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Self Care with Soultanicals Day 6: Detoxing from Social Media

1:40 PM

Self Care with Soultanicals Day 6: Detoxing from Social Media
It's Bailey's first appearance on the blog! Yes, she has an IG - @baileythesheprador lol 
I know this post is a lil' late - and I'm sorry. The words that follow are brutally honest, and I sat on them for a few days to make 100% sure that I was comfortable sharing my innermost thoughts.

Here they go.

I put my first post on Instagram in 2012 - a few months after I re-launched my blog as The Mane Objective (formerly Kinky Crown). It was a simpler time back then - blogs were poppin', YouTube hadn't become the absolute monster it is today yet, and Instagram was all about sharing everyday experiences in real-time. There was no such thing as an "Instagram Influencer", photos were confined to 612x612 squares, and the Valencia filter reigned supreme.

And Snapchat wasn't even a twinkle in Evan Spiegel's eye yet.

When I opened the box of goodies from Soultanicals for this 7 Days of Self Care series, one label stood out immediately - Curl Blaze Hair Glaze. Talk about a trip straight down memory lane.

I first experienced Soultanicals in 2013, while still transitioning. Ayo was one of the first business owners happy to work with me as I built my blog and launched the series spotlighting Black owned natural hair businesses. Curl Blaze Hair Glaze was one of the first Soultanicals products I tried - and I've been a loyal customer and supporter since then.

Over the years that The Mane Objective brand (saying that feels so weird) has grown, I've been blessed to cultivate relationships with some amazing folks online and in real life. I'm grateful for every single reader, follower, and subscriber - because you all allow me to occupy visual real-estate in your life. In turn, I do my best to respond to every comment (sometimes it's hard to keep up and if I didn't answer a question you asked - I'm sorry and I promise it's not personal) and inquiry. In turn, I consistently push myself to churn out creative, unique, and useful quality content that is both educational and informative. 

And my promise is always to keep it 100% real. That's why I have to get this off my chest - being a blogger can be emotionally draining. 

Before you click that X in the upper right corner, hear me out. I'm not one of those "influencers" who lives on sponsored content and ad revenue alone. I work a full-time job, and would never give it up to blog for a living. I'm not cut from that cloth.

But if I can keep it 137% real, I've had my fair share of frustrating moments with the blogosphere. Over the years, I've had my words stolen, watermarks cropped from images I've taken and re-used, and plenty of folks with bigger audiences boost my ideas and re-create them as their own (without so much as a mention or credit). Most influencers claim the source of their woes is the people that follow them, ask questions that were answered in the caption or description box, or that come on their pages/channels starting drama and spreading chisme.

See, my issue isn't with you guys. Even if you ask a question I answered, I'm happy to answer it I again - because sometimes I'm long-winded and unclear, and sometimes humor is lost when read and not heard. I've been blessed with the best community ever - there's like, never any negativity on my blog or social media. Even on YouTube it's rare - which is no easy feat. And for that, I love y'all. You guys are dope.

My issue, my axe to grind, is with my fellow "content creators", and the brands that enable them. Creativity, honesty, and authenticity have become lost art forms on social media. Everyone is rinse and repeating what someone else has already done - and not even trying to hide it. Blogging/Vlogging/Instagram Influencing is now a system that rewards solely based on aesthetics. Content creators are going off the deep end, staging photoshoots for what should be intimate experiences. Taking 100 photos to get 1 that looks "candid" instead of actually living in the moment. Living to give the appearance of 24-7 slayage, and taking weekend excursions for photo ops instead of creating memories.

I'm caught somewhere between "I refuse to participate in the foolishness" and "gotta play the game to keep up" - and it's emotionally exhausting. I've put blood, sweat, and even some tears into The Mane Objective, and I want my blog to be recognized by brands and treated with the respect I believe it deserves. But it's hard to score in a game when you don't agree with the rules.

I've gotten plenty of no's and denials from brands - especially those that claim they didn't have the budget to work with me - only for me to turn around and see they've decided to pursue 5 popular Instagram influencers instead. I've been turned down for mainstream campaigns because I don't have enough Instagram followers - even though my blog is SEO gold. And don't even get me started on the limitations of not having a whole bunch of pretty pictures of myself in cool outfits against dope city and tropical backdrops, or not spending my days with my face contoured and highlighted to the gawds.

But that's another story.

I say all this to say, it gets hard to keep going sometimes. I spend a lot of time feeling like I'm behind the curve, because I refuse to turn my entire life into a series of pretty photos instead of actually living it. It almost feels like I'm not cut out to be an influencer in 2017.

As I walked down memory lane with Curl Blaze Hair Glaze throwing myself a personal pity party, I hit a realization - I've been running The Mane Objective blog and social media for over 5 years, virtually nonstop. I've taken mini-breaks (like 2 or 3 weeks tops) from blogging, and gone a few days here and there without posting on social media. And then it hit me - I've never really unplugged and stepped away.

Not to invalidate my own feelings, but perhaps I was in too deep? Could it be that the culture of blogging - and consistently taking it in - was skewing my perception of reality? Maybe it was time to step back and divert my energy elsewhere.

So on day 6, probably my most-needed day of self care, I totally unplugged. No Instagram, no Facebook, no blogging, no Snapchat, no nothing. I spent my time cooking, focusing totally on my workout, spending time with Bailey, reading the Bible and my devotionals, catching up on Adam Ruins Everything, and being present in my relationship.

And it felt great.

Not a bunch of pretty pictures to show here - because I even pulled myself from behind and in front of the camera lens. #sorrynotsorry #selfcarehasacost

Self Care with Soultanicals Day 6: Detoxing from Social Media
Back in the day, this used to come in a jar. The pump is much more effective, lol.
Curl Blaze Hair Glaze

What it is
Curl Blaze Hair Glaze is a botanically-based curl defining gel. It's lightweight but has a solid medium hold. It's the perfect curl definer for transitioners who are confidently in the wash & go stage, or for full-blown naturalistas who prefer bigger hair on day 1.

How I used it
Because I was detoxing from all things blog related, I chose not to spend a bunch of time on my hair I co-washed, did a quick condition, scrunched a little Marula-Melon Moisture Guru into my hair, and raked Curl Blaze Hair Glaze through my hair. No rake & shake, no praying hands, no Felicia Leatherwood Detangler Brush method, nothing. Just rake, and keep it moving.

Key benefits

Thanks to Blue Malva and Marshmallow Root, Curl Blaze Hair Glaze has tons of slip and adds crazy moisture and shine to the hair. Aloe vera pH balances the hair, while honey, coconut oil, and glycerin hydrate, soften, and thoroughly nourish the hair from root to end.

Day 6 helped me SO much y'all. And while I'm a work in progress, spending a full day completely detached put me on the right path. On Day 6 of 7 Days of Self Care with Soultanicals, I walked away understanding:
  • That unplugging from social media is something I need to do regularly. Probably monthly, if I'm honest about it. I thought I would be immune from the pressures of social media, but I'm impressionable just like everyone else. Admitting that alone has been incredibly helpful.
  • That I need to actively work toward finding balance between social media and real life.
  • That things about blogging are going to get under my skin. The game is cutthroat, but I don't have to be. I need to remain grounded in my integrity, stay true to who I am, and always remember why I started.
  • It's so important to be present. I didn't realize how much I'm always on my phone - even absentmindedly - until I couldn't go on social media. I'm now making an effort to be totally present and give my full attention to the things and people that matter.
How has the presence of social media impacted your life? Let's discuss in the comments below.

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9 comments

  1. Love, Love, Love this!!!! As a Brand, I can relate with this on the same level as well! Trying to compete with 'Other Owned' businesses which can care less about the ingredient list, our true hair care needs yet marketing to our demographics by offering all expense evryhting that we don't have a budget for... yet!!!! When we do expand exponentially, it is very important for me to recognize, acknowledge and maintain sincere relationships with content creators like you! Here's to many, many, many more years rocking with you Christina!!!! ❤️❤️❤️

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    Replies
    1. AHHHH AYO THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!! It's rough out here - when integrity and creativity are overlooked for pretty and flashy things. I wish you and Soultanicals ALL the success. Every. Single. Bit. XOXO

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  2. Christinaaaaa!!!! This post hit home for me!! I began my instagram account with the purpose and hope that more women in my age group would go natural! I'm soon to be 54 and have never felt more alive and free since going natural! What I've encountered is tons of bullshit on social media! So much so that I just feel discouraged and feel like I don't want to post anymore! for all of those reasons you gave!! It's insane these brands don't understand that the majority of people buying their products are just normal everyday women that don't look like that on a regular!! Anyway it needed to be said and you always do it so well!! You are articulate, intelligent and a natural beauty!! Which is more than I can say for many of these you tubers who can't even pronounce half of the ingredients in the products they promote!! I just can't take the bull!! Keep up your much appreciated work! I for one totally appreciate you and what you do!! ����

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    Replies
    1. MARTA! You're gonna make me cry!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH from the bottom of my heart. All I can say for people like us is KEEP GOING. Keep being you. And again, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

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  5. I read this from the beginning to think very end and I love this!.
    I also want to unplug from social media maybe for a week and just enjoy life, read books and eat good food

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