Those of you who follow me on Instagram may already know, but for the last 8 months most of my posts have been “shadowbanned.” If you haven’t heard of it, shadowbanning is what folks have been calling a mysterious IG phenomenon where:
- Your post don’t show up in hashtags feeds &
- Your engagement basically shrivels up & dies.
The official word from Instagram it’s a “hashtag glitch” although no one is 100% sure what causes it, and IG’s been keeping mum about the details. What is known is that sometimes normal folks (who aren’t robots or posting nudies or doing anything even slightly shady) find their posts or whole accounts shadowbanned.
This is what happened to me. And honestly, it’s been awful.
Because of the shadowban, I stopped gaining followers and I consistently lost them. Because people were no longer seeing my posts or finding my feed, I was only getting a handful of likes and comments became rare.
For months I’ve struggled and soul searched and felt all the feels, while trying to understand why this was happening.
Was this a sign that I should quit HHC? That this isn’t really my calling? That I needed to better honor and more fully accept my Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) sensitivity, perhaps by unplugging completely and moving into a yurt? (This is actually kinda tempting. Yurts are pretty sweet.)
The whole experience has been so thoroughly frustrating and discouraging that, on average, I nearly quit twice a week, every week for the last 6 months. I’d cycle through knowing I was gunna shut everything down and spending hours researching shadowbanning and trying all the things other bloggers recommended.
I tried all kinds of things that had worked for others:
- Logging off my account for a week.
- Going through my hashtags and looking for “broken” or banned ones in order to delete them.
- Manually typing in all my hashtags (apparently IG doesn’t like “cut & pasted” ones anymore.)
- Putting my hashtags in the post instead of the comments.
- Deleting all hashtags from my last 15 posts.
- Deleting any apps attached to my account.
- Only using small super nichey hashtags and always switching them up.
Nothing was working. Out of ideas, the only reasonable explanation I could come up is that I’d been cursed.
However, one of things I’ve learned over the years is that many of my “curses” turn out to be undercover blessings. And no matter how frustrsting or depressing a situation may be, I believe that things happen for a reason & that the reason is always, ultimately Love.
Seeking out the loving wisdom that exists at the center of our struggles, isn’t easy. We start by shifting the question we’re asking ourselves from “Why is this happening to me?” to “How is this helping me?”
The discernment process can take time (sometimes lots of it,) but in the end we get the answers we seek when we decide to reframe the question.
Finally, in a crazy, last ditch effort, I tediously went back and deleted every single hashtag from every single post this year. At long last it seems that my Instagram shadowban has been lifted (fingers crossed!) but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to take to heart the loving wisdom it shared with me: that while I’m still healing, I need to focus on my healing.
Cuz guess what having less followers & comments allowed me do? Spend less time online and more time resting. In short, the shadowban allowed me to more fully devote myself to the healing process.
I can finally see that the shadowban wasn’t a curse, it was Love.
It was the painfully persistent reminder that I needed to slow down, be patient, and trust the procress. Ugggg, okay fine. You see, there’s something you should know about me: I’m stubborn, impatient and I don’t do “subtle.” I need Spirit to hit me over the head. Repetedly.
Maybe you’re the same way. Maybe you can’t for the life of you figure out why this totally frustrating, discouraging, depressing thing is happening. Don’t worry. If you keep searching for the loving wisdom within the struggle, at some point you’ll find it.
Until then: Slow down. Be patient. Trust the process.
Easier said then done right? Believe me, I know. But that’s the loving wisdom that keeps showing up in the center of my struggles. Which is why even though all I want to do is dive right in and start pumping out weekly blog posts, I’m going to continue to take things slow and put my health first.
Do I find that to be somewhat lame? Yes, yes I do ( I told you, I’m impatient.) But I’ve made so much progress with my health this year, I can wait a little longer. I can take things day by day, breath by breath, and trust that I will reclaim my health and discover a New Wellness.
So can you.
If you suspect that you may also have been shadowbanned on Instagram, here are 3 resources I recommend for learning more:
- As I’m writing, this post is the most up to date on what’s going on: https://plannthat.com/what-is-instagram-shadowban/
- This post is full of info on why it can happen and what you can do to try and fix it: http://alextooby.com/instagram-shadowban/
- And here’s another good post with similar info: https://later.com/blog/instagram-shadowban/
May you eat well, live well, be well. Patience & sweet potatoes, Xx Kat
“In my life’s chain of events nothing was accidental. Everything happened according to an inner need.” ~ Hannah Senesh
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