I recently have gone back on my word and returned to Instagram. It was the movie, The Social Network that helped me see beyond the negatives and take a stab at the possible positives of social media. With that being said, I decided to combine some interests, adapt a bit more to society, and use the media as a tool to promote something deeper than myself. So, I started a Taoist Instagram page. If you’ve ever taken any philosophy course, then you should be vaguely familiar with Taoism (also written as Daoism and pronounced like Dowism). If you haven’t taken that class, or if you had it at 8:30 in the morning, then allow me to awake your minds.
In a very brief rundown, Taoism is a basically a philosophy of ultimate reality. There is no God in Taoism. Instead, there is the Tao (The Way). The Tao is simply a frame for the world in which Taoists believe they should live, be and prosper. The Tao is also the underlying foundation of all nature. It is not a set of commandments, nor is it a price you have to pay. It is simply the way. The trick to Taoism is not thinking about it too much. This form of non-action is known by Taoists as wu wei. Now, this does not mean you are to do nothing with your time. It just means that you should allow natural forces to shape the world instead of always interfering.
I believe that a Taoist outlook is how teenagers should view social media. In this case, non-action is the best form of action. If you say too much, then your strongest thoughts are lost in the waves of speech. A Taoist approach to social media is so important because it teaches you how not to act. Most people my age use the channel too much, which is why it is so overdone, and they soon lose sight of the barrier between reality and virtuality.
The first rule in Taoism is that you must learn to accept yourself and, only then, learn what is going on around you. As Laozi put it, “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.” In today’s society, self-image has become more popular than self-knowledge, which is why I have established an Instagram account specifically meant for people to view the order of life. Instead of constantly focusing on your own image, follow Instagram users that promote "being" rather than “false reality” or “feigned action.”
You have the power to choose who you follow. Friends. Family. People you don’t know. You could even follow the Tao. @taotown843 is where you can quite literally follow The Way. What the page consists of are visual reflections on the natural order of life. Much like any religion that has ever existed, you do not have to request it. The Tao will follow you until you follow it. If it really is the underlying foundation of everything, then there is no way you can avoid it.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a Taoist. I have trouble believing that one religion holds all the answers. However, I do believe that a Taoist approach to social media is what makes us less vein and, ironically, more self-aware. So, if you’re looking for a social conversion to Taoism, follow The Way @taotown843.