m wishing I’d put that effort into YouTube.
This is a card from my newest project, the Sextile Oracle, a deck of cards that offer support through poetry, layers, and color. Whereas Tarot cards are perfect for larger readings of more significance, this deck of Oracle cards will be perfect for daily use as it will encourage self-care, self-love, enjoyment of life, and gentle evolution.
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Blessings to you, dear one. See you next week.
All photos taken by my good pal Kendra Kerscher.